(Toronto, Canada) November 22, 2023 – International production studio, rights business and channel operator, Blue Ant Media, unveiled today new leadership across the company’s yet-to-be named studio and rights business, led by Co-Presidents, Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg. News of the company’s studio and rights leadership team arrives after Blue Ant Media’s recent acquisition of marblemedia, which saw the two companies announcing intent to merge their collective production and distribution operations into one super-charged studio business.
“In an era where creativity meets excellence, we proudly unveil Blue Ant Media’s dynamic new studio and rights executive team—a visionary ensemble dedicated to crafting compelling narratives for global partners and pushing creative boundaries. Together, they bring a tapestry of expertise, innovation and passion, poised to elevate our super-charged studio to unprecedented heights,” said Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg, Co-Presidents, Blue Ant Studios.
Led by Matthew Hornburg, Blue Ant Media’s Unscripted Development team is spearheaded by a cadre of accomplished production leaders. Jennifer Harkness (Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies for Peacock), has taken the development reins of Factual Entertainment from the studio’s LA office. Meanwhile from the Toronto office, Kelsey Espensen (Best in Miniature, Race Against the Tide) leads development for Unscripted Entertainment and Steve Gamester (Inside the Statue Wars, History by Numbers), leads Specialist Factual Development.
The studio’s accomplished Scripted Development team is under the leadership of Mark Bishop. Leading Scripted Drama & Comedy is Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy (Davey & Jonesie’s Locker for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video) who will be focused on Scripted Production; and Melissa Williamson (Sitting Pretty) who oversees Scripted Development. Together, they will collaborate on shaping the studio’s primetime scripted slate. Additionally, AJ Trauth (Armadillo Avalanche, Generation Mars) leads the expanded Kids, Family and Young Adult division, based in the studio’s LA office. Josh Bowen (Doomlands) will lead the business’ animation studio in Toronto and its planned expansion.
At the helm of the Production and Post Production group is Donna Luke, who will work alongside the Co-Presidents in producing the company’s slate. Paul Kilback (Northwood Survival) will continue to oversee Factual Series, working closely with Donna and Matthew Hornburg. Aileen Gardner (I Have Nothing) will lead and support production for Unscripted, Specialist Factual and Factual Entertainment. Stefanie Haist (Mr. Dressup: The Magic of Make-Believe for Amazon Prime MGM) will lead and support Unscripted Entertainment productions.
Operating from the London office, Diane Rankin is leading commercial strategy and content financing for the studio’s distribution and production business, working closely with the company’s Development teams in all genres alongside Ben Barrett, who oversees content financing and partnerships for the unscripted genre.
Bryan Gabourie and Gerbrig Blanksma will lead all sales activities from originals, pre-sales, content licensing, co-productions and strategic partnerships from the company’s New York and London offices, respectively. Lilla Hurst will continue to lead the distribution team’s global acquisitions and content strategy from the UK office.
Blue Ant Media’s head of international sales remains an open role in the recently merged studio structure and will be announced in 2024. The key position, overseeing the global sales team, will be responsible for maximizing revenue from Blue Ant Media’s global catalogue of premium content across unscripted, scripted, natural history, kids & family and animation content and sales activities across all rights and platforms and working with internal stakeholders on ongoing corporate distribution strategy.
Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international production studio and rights business and channel operator. The company’s studio creates and distributes a premium slate of programming, in all content genres, for streaming and broadcasting platforms around the world. Blue Ant Media also operates free streaming and pay TV channels under several media brands internationally, including Love Nature, Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth Canada, HauntTV, Homeful, Drag Race Universe, Total Crime, HistoryTime and Love Pets. Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with six international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, London, Washington and Sydney. blueantmedia.com Twitter⼁Instagram⼁LinkedIn