Showtime Elevates Garfinkel, Sevener to Lead Acquisitions Department


A day after longtime veteran Matt Duda announced his retirement, Showtime Networks Inc has promoted a pair of executives to step into his some of his roles at the premium programmer.
Showtime has elevated Gary Garfinkel and Kent Sevener to co-heads of its acquisitions department. Garfinkel and Sevener will be responsible for the evaluation, negotiation and acquisition of feature films, documentaries, stand-up comedy, specials and music programs for Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix, as well as the programmer's multiplex channels. They will also oversee the company's output arrangements with studios that include Dreamworks, Summit Entertainment, The Weinstein Co., IFC Films and CBS Films.

Garfinkel, senior vice president, content acquisitions, will be based in the network's Los Angeles office, and will report to president of entertainment Gary Nevins. Sevener, senior vice president, content acquisitions and business and legal affairs, will remain based in the network's New York office, with a dual report to Nevins, and in connection with his continuing legal functions, Gwen Marcus, executive vice president, general counsel, Showtime Networks Inc.

Together, they replace Duda, executive vice president, program acquisitions and planning, who is retiring this week after 31 years with the company.

"There is a world of opportunity with all the new ways acquisitions deals are getting done these days," said Nevins in a statement. "Gary and Kent are proven innovators at figuring out the best methods to bring great content to Showtime."

Garfinkel previously served as senior vice president, film acquisitions, focusing on content strategy and acquisition for SNI's channels and services. He negotiated first-run theatrical output and library deals with the major studios and a multitude of licensing deals with independent suppliers. He built programming models for the development of new channels and significantly increased the volume of acquisitions for Showtime On Demand and authentication service Showtime Anytime. Garfinkel, a 19-year veteran with the programmer, has also helped increase stand-up comedy on the network, which has expanded its portfolio to 35 comedy specials in 2012, under the "Laugh Out Loud" on-air banner.
For his part, Sevener previously served as senior vice president, film acquisitions, east coast and senior vice president, business and legal affairs, film acquisition and sports programming. Since joining the company in 1997, Sevener has been primarily responsible for program acquisition and distribution, sports and concert programming production, supervision of music and media licensing and programming-related litigation. He negotiated motion picture output agreements with Paramount, MGM, Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, CBS Films, Summit Entertainment and DreamWorks, and handled the acquisition of high-profile documentaries, numerous boxing and mixed martial arts events, as well as production work on a number of specials, including Eminem, Jay-Z, Britney Spears and Usher concerts. He also negotiated the acquisition of the series Inside the NFL and The Franchise with Major League Baseball.