Liesl Copland has joined Participant in the newly established role of EVP, content and platform strategy, Participant CEO David Linde announced on Tuesday.
Copland will formally start at Participant on March 15 and will report to Linde and chief content officer Diane Weyermann. She will work cross-functionally with the senior leadership team, including Anikah McLaren and Robert Kessel, EVPs of narrative film, and Miura Kite, SVP of global television.
Copland brings to Participant a depth of experience in film and television content production, sales, financing and distribution on a global scale. Before joining Participant, Copland served as partner and EVP at Endeavor Content, where she led the non-scripted advisory practice, overseeing feature documentaries and premium non-fiction series and providing strategic advice to the studio’s growing production partners.
In her new role, Copland will design and implement how Participant’s slate of film and television content is best placed in the global distribution infrastructure. Working closely with the company’s content teams throughout development and production, she will advise on the optimal strategic options for all properties, including overseeing all sales.
“Liesl brings a unique set of skills and experience to Participant that will advance our work in new ways and continue to build our direct relationship with the global distribution community,” Linde said in a statement to TheWrap. “Tens of millions of people are now seeing and embracing both single films and series, multiplying that by all that we do as Participant, makes this an exciting moment for the company. We look forward to what we know will be an additive new position to our efforts.”
“Participant is an incredible company both in the content it creates and the broader service it provides to the global society as a whole,” Copland said. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to be able to identify new business models and opportunities for content development and distribution and this new role affords me a broad foundation on which to continue to innovate around compelling and important content. I have also been able to touch upon the social and cultural impact space and now at Participant I am thankful to be able to amplify that work which has always been of great personal importance to me.”
“We are excited for Liesl and our partners at Participant given Liesl’s authentic interest for all things purpose driven,” Chris Rice and Graham Taylor, co-presidents of Endeavor Content, added. “We are deeply appreciative of both her friendship and all of her contributions that helped spur the growth of Endeavor Content.”
A 25-year entertainment industry veteran, Copland has worked in the specialty film sector for most of her career with the goal of democratizing distribution for unique, independently produced projects. During her 12 years at Endeavor Content, she oversaw the narrative film sales practice and also focused on digital media and the emerging distribution space as part of her corporate advisory work. At the launch of Endeavor, Copland took over the non-scripted advisory practice and had a unique role in the studio’s early investments in social impact content fund 1Community and the female-focused MadeUp Stories, launched by producer Bruna Papandrea.