At the first Next TV Summit to be held in Southern California, several leaders of businesses exploring new frontiers in television will be honored with Publisher’s Awards. Here is a closer look at the backgrounds of the winners, who will be recognized at the all-day event on Tuesday (June 24) at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel:
Content Innovation Award: Kevin Beggs, Chairman | Lionsgate Television Group
Kevin Beggs, a 16-year veteran of Lionsgate, is chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group, overseeing development and production of all scripted and nonscripted programming for broadcast cable, and digital platforms worldwide. He has spearheaded the strategic expansion of the company’s television production activities and has become one of the key executives managing Lionsgate’s 50- 50 partnership with CBS in TVGN (the TV Guide Network), as well as its partnership with Viacom and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the premium entertainment channel Epix.
Beggs joined Lionsgate in 1998 and has guided the Television Group’s growth from $8 million in revenue in 2000 to nearly $500 million this year. Under his leadership, Lionsgate Television has become a leading supplier of programming with 34 series on 22 different networks, including the iconic multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning AMC series Mad Men, now in its seventh and final season; the critically acclaimed series Nurse Jackie, currently in its sixth season on Showtime; and the breakout hit Orange is the New Black, whose second season just launched on Netflix.
In addition to its leadership in creating original programming for cable networks and its recent diversification into broadcast-network series (the drama Nashville has just been renewed for its third season on ABC), Lionsgate has established a reputation as an industry innovator with its pioneering 10/90 model (the Charlie Sheen comedy Anger Management is nearing completion of its first 100-episode order and enters syndication this fall, and the Kelsey Grammer/Martin Lawrence sitcom Partners debuts on FX in August) and its original programming for emerging digital networks (the critically praised Orange is the New Black was renewed for a third season on Netflix, ahead of its second-season launch, and Deadbeat has been picked up Hulu for a second season).
Lionsgate also produced the NBC miniseries Rosemary’s Baby, starring Zoe Saldana; the History miniseries Houdini, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody; the first series from its South Shore television partnership with Mexican broadcaster Televisa, the drama Chasing Life, which debuted on ABC Family June 10; the drama series Manhattan, which premieres on WGN America on July 27; E!’s first original scripted series, The Royals; and the Syfy limited series Ascension from the company’s Canadian Sea to Sky partnership.
During Beggs’ tenure, he has also been responsible for six seasons of USA Network’s hit drama series The Dead Zone, two seasons of the acclaimed Starz drama series Boss, starring Grammer, and eight seasons of the hit Showtime comedy Weeds, starring Mary-Louise Parker.
Beggs is the recent recipient of Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award and The Help Group’s Teddy Bear Humanitarian Award. He has served on the board and executive committees of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Los Angeles Paley Center for Media and the National Association of Television Program Executives, for which he served as chairman for three years.
In addition, Beggs serves on the board of the Zimmer Children’s Museum, the Banff World Media Festival, the Hollywood Radio & Television Society and the charity My Friend’s Place.
He is a director of both TVGN and Epix. He previously served on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Beggs was raised in Marin County, Calif.; Oakland; and later Washington state. In 1989, he graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he double-majored in politics and theater arts.
He and his wife, Dianna, live in Los Angeles with their two children, Katherine and Breydon.
TV Digital Innovation Award:
Ashley MacKenzie, Founder and CEO | Base 79
Ashley MacKenzie is founder and CEO of Base79, a leading digital rights-management agency and the largest YouTube network in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Over the last three years, he has led the company to become the fastest-growing media firm in Europe.
MacKenzie began his career in advertising at Carat Ltd. in the U.K., before becoming a founding director of Entertainment Marketing Ltd. In 1998, he joined an MBI team as sales controller for talk radio, before becoming general manager for TalkSPORT. The company grew into The Wireless Group plc and MacKenzie was named group managing director for Independent Local Radio, purchasing lossmaking radio stations and turning them into a profitable national network, employing 400 people.
In 2002, MacKenzie gained commercial responsibility for the group as managing director of Impact, The Wireless Group’s whollyowned national sales house. The Wireless Group was sold in 2005 to UTV for roughly $200 million. Prior to founding Base79 in July 2007, MacKenzie led the commercial operations for Music Choice, a provider of interactive music channels that reach over 100 million people worldwide.
Women Digital Leadership Award:
Lydia Antonini, Senior Vice President, Creative, | Xbox Entertainment Studios
As Microsoft’s Xbox evolves from a game machine into a more video-focused home entertainment platform, the original content coming from Xbox Entertainment Studios will become more consequential. Lydia Antonini assumed her current role there in January 2013, after working as a consultant and producer for Xbox Studios, executive-producing the first Halo live-action series, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. During that time, she also provided companies from Fullscreen to MiTu Networks to the Jabbawockeez with digital-content strategies and slate development across a wide variety of projects.
Previously, Antonini led creative development and production for digital content at Warner Bros., where she was responsible for a slate of shows including Wonderland’s Aim High, Bryan Singer’s H+ and Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Legacy Series. Earlier in her career, she was a consultant in development and co-production for Six Point Harness and director of talent and development at JibJab Media.
Women Digital Leadership Award:
Marion Edwards, President of International Television | 20th Century Fox Television Distribution
Marion Edwards is responsible for international licensing of 20th Century Fox productions. In addition to overseeing sales of series and features to pay, basic-cable and broadcast-television networks and a growing number of non-linear outlets outside of the U.S., she is also responsible for the sale of all 20th Century Fox feature films to U.S. networks.
From running local sales offices, to managing agreements for licensing product, to overseeing the acquisition of product for distribution by the international division, Edwards is involved in all areas related to the television distribution of 20th Century Fox product. Involved from the earliest stages of development of series through network pickup, she works closely with 20th Century Fox, Fox21, Fox Television Studios and FX Productions to provide international merits on everything from storylines to casting. As part of her responsibilities for strategic planning, Edwards has expanded the group to include executives who handle ratings and market research, international co-productions, and format licensing and local production. Part of establishing the local format division, Edwards has launched a new international scripted format business based on a revolutionary “three-tiered” approach with international broadcasters.
Edwards has also served as vice president of MGM/UA Telecommunications from 1988-92, and as vice president of MCA Universal International TV. She is married and the mother of two children.
Women Digital Leadership Award:
Roma Khanna, President, Television Group & Digital | MGM Studios
Roma Khanna has made significant progress in developing MGM Television into a leading television content creator. She has reenergized Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s storied library to engage new audiences, including receiving a limited-series commitment from FX for Fargo. Adapted from the 1996 film, the series stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Colin Hanks and is executive-produced by Noah Hawley, Joel and Ethan Coen and Warren Littlefield. Fargo was nominated for five Critics’ Choice Television Awards and for two Television Critics Association Awards. MGM Television also brought the drama series Vikings, now heading into production for its third season, to History; secured a development deal with Nigel Lythgoe to reimagine Fame, the classic 1980s film, for television; and continues to co-produce Teen Wolf with MTV, currently in production on its fourth season.
MGM Television launched the courtroom series Paternity Court With Lauren Lake, through MGM Television’s Orion Productions, in more than 92% of the U.S. market in September 2013; production begins on the second season in Atlanta this summer. MGM Television also syndicates Right This Minute, television’s first broadcast strip reporting on the Web’s most intriguing viral videos, and Let’s Ask America, a television game show where contestants compete for prizes from their homes via webcam. Also under her purview are MGM HD Channels, which feature titles from MGM’s storied catalog in high-definition; This TV, the nation’s No. 1 digital multicast movie network, in more than 85% of the U.S. market; and The Works, a new digital multicast network that offers a variety of programming for all interests including news, sports and comedy.
Khanna has also increased MGM’s digital footprint, reinvigorating some of the company’s robust catalog, which consists of 10,500 television episodes and nearly 4,000 feature film titles covering some of entertainment’s premiere franchises to various platforms, including video-on-demand, streaming and mobile game development.