Independent entertainment studio MRC has promoted longtime exec Scott Tenley to CEO.
Tenley had been serving as Chief Business Officer for the company, which has backed film and episodic projects including Knives Out, Poker Face and Ozark. The former corporate entertainment attorney arrived at MRC 16 years ago and has racked up a number of accomplishments, including negotiating the company’s separation from Valence Media.
As CEO, Tenley will oversee the studio’s film, TV and non-fiction divisions, strategic partnerships, as well as all shared service functions of the company, including finance, legal, and HR. In the new executive structure, founders Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu will become Chairmen.
“Scott Tenley has a hand in nearly every single deal, every single accomplishment at MRC over the past 16 years. He has blazed trails in almost every facet of our business, from selling House of Cards to Netflix to setting up The Academy of Country Music Awards on Amazon Prime Video, to ever-evolving credit facilities, equity arrangements and beyond,” Wiczyk and Satchu said. “But Scott is so much more than a deal person: he is our cultural heart, our loudest cheerleader, our most ferocious defender, and our ambassador to the community. Scott is an agent of change and the business cannot succeed without him.”
Tenley said he has been “so lucky to be surrounded by the smartest and hardest working colleagues as we have built an amazing business, working with the best and brightest artists and storytellers.” He thanked Wiczyk, Satchu “and all of my colleagues and partners who have given me the rarest of opportunities to play a small part in making iconic films and TV shows.”
At MRC, Tenley helped secure multiple billions of dollars of equity and mezzanine capital for the company with partners including Goldman Sachs, WPP, ATT, JPMorgan, Abry Partners, and Eldridge. He also spearheaded the companies credit facility with JPMorgan and a consortium of leading entertainment banks.
Most recently, Tenley led the team that sold Poker Face to Peacock. The show has been a critically admired breakout, earning a second-season renewal. hits with Season 2 already ordered. At Sundance in January, he provided strategic guidance in the deal to sell Chloe Domont’s Fair Play to Netflix in the festival’s biggest sale, and also helped finalize the sale of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn to Amazon, also landing a second season and spinoff of the Prime Video hit series The Terminal List.
In 2012, at the dawn of the direct-to-consumer streaming era, Tenley led the effort to sell House of Cards to Netflix, an unheard-of upfront commitment at the time. In a press release announcing Tenley’s promotion, the company added a note about the fraught final stages of the landmark streaming series. “Nothing highlights Tenley’s patience and commitment more than his leadership and management of the Kevin Spacey sexual harassment fallout,” the release said of efforts including “saving the sixth and final season of House of Cards, and landing a $31M judgment award against Spacey for breach of contract.”
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