(New York – Oct. 3, 2019) – Blue Ant Media continues to shore up its North American presence with the appointment of Emmy-award winning producer and long time television and film executive Laura Michalchyshyn to Chief Creative Officer and Co-President, Content Production, Blue Ant Studios, effective immediately. In this newly created senior executive role, Michalchyshyn will oversee creative across multiple Blue Ant Media businesses while co-managing and growing Blue Ant Studios alongside Co-President, Blue Ant Studios, Sam Sniderman. Her key focus will be growing the company’s unscripted and scripted production slate in North America and bringing her talent relationships to the company while also forging new partnerships with American partners and platforms. Based in New York, she reports to Blue Ant Media’s CEO and Co-Founder Michael MacMillan, while also working closely with all business units.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Laura since our Alliance Atlantis days together. Her talent, knowledge of the industry, and experience working on both sides of the US/Canada border will take Blue Ant Studios’ production portfolio to a new level of excellence,” said Michael MacMillan, CEO and Co-Founder, Blue Ant Media. “Her key role symbolizes our commitment to growing our production footprint within North America, which is critical to our success in creating and owning more content.”
“I am thrilled to be joining Blue Ant Studios to help lead the growth of their content and production business,” says Laura Michalchyshyn, Chief Creative Officer and Co-President, Content Production, Blue Ant Studios. “The relationships I’m fortunate to have built with amazing creative talent are the focus of my work. I look forward to bringing a diverse range of exciting new projects to the dynamic, growing international media market.”
Michalchyshyn’s new role bolsters the strategic growth of Blue Ant Studio’s unscripted and scripted projects while giving the studio a foothold in New York. Additionally, the new role will allow Blue Ant Studios to bring more projects to the US from the company’s international production houses. Recent projects under the Blue Ant Studios banner include Canada’s Drag Race, the Canadian adaptation of World of Wonder’s Emmy-winning series Rupaul’s Drag Race, produced in association with Crave and The Healing Powers of Dude, executive produced by Dan Lubetkin for Netflix.
The newly appointed SVP of Unscripted Content, Jennifer Harkness, based in Los Angeles, will report directly to Michalchyshyn. Also working out of the L.A. office are Co-President Sam Sniderman and Dan Lubetkin, SVP of Scripted Content. In addition, reporting directly to Michalchyshyn is Patrick de Visscher, Development and Production Manager, who joins the Blue Ant Studios New York office.
Over the course of her career, Michalchyshyn has led programming and production teams, run cable channels, and worked as a producer partnering with talent, production companies, studios and networks including Radical Media, Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Media, Dawn Porter’s Trilogy Films, World of Wonder, Marina Zenovich’s PMZ Pictures, Joe Berlinger, Caroline Suh, Stephen David Entertainment, Isabella Rossellini, Mike Clattenburg, Brick City TV, Alan Cumming’s Club Cumming Productions, and Jeffrey and Michael Zimbalist’s All Rise Productions.
She is currently producing a CNN feature documentary on Congressman John Lewis with director and producing partner Dawn Porter, Color Farm Media and AGC.
She has also produced fiction and non-fiction for many networks and platforms including Netflix, Hulu, CNN, HBO, Showtime, AMC, Discovery, BBC, Ovation TV, CBC, EPIX, and Sundance Channel. In addition, she has consulted with content companies, SVOD, and OTT platforms including Blue Ant Media (since 2018), Kew Media, EPIX, Lionsgate, and Paramount TV.
Michalchyshyn’s most recent roles include several years serving as President of Sundance Productions, which she co-founded with Robert Redford and together executive-produced the Emmy winning Momentum Generation (HBO) Death Row Stories (CNN), Chicagoland (CNN), All The President’s Men Revisited (Discovery), The American West (AMC), Ocean Warriors (Animal Planet), and The March (PBS), to name a few.
Additionally, Michalchyshyn produced director Dawn Porter’s Bobby Kennedy for President, a critically-acclaimed Netflix documentary series, released in 2018. She has also won three News and Documentary Emmys, as well as awards from GLAAD, IDA, Banff TV, the Environmental Media Association and the Peabody Awards.
Michalchyshyn has also held senior executive roles at Sundance Channel, Alliance Atlantis, and Discovery and where she commissioned hundreds of hours of scripted and non-scripted content including Iconoclasts, Fabulous Beekman Boys, Elvis Costello Presents, Slings and Arrows and Trailer Park Boys.
Blue Ant Media is an international producer, distributor, channel operator, and gaming video content company. We own and operate numerous production companies in North America, the UK, and Australasia under the Blue Ant Studios banner, creating content for broadcasters and streaming platforms in multiple genres including factual entertainment, natural history, documentary, adult animation, and drama. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a substantial catalogue of content, including one of the world’s largest 4K natural history offerings. Blue Ant Media operates linear, AVOD, and SVOD channels on multiple continents under 14 brands including Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada), ZooMoo, Arcade Cloud and more. Omnia Media, our gaming video content company, has the largest gamer talent network in the world. It creates and distributes gaming video content and podcast shows across digital and OTT platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and more. Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with nine international offices in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Washington DC, Sydney, Beijing, and Taipei.