EXCLUSIVE: Former Propagate President Greg Lipstone has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of American Song Contest Inc., one of the companies behind NBC’s upcoming music reality competition series of the same name, which premieres March 21.
Following the blueprint of the Eurovision Song Contest and inspired by its spectacle and production elements, the nine-week series, hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg and produced by Propagate Content and Universal TV Alternative Studio, features artists going head to head in state-to-state weekly competitions, leading to semi-finals and a March Madness-style Grand Final.
In the newly created role, Lipstone’s focus will be to develop and grow the Eurovision Song Contest brand globally. Domestically, that involves creating auxiliary businesses around the American Song Contest reality series, including digital commerce. Based in ASC, Inc.’s home base in Los Angeles, Lipstone also will work on the brand’s international expansion, including launching local versions of the show in territories that are not covered by the Eurovision Song Contest. (While Eurovision is known as an European event, its participants also include countries like Israel, Morocco and Australia.)
Drawing on Eurovision’s origins as a show that was created to help bring Europe together after the war, the feeling is that the world has gone through so much turmoil in recent history, including the pandemic and the current invasion of Ukraine, that it may be a good time to launch a similar initiative in other parts of the world.
Ukraine is a two-time winner of Eurovision, including in 2016 for Jamala’s haunting “1944,” about the deportation of the Crimean Tatars by the Soviet regime. It is possible for NBC’s American Song Contest to show solidarity to the people of Ukraine by tapping into its Eurovision ties.
Lipstone got to know ASC, Inc.’s leadership while, in his role as President of Propagate, he helped structure the company’s relationship with NBC for the series, which led to an invitation to join its executive ranks once he left Propagate last year.
“Greg’s unique profile with a combination of entrepreneurship and experience makes him the perfect complement to further expand the ASC footprint,” Peter Settman, CEO of American Song Contest, Inc. said. “As one of our executive producers, we liked how he worked, and I learned that his lifelong success is a result of hard work combined with a fearless pursuit to excel in our industry. I’m thrilled and our entire team is beyond excited for Greg to join with us and build the next big entertainment universe.”
Following his departure from Propagate in September, Lipstone has been working with Propagate on foreign sales and distribution of the American Song Contest show, with sales competed in YLE in Finland, RUV in Iceland, RTS in Serbia and ERT in Greece, SVT in Sweden. He also has remained on board as an executive producer of the NBC series.
Prior to joining Propagate, Lipstone had been CEO of All3Media America, his former client at ICM Partners, where Lipstone was a founding partner and board member. His clients included Nigel Lythgoe, LMNO Productions, BBC America Productions, ITV Studios America, Matt Kunitz, Sam Donnelly, Alycia Rossiter, Natalka Znak, Conrad Green as well as the American Song Contest’s Executive Producer Audrey Morrissey.
Lipstone is credited with packaging such hit TV television series including Dancing with the Stars (ABC), The Office (NBC), Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares (Fox), Top Gear (History) and Chrisley Knows Best (USA). He began his career as a trainee at the William Morris Agency, rising to the head of the TV department in his 21 year career at the agency.
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