Laura Kennedy, a 10-year Lionsgate veteran, has been promoted to COO of the Lionsgate Television Group. She will head up the operations, strategy and planning for the television division and will continue to oversee M&A activity, reporting to Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs.
Lionsgate’s Television Group has not had a designated COO since Sandra Stern, the last one to hold the title, was promoted to President in 2015.
“Laura has been instrumental in helping us rapidly grow and diversify our television business,” said Beggs. “She has a great understanding of where the industry is headed, coupled with the ability to plan the acquisitions and internal growth that will enable us to execute our strategic vision.”
Kennedy most recently served as Lionsgate EVP of Television Operations & Corporate Development. She has been instrumental in a broad range of transactions including the acquisitions of syndication business Debmar-Mercury, the television channel Pop, a majority stake in leading reality producer Pilgrim Media and the recent investments in U.K. production companies Primal Media and Potboiler Television. Most recently, she was one of the deal-makers spearheading Lionsgate’s $4.4 billion acquisition of Starz.
Kennedy is also responsible for overseeing the financial operations of Lionsgate’s television business that encompasses a roster of nearly 90 shows on 40 different networks. Additionally, she is one of the architects of Lionsgate’s rollout of a suite of OTT platforms including Tribeca Shortlist and Laugh Out Loud, a partnership with comedian Kevin Hart.
“With the recent integration of Starz and our growing investment in new content, our opportunities to continue scaling our television platform are greater than ever,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. “Laura’s strategic grasp, financial acumen and deal-making ability will be an important part of that process.”