Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum have made a major move in the executive rebuilding of MGM’s TV division post-bankruptcy, hiring former top NBC Universal international TV executive Roma Khanna to run it. Khanna has been named President Television Group and Digital. She will oversee all TV operations for MGM, including production, sales acquisitions, licensing, content creation and digital initiatives for MGM worldwide, reporting to Barber and Birnbaum. It is unclear what Khanna’s appointment entails for Gary Marenzi, president of Worldwide Television, who will now report to her as will all other MGM TV teams. Marenzi had been MGM’s top TV executive since January when Jim Packer, with whom Marenzi previously served as co-president, left to join Lionsgate. Khana was most recently president of NBCU’s Universal Networks International & Digital Initiatives, overseeing over 70 international TV channels, until March when she left in the aftermath of the NBCU-Comcast merger. Here is MGM’s release:
LOS ANGELES, CA (June 7, 2011) – MGM has appointed Roma Khanna to the post of President Television Group and Digital, it was announced today by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officers of MGM. Khanna joins the company having recently worked with NBC Universal, where she served as President of Universal Networks International & Digital Initiatives.
In her new post, Khanna will oversee all television sales, production, acquisitions, licensing, content creation and digital initiatives for MGM worldwide. She will also oversee all existing franchises and partnerships, as well as guide the creation of new franchise and content opportunities through the MGM library and IP. She will report to Barber and Birnbaum.
“In Roma we have found an executive that we know will be able to fully realize the vision we have for our television and digital business. With all that she has accomplished in these complex landscapes, both domestically and internationally, we know she is the ideal person for this job and we could not be happier that she has come on board,” said MGM’s Barber and Birnbaum. “We look forward to Roma developing a robust slate of new television and digital content for markets all around the world.”
“I am thrilled to be working with Gary and Roger and the MGM team,” said Roma Khanna. “MGM has a long history of creating and distributing world-class content and I am very excited to have the opportunity to help grow the global business across both digital and traditional platforms.”
As NBCU’s President of Universal Networks International and Digital Initiatives, Khanna oversaw over 70 international television channels, including Syfy Universal, 13th Street Universal, Diva Universal, Universal Channel, Studio Universal, the Hallmark Channel and Movies24. Under her leadership, several global productions launched on these channels to great critical and ratings success, including Rookie Blue, Haven, Fact or Faked and Fairly Legal. In addition, Khanna oversaw the Digital Initiatives division of NBC Universal International.
Prior to NBCU, Khanna was SVP, Content and Co-Head of CHUM Television in Canada, where she co-ran CHUM’s portfolio of free television networks CityTV and A-Channel and over 20 cable channels. In this role, she guided all of the TV group’s domestic and international content creation, program licensing, acquisitions, on-air creative, distribution and digital efforts. Khanna previously served as VP, CHUM Interactive where she was responsible for all new media and cross-platform content initiatives for CHUM Radio and Television. Before joining CHUM, Khanna served as EVP and co-owner of Snap Media, a leading independent interactive producer, where she was involved in the production/creation of cross-media projects for television and film. She began her career at Sony Music Canada as Manager of Legal and Business Affairs.