From a media release:
Blue Ant Media, an international content producer, distributor and channel operator, announced today its acquisition of Saloon Media, a Toronto-based production company specializing in globally relevant factual television. Saloon Media’s Michael Kot (CEO), Steve Gamester (Executive Producer), Paul Kilback (Executive Producer) and Betty Orr (Head of Production) will join the Blue Ant Media’s Global Production unit, which includes NHNZ (New Zealand), Beach House Pictures (Singapore), Antenna Pictures (London), Blue Ant Digital Studios (Los Angeles), Look Mom! Productions (Toronto) and Northern Pictures (Sydney). The purchase is a key step in the expansion of Blue Ant Media’s North American production business, which will see the media company rapidly expanding its original content business in the Canadian and US markets. The news arrives on the heels of yesterday’s senior executive appointments to Blue Ant Media’s Global Production unit in Canada and in the U.S.
Saloon Media, based in Toronto (Canada) and launched in 2013, is a leading factual television and digital content producer. Its recent credits include the CSA-nominated series Mummies Alive for HISTORY (Canada), Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Yesterday (UK); the 10-part broadcast and web series Tornado Hunters for CMT; the long-running returning series See No Evil, co-produced with the UK’s Arrow Media for DISCOVERY ID US; the eight-part series, Hunting Nazi Treasure for HISTORY (Canada), American Heroes Channel (U.S.) and More4 (UK); and international service work for several series and specials including The Kennedys, a six-part CNN mini-series in partnership with Raw TV in the UK.
Prior to launching Saloon Media, Michael Kot served as Senior Vice-President Factual for eOne, overseeing and executive-producing original factual programming for the company’s television group and Vice-President Original Factual Content for Canwest channels, including Global Television, HISTORY, Mystery, National Geographic Canada and IFC. Kot was also responsible for leading programming, acquisitions and the general operations of BBC Canada.
Steve Gamester has worked as a broadcaster, development executive and series show runner. His recent productions include Hunting Nazi Treasure, Mummies Alive, Perfect Storms, Miracles Decoded and Museum Secrets, all multi-part series that have broadcast around the world. He is currently producing 9/11 Kids, which examines the hidden impacts of 9/11 on American society. From 2005 to 2009, he was a Production Executive of Original Programming at Canwest and Alliance Atlantis, and oversaw more than 300 hours of programming for HISTORY, National Geographic, Showcase and Global Television. Gamester’s productions have been nominated for over 20 Canadian Screen Awards.
Paul Kilback is a multi-award-winning Series Producer, Director and Editor with over 20 years of experience filming and editing documentaries. He has produced and/or directed scores of television projects including: Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, Greatest Tank Battles, Museum Secrets and Hunting Nazi Treasure. More recently, he completed the critically acclaimed Tornado Hunters series and is currently putting the finishing touches on a soon-to-be-released, four-part true crime special.
Betty Orr, Head of Production, has over 20 years of television and film production experience, ranging from producing award-winning television series such as Kids in the Hall to her critically acclaimed feature film, CUBE. Prior to joining Saloon when it launched in 2013, Orr worked with Entertainment One, Cineflix, Decode Entertainment (DHX Media), Jim Henson Productions and CBC on various television projects, including young adult scripted comedies, docudrama series, documentaries and Movie of the Weeks.
Sam Sniderman, EVP, Global Production, Blue Ant Media oversees the production, finance and business affairs teams at Blue Ant Media, which include Saloon Media (Toronto), NHNZ (New Zealand), Beach House Pictures (Singapore), Antenna Pictures (London), Blue Ant Digital Studios (Los Angeles), Look Mom! Productions (Toronto) and Northern Pictures (Sydney). Sniderman is formerly the Global Chief Operating Officer and MD, Film and Entertainment at Pulse Films (a Vice Media company). In these roles, he was responsible for the commercial performance of Pulse’s TV, film and branded content output and helped to guide Pulse through rapid growth, including scripted and unscripted commissions from Channel 4, Sky Atlantic and ITV. He also spearheaded the financing and distribution of award-winning theatrical feature films like 20,000 Days on Earth (Nick Cave), Who Is Dayani Cristal (Gael García Bernal) and Shut Up and Play the Hits (LCD Soundsystem).
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