Fox 21’s Sandra Ortiz To Run Business Operations For Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment

Johnny Vy/CBS

Veteran 20th Century Fox television business executive Sandra Ortiz, most recently head of BA for Fox 21 TV Studios, has joined Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment in a strategic position, overseeing the independent company’s business affairs and production business.

Since recently coming on board, she spearheaded Kapital Entertainment’s negotiations with CBS All Access for a straight-to-series order to the Kevin Williamson drama Tell Me a Story and with YouTube Red for a pilot order to dark comedy Widow.

Eight-year-old Kapital Entertainment, which has 7 series on the air and 2 pilots, has expanded its capabilities since launching a joint venture with CBS Corp. earlier this year. Introducing a new model, the company has been operating as a hybrid. In addition to co-producing projects, Kapital also is able to finance, serving as a studio, something it is doing on the CBS comedy 9JKL, CBS All Access drama Tell Me a Story and YouTube pilot Widow. 

As the company entered the new stage in its evolution toward a fully fledged independent studio, Kaplan looked for a seasoned business executive to help him navigate the deal- and decision-making process. Kapital landed Ortiz who had been sought after following her exit from Fox after more than two decades.

“As Kapital‎ entertainment continued to grow, I had the need and desire to find a uniquely qualified person to help me run the business side of our company,” Kaplan said. “I kept searching for a ‘Sandra Ortiz type’ and when I learned she was available, I immediately reached out to her. I’m thrilled that she has decided to join us.”

Kaplan had just transitioned from being an agent to producing when he got his first series order for Terra Nova at Fox via 20th TV. Ortiz, who was the BA executive on the futuristic drama, educated him about business aspects of the production process that he hadn’t been familiar with as an agent. After the series ended, she remained Kaplan’s close confidant. The two most recently worked together on the Kapital/Fox 21 upcoming drama Showtime drama series The Chi in Ortiz’s capacity as the production unit’s head of BA .

Ortiz acknowledged her former Fox bosses, Fox TV Group chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman, 20th Century Fox TV president of business operations Howard Kurtzman and Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke.

“Dana Walden, Gary Newman, Howard Kurtzman and Bert Salke were all such incredible mentors,” Ortiz said. “After 25 years at Fox and with this ever changing media landscape, this opportunity with Kapital was one that I just couldn’t pass up.”

Ortiz did stints in syndication and broadcast television production prior to becoming head of Business and Legal Affairs for Fox 21 Television Studios, where she oversaw all business and legal issues related to the development, licensing and production of shows such as Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Genius and American Crime Story. Prior to working at Fox, she worked with KCAL-TV and KCET. Her tenure at Fox was interrupted by a 2-year period when she joined the faculty at USC Gould School of Law.

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