Congratulations are in order for Haute 100 lister Mark Burnett. Burnett has officially been announced as the new president of MGM Television and Digital Group, plus has signed a five-year contract. Burnett will report directly to Gary Barber, chairman and CEO. The company made the announcement on Monday.
“Joining MGM under the incredible leadership of Gary Barber is an exciting new chapter of my television career,” said Burnett. “Demand for quality content is stronger than ever and the opportunities to grow our pipeline and develop projects from the wealth of Intellectual Property in the MGM and United Artists libraries are enormous. There is no better time to be creating premium content for distribution across multiple platforms. ”
It was also revealed MGM has bought out the remaining 45 percent interest that Burnett Roma Downey and Hearst Corp held in United Artists Media Group, which is worth $233 million total. Burnett and Downey will exchange their 23 percent interest in UAMG for 1,337,360 shares of MGM stock valued at $90 per share or about $120 million. Hearst will receive $113.5 million in cash for their 22 percent. Prior to the deal, MGM acquired a 55 percent stake in the joint owned production companies.
“Mark Burnett is one of the most successful producers in television and a highly sought-after executive in content creation,” Barber said in a statement issued Monday. “His leadership is the next step in our never-ending quest to expand and grow our television and digital businesses. Combining all of our TV content efforts under the purview of this unparalleled chief is incredibly exciting. Additionally, we believe this synergistic transaction will be very accretive to MGM.”
Downey will serve as chief content officer in addition to her role as LightWorks president. She said, “We have entered into an era where faith-based and family programming is experiencing a creative renaissance. I am so excited and grateful to head up the team at LightWorkers Media under MGM. This is an enthusiastic marketplace that inspires us every day to create and curate new, thoughtful and dynamic content for all screens in the distribution landscape.”
The transaction is expected to close at the beginning of 2016.