ITV PLC today confirmed that Brent Montgomery has been appointed CEO of ITV America, formerly ITV Studios US Group.
Montgomery, the founder and current CEO of Leftfield Entertainment, will oversee ITV’s US group of businesses, the largest independent producer of non-scripted content in America. ITV America produces over 100 programmes, totalling over 800 hours of content, working in partnership with 43 networks.
Under Montgomery’s leadership, all of ITV’s US businesses will become part of ITV America, including ITV Studios America which will be rebranded as ITV Entertainment. All of ITV’s other US businesses: Leftfield Pictures, Sirens Media, Outpost Entertainment, Loud TV, Riot Creative, Thinkfactory Media, High Noon Entertainment, DiGa and Gurney Productions will continue to produce under their current labels and with their existing management teams under the ITV America umbrella.
Under the new structure, Montgomery will report to Kevin Lygo, Managing Director, ITV Studios, as will Philippe Maigret, President of ITV America’s scripted business. Maigret will work closely with Montgomery from an operational perspective. ITV America’s scripted business will be branded ITV Studios America.
As part of the restructuring, Lygo also announced ITV America’s core management team under Montgomery: Adam Sher will serve as Chief Creative Officer of ITV America; Chris Valentini becomes Chief Operating Officer of ITV America; and David George serves as Chief Executive Officer of Leftfield Entertainment. Ed Simpson transitions from Leftfield Entertainment to become Executive Vice President, Business Development & International, ITV America. Montgomery, Valentini, George and Simpson all remain based in New York, with Sher continuing to operate out of Los Angeles.
The heads of all ITV America production companies will continue to lead their respective businesses, reporting into Montgomery. The head of the rebranded, Los Angeles-based ITV Entertainment will be named shortly, with Sher overseeing the current business.
Regarding ITV’s corporate structure, Oliver De La Hoz remains Executive Vice President, Finance; Ivan Garel-Jones remains Executive Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs; and Jenise Caiola remains Executive Vice President, Human Resources, all at ITV America.
Lygo said: “ITV has gone from strength to strength in the US over the last few years both organically and through acquisition and is now the biggest unscripted indie in the US. Bringing all our US production businesses together, ITV America will build on this success as we take our US operations to the next level and continue to build a global content business of scale.”
Selling his first series in 2008, Montgomery formed Leftfield Pictures the following year, quickly growing the business to what is now Leftfield Entertainment, which, this year alone, delivered 364 hours of content, including hit franchise Pawn Stars, and series American Restoration and Counting Cars. Last year, ITV Studios acquired a controlling stake in the Leftfield group, which has since secured more than 30 new commissions such as Killing Fields, Food Porn, Brain Surgery Live, Arctic Recovery and He Shed, She Shed. As part of the changes announced today ITV PLC has acquired the remaining 20 per cent of the Leftfield Entertainment group.
Lygo added: “ITV made a major investment last year in Leftfield Entertainment, a testament to the talent, skill, vision and success of Brent Montgomery and his team. Brent’s creative expertise and management prowess ultimately built Leftfield into a producing powerhouse now known for creating programming across nearly every genre of unscripted television. In the current marketplace it’s essential that we monetise creative across all platforms and territories, while servicing buyers and markets with content that delivers for their respective brands and audiences. We also must employ the flexibility to navigate emerging distribution opportunities, while remaining willing to take creative risks. We are confident that under Brent’s leadership ITV America will meet these challenges, broadening even further into exciting new arenas of media and entertainment.”
“In the last year Brent has continued to expand Leftfield’s production slate and develop the talented team who work with him. It’s now the right time for him to take the helm of ITV America and guide the group to our next stage of growth. With Philippe Maigret leading our US drama business we continue to make strides in our strategy to build scale in both scripted and unscripted.”
Montgomery added: “I’m humbled and beyond excited to join ITV at a time in our business when the integration of creativity, diversity, innovation and fiscal responsibility has never been more critical. I consider my greatest accomplishment at Leftfield to have amassed a team of some of the most talented producers and executives in our business, who worked with dedication and collaboration in an environment that allowed creatives to do what they do best: work with laser focus on development and building talent. That’s what has grown our partnerships with buyers across all company disciplines. I look forward to delivering on that strategy for ITV, and to expanding the company’s footprint as we broach the next chapter together.”