Authentic Entertainment co-founder and CEO Lauren Lexton, an Emmy Award-winning reality TV and documentary producer, is set to leave the production company she co-founded 18 years ago. The move comes eight years after Endemol acquired Authentic; the company is now a division of Endemol Shine North America.
Authentic’s former head of development, Helga Eike, will take over for Lexton, returning to the company as its new President. Eike, who most recently launched Red Bandit Media with ITV America, previously spent 10 years at Authentic Entertainment as SVP, Development.
Lexton, who has fulfilled her obligation of staying on for at least five years after selling the company, is expected to take a break after her 18-year run at Authentic and handpicked her successor. Over the years, Lexton has worked on thousands of hours of programming that spans more than 80 shows for more than 20 different networks. She has overseen the creation and production of such series as Ace of Cakes, Knife Fight, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Flipping Out!, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Toddlers & Tiaras and this year’s successful return of Trading Spaces on TLC.
“Lauren has developed and produced some of the most iconic unscripted series of the last two decades and helped build Authentic Entertainment into one of the leading production companies in our industry,” says Endemol Shine North America CEO Cris Abrego. “And while we say a fond farewell to Lauren, we are happy to welcome Helga back to the studio that she helped lead to tremendous success, developing many of Authentic’s top series during her previous tenure.”
Lexton’s departure comes at a time of uncertainty for Authenric Entertainment’s parent company; Endemol Shine Group recently hired Deutsche Bank and Liontree to explore a sale.
Lexton co-founded Authentic Entertainment in 2000 with Tom Rogan. In August 2015, Lexton was named sole CEO of Authentic, as Rogan left the company after 15 years, five years after he and Lexton sold it to Endemol.
In 2016, Eike left Authentic to launch Red Bandit Media, producing two seasons of Texas Cake House for Food Network, I Should have Known for TLC and numerous projects in development in its first two years.