Veteran Executive Joins FEG’s Senior Leadership Team, Overseeing Global Sales for Content Distribution Division
October 9, 2023 - Los Angeles/London – Respected international television executive David Smyth has been named Executive Vice President, Sales, of FOX Entertainment Global (FEG), FOX Entertainment’s worldwide content sales and distribution division, reporting to Tony Vassiliadis, Chief Operating Officer of FEG.
Based in London, Smyth will be responsible for overseeing global sales and domestic off -platform sales for programming produced by FOX Entertainment’s in-house studios, including FOX Alternative Entertainment, FOX Entertainment Studios, Studio Ramsay Global, Bento Box Entertainment, MarVista Entertainment and TMZ, as well as a slate of content from Tubi, FOX’s AVOD streaming service. Smyth will officially assume his full-time role at FEG in January 2024.
Most recently, Smyth served as a consultant to FOX Entertainment Studios on international scripted co-production and development partnerships, reporting to Michael Thorn, FOX Entertainment’s President of Scripted Programming. Smyth will continue to work with Thorn in his new role, identifying and cultivating international co-production partnerships. He will also collaborate with Allison Wallach, the company’s President of Unscripted Programming, on international unscripted formats.
Smyth rounds out FEG Chief Executive Officer Fernando Szew’s senior leadership team, which is led by Vassiliadis, who is responsible for overseeing all business operations for the company. They are joined by:
- Deena Stern, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, responsible for building and growing the FEG brand globally, developing strategic sales marketing campaigns to the global marketplace, spearheading all international marketing and communications, and contributing to the strategic direction of sales launches and initiatives.
- Lori Bernstein, Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, responsible for managing and overseeing all domestic and international distribution licensing agreements, as well as managing FEG’s rights management.
- Michol Hatwan, Vice President, Strategy and Operations, who spearheads FEG’s strategic direction and growth initiatives, oversees sales strategy for the company’s content distribution throughout the world, and leads operations to support business and client needs.
“As we look ahead and approach the next phase of FEG’s growth, we’re incredibly fortunate to have an executive with David’s experience and global leadership join our organization,” said Vassiliadis. “With FEG’s portfolio continuing to expand with scripted, animated and unscripted programming, along with a slate of content from Tubi, David’s firm grasp across all genres and formats, as well as a strong track record of launching streaming platforms and an innovative approach to business, uniquely aligns with FEG’s entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit.”
Smyth added, “I am so delighted to be re-joining the FOX family and the terrific business and team Fernando and Tony have built. This is an exciting new era for FOX, and I feel privileged to play a part in what I am sure will be a fantastic next chapter. I can’t wait to get started and to work with Tony, Deena, Lori and Michol, as well as with Michael Thorn, Allison Wallach and the terrific team at FOX Entertainment.”
Prior to consulting FOX Entertainment Studios, Smyth was CEO of Beyond Rights, where he launched several FAST channel partnerships across the world until Banijay acquired Beyond International in 2022. Before that, he was Founder and CEO of YouLook.tv, the U.K.’s first multi-channel AVOD service. He previously served at 20th Century FOX Television Distribution as Senior Vice President and Managing Director. There, he closed major license deals for FOX’s major film franchises, including Avatar, X-Men, Die Hard and Ice Age, naming a few, and series including The Simpsons and Prison Break, as well as FX Networks’ output deal with the BBC involving such series as What We Do in the Shadows, Mayans M.C. and Pose, among others. Smyth also was Head of Acquisitions of Sky1, where he acquired landmark series such as Lost, Bones and Battlestar Galactica. He also has worked at the BBC and ITV.
Vassiliadis, who joined MarVista in 2013 as its COO, was instrumental in facilitating FOX Entertainment’s 2021 acquisition of MarVista and the subsequent launch of FEG. At MarVista, he was responsible for key areas of the company’s business strategy and operations, ranging from co-productions and content sales, corporate partnerships and deal-making. He negotiated a number of co-production slates with independent filmmakers, output deals with major studios, agency relationships to identify emerging filmmakers and talent to fuel MarVista’s pipeline, and deals related to building out MarVista’s music strategy that included an in-house music library and a global music partnership with Universal Music Publishing Group. Prior to MarVista, he held roles as a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting and previously Corporate Executive Board, where he advised global sales teams of Fortune 500 companies.
Stern adds FEG to her remit, which also includes overseeing marketing and communications for MarVista Entertainment and its expansive title selection, domestic and international, and leads marketing initiatives for new genres and indie festival titles as the studio continues to expand its content development plans. Before joining MarVista in 2016, she was Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital, at Esquire Network, where she helped launch the new cable network with 26 original series spanning scripted, animated and unscripted, and oversaw partnership marketing for Esquire and E! Prior to Esquire/E!, she held executive posts at Comedy Central and USA Network.
Before FEG, Bernstein was Senior Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Content Sales and Distribution, at FOX Entertainment, responsible for business and legal aspects of distribution for FOX’s owned programming, acquisitions of programming and negotiating network digital rights. Before that, she spent 16 years serving as Senior Vice President, including serving as Head of Business and Legal Affairs, of Twentieth Television. In this role, she oversaw Twentieth’s business and legal affairs, including basic cable and broadcast syndication distribution of first-run and off-net programming spanning drama, comedy and animation. Prior to that, she held various business and legal affairs positions at Disney’s Buena Vista Television, including Head of the department.
Hatwan recently was Vice President, Distribution, for MarVista Entertainment. In this role, she oversaw all content distribution and sales in the U.S., Canada and Nordics, and led all negotiations of MarVista’s multi-picture original movie slate deals with Tubi, Disney, NBCUniversal, Viacom and A+E Networks. She joined MarVista in 2018 as Director of Distribution and was promoted to Vice President in 2021. Before MarVista, Hatwan was Senior Manager of Content Acquisition for the all-in-one streaming service Playster and Manager of Digital Sales for Los Angeles-based distributor Cinedigm (now Cineverse).
Last month, FEG unveiled an expanded program slate for MIPCOM Cannes 2023, with the addition of unscripted content owned and produced by FOX Alternative Entertainment, Studio Ramsay Global, TMZ, Bento Box Entertainment, FOX Entertainment Studios, MarVista Entertainment and a slate of content from Tubi. Among the titles FEG represents are Dan Harmon’s new hit animated comedy, Krapopolis, which recently launched as television’s most-watched animation series to debut over the past decade; new game show Snake Oil hosted and produced by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated comedian David Spade and executive-produced by Emmy nominee Will Arnett; hit singing competition series The Masked Singer, which is currently in its tenth season; Gordon Ramsay’s hit cooking competition series Next Level Chef, which delivered 16.7 million Total Viewers in its post-Super Bowl LVII Season Two Premiere; the upcoming animated series Grimsburg, starring and executive produced by Emmy winner Jon Hamm; single-camera comedy Animal Control, starring and executive produced by Emmy nominee Joel McHale; documentary specials from TMZ; and more than 20 original movies from MarVista Entertainment spanning holiday, drama, animation and thrillers.
About FOX Entertainment Global
FOX Entertainment Global is FOX Entertainment's centralized content sales division, providing the worldwide multi-platform marketplace with exclusive access to its diverse, rapidly expanding portfolio of owned original programming and co-production partnerships. A central component of FOX Entertainment’s long-term growth strategy is to fortify its world-class brand and owned distribution platforms spanning broadcast and streaming with this newly formed business unit responsible for distributing the company’s full portfolio of owned intellectual property, including the single-camera comedy Animal Control and animated comedies Krapopolis and Grimsburg, the unscripted series Next Level Chef and Snake Oil, documentaries from TMZ, an array of original movies, a slate of content from FOX’s ad-supported service Tubi and premium content acquired from outside producers.
Les Eisner – [email protected]
Deena Stern – [email protected]
Scott Rowe – [email protected]