Global Road has headed down a dicey path. Word is that staffers today were told that the banks backing Donald Tang’s venture are now in control of the company’s domestic theatrical production and distribution operations. TV and international sales are intact for now. The staff was told this today by CEO Rob Friedman.
Rumors of financial woes have been rampant lately, as attempts to raise new funds have been unavailing so far. This is a surprise given it hasn’t been that long since Tang acquired IM Global and nudged its principal Stuart Ford out the door. That followed with a deal for Open Road that saw founder Tom Ortenberg leave. Ford resurfaced with AGC Studios and took most of his staff, and Ortenberg is reformulating a distribution shingle that will start with Michael Moore’s docu Fahrenheit 11/9.
Former Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chair Friedman took over the pieces of Global Road as CEO last year, and hired former Warner Bros exec Lynn Harris to ramp up productions, but they have only just getting started with homegrown productions.
We’re told that conversations are taking about a possible linkup, perhaps with a content creator that needs a distribution arm, but it is very unusual to see talented executives jump to a company with strong ambitions and see it crash into the rocks so quickly. Stay tuned.
No comment from Global Road.