Spyglass Media Group has made its first big creative hire, bringing in Lauren Whitney as president of television. She will begin April 1.
Spyglass Media Group is the joint venture between Gary Barber’s Spyglass and Lantern Entertainment. In July 2018, Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy for $289 million. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to several of the projects, and a library of content.
In this role, Whitney is charged with overseeing television development and production for broadcast, cable and OTT services, and invigorating the company’s IP and library titles. She was most recently in the same role at Miramax. Prior to that, Whitney was the president of Scripted Television at Legendary Entertainment and was a TV agent at WME before that.
Through the new venture, Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets, including a wealth of development projects and more than 250 film library titles, as well as scripted and unscripted television series. One such series, “Project Runway,” which will return home to Bravo for its 17th season when it premieres March 14.
“There is extraordinary opportunity for a well-capitalized, independent premium content company that controls IP, and can be agile and aggressive in its deal-making,” Whitney said. “Gary has an exceptional track record and an ambitious plan for the future of Spyglass. I am thrilled to be joining his team.”
The partnership, which includes Italy’s largest indie distributor Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group — one of the world’s largest cinema chains — as strategic investors, creates an independent premium content company that comes with a majority investment from Lantern.
Headquartered in Century City, the company will be led by Barber, who will serve as chairman and CEO and oversee all operations.
“Lauren has discerning taste, stellar industry relationships, and has overseen production on a variety of compelling series across all platforms,” Barber added. “We are fortunate to have Lauren’s talents and creative leadership as we build on our television business.”