Tang Media Partners, which acquired “Spotlight” distributor Open Road Films Monday, has named former Lionsgate film exec Rob Friedman as chairman and CEO of a newly formed division overseeing its showbiz properties, TMP Entertainment.
In his new role, Friedman will be in charge of Tang Media’s film, TV and digital assets, including Open Road Films, IM Global, and IM Global Television. He will report directly to Tang Media Chairman and CEO Donald Tang. Open Road CEO Tom Ortenberg will remain in his role and report to Friedman.
Friedman was formerly co-chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group from 2012 to 2017, a position he assumed after Lionsgate acquired Summit Entertainment, which Friedman founded. At the mini-major, Friedman oversaw Lionsgate’s movie production, acquisition and distribution.
It has been an eventful few days for Tang Media, which finalized a deal to acquire Open Road after Stuart Ford, founder and CEO of one of its other entertainment companies, IM Global, was pushed out over a dispute with management about the future direction of the company.
Tang Media is based in Los Angeles with other offices in Shanghai. The company raised a round of investment from partners including Chinese tech giant Tencent, but Tang and his U.S. investors remain its majority shareholders — helpful at a time when Chinese-owned companies are having a hard time navigating regulations to make cross-border entertainment deals.
“In looking at our aspirations to become a global studio, there is no better person who can make this a reality than Rob Friedman,” Tang said in a statement announcing Friedman’s hiring. “Rob is a storied and incredibly well-respected studio executive who shares TMP’s entrepreneurial passion and pursuit of excellence as we look at new ways to help the entertainment industry grow in the U.S. and abroad.”
“Donald’s forward looking vision and overall acumen, coupled with the creative-driven legacies of both Open Road and IM Global, offer an unparalleled opportunity to build the next great global studio,” Friedman said in the statement. “I look forward to delving into the operational, creative and industry-wide work that will make TMP Entertainment’s path successful for creators and lucrative for shareholders alike.”