Mike Lang, a leading business-development executive who recently left News Corp. and had a previous life at Disney, is set to be named CEO of the newly purchased Miramax, TheWrap has learned.
After six years at News Corp., Lang left the media giant in February. He had been the executive vice president for business development and strategy, and played a key role in acquisitions including MySpace and Hulu.
Two knowledgeable individuals confirmed that Lang is close to signing on as CEO of Miramax, the prestigious library bought by L.A. billionaire Ron Tutor and Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack in late July.
Under the new company Filmyard Holdings, Tutor and his partners bought the library from The Walt Disney Company for slightly more than $600 million ($660 million deal, which included $50 million that Miramax had in the bank) in July.
Lang has been working with the new team led by Richard Nanula in the run-up to the expected close of the Miramax purchase before the end of this year.
His digital experience will be valuable in devising new business models for monetizing the prestigious library, which includes such modern classics as "Shakespeare in Love" and "Pulp Fiction."
The Miramax deal was the subject of a protracted bidding process since January involving multiple billionaires and testy personalities. The deal includes the rights to more than 700 film titles at a company built by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and bought by Disney in the early 1990s.
According to a NewsCorp bio, Lang supervised business development across the Fox broadcast network, Sports and 27 different Fox Cable Networks.
He also helped to coordinate broader, corporate-wide initiatives across Fox Entertainment and News Corporation, including identifying and negotiating potential acquisitions, joint ventures, and other strategic activities.
Before Fox, Lang ran his own strategic consulting firm, working with clients in media, retail and financial services. He also helped private equity and venture capital firms evaluate media-related investments as well as launch a mortgage brokerage firm targeting the fast-growing Latino marketplace.
In the late 90’s, Lang was a founding executive for the Internet entertainment start-up, Z.com, backed by idealab, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer.
Lang began his entertainment career in the Corporate Strategic Planning at The Walt Disney Co., working on theme park and resort projects.
From there, he was one of the original hires in Disney’s Regional Entertainment Division, where he helped develop and manage several innovative concepts including DisneyQuest and ESPN Zone-themed restaurants.
Lang attended the Harvard Business School, graduating with high distinction as a Baker Scholar, and is also a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, where he is still actively involved in the school’s Basketball program. In his spare time, he serves as an adviser to Cal State Dominguez Hills University and as a commissioner for the City of Manhattan Beach.