Former Entertainment One executives launch new Canadian-based content indie Blink Studios with Endeavor Content as lead strategic investor

From a media release:

Veteran executives John Morayniss (above), Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas and Nelson Kuo-Lee have reunited to launch a new content venture, BLINK STUDIOS with Endeavor Content as its anchor investor and lead strategic partner. Headquartered in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles, BLINK STUDIOS will operate as a full-service indie studio focused on the development, production and monetization of premium scripted and unscripted content for a global market. As part of Endeavor Content’s strategic relationship with BLINK STUDIOS, Endeavor Content will be BLINK STUDIOS’ priority distribution partner on a worldwide basis.

With its Canadian base of operations, BLINK STUDIOS will be deploying a significant portion of its capital to make investments in Canadian production companies focusing on both scripted and unscripted programming in all genres and formats. In addition, BLINK STUDIOS will put in place strategic deals with best-in-class writers, creators, producers and other related content enterprises, as well as aggressively pursue IP in Canada and throughout the world. As well, BLINK STUDIOS will apply significant resources to support new and diverse Canadian voices and will utilize its expertise, capital and extensive relationships to give diverse, unique and compelling stories an opportunity to reach a worldwide market.

“I am beyond delighted and energized to be partnering with my former colleagues, Patrice, Jeff and Nelson, in this new media enterprise,” said Morayniss. “And, of course, we couldn’t be more excited about launching Blink Studios with the commitment and support of Endeavor Content as our lead strategic investor. When we first began our discussions with Chris and Graham, we felt that there was an immediate understanding and alignment as to why we were so passionate about building a world-class Canadian indie and how we were going to achieve success with a new and improved creative-first approach and strategy. And, with Kirstine and Chris joining our board, we have some of the best strategic minds in the business. We can’t wait to get going!”

“We are thrilled to be in business with such a phenomenal team and to help support building a business that leans heavily into Canadian talent. Blink is set up to invest in both the most established producers and the incredibly exciting emerging voices coming from Canada – where huge opportunity exists,” said Chris Rice & Graham Taylor, Co-Presidents of Endeavor Content.

BLINK STUDIOS is in the process of assembling its creative and production team and will be announcing key hires in the coming weeks.

John Morayniss co-founded Canadian indie Blueprint Entertainment in 2002, and as CEO rolled up Blueprint with several other Canadian based media businesses that were then acquired by eOne in 2008 to launch eOne’s television business. John then led eOne TV, as its CEO, for a decade. Under his leadership, eOne established an unparalleled network of global television partnerships, delivered acclaimed scripted and unscripted series and grew its global sales operation to be among the best in the industry. Some of the most notable productions during his tenure include global hit series from The Mark Gordon Company The Rookie, created by Alexi Hawley; starring Nathan Fillion for ABC and Designated Survivor created by David Guggenheim starring Kiefer Sutherland for ABC and Netflix; as well as HBO’s Sharp Objects written/created by Marti Noxon, starring Amy Adams; Hell On Wheels, with Anson Mount for AMC; from Ilana Frank’s ICF Films Burden of Truth created by Brad Simpson, starring Kristin Kreuk for The CW and CBC as well as police procedural Rookie Blue created by Morwyn Brebner, Tassie Cameron and Ellen Vanstone for Corus and ABC; and non-scripted series including Naked and Afraid for Discovery; Siesta Keys for MTV; LA Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later for A&E; and worldwide distribution for AMC’s The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. His innovative deal-making, leadership and relationships worldwide resulted in the exponential growth of eOne’s television business in Canada and around the globe. Prior to Blueprint Entertainment, Morayniss was head of television at Alliance Atlantis, where he oversaw all development, production and co-production activities for the television division, including the mega-hit series franchise, CSI.

Patrice Theroux is one of the industry’s most respected film and television executives having built major distribution and production organizations for more than 30 years including Alliance Films, where he was Chief Executive Officer and Entertainment One where he served as President of Film and Television from 2007 to 2014 and guided the entry and growth of the company in all of its content initiatives. Having also produced more than 45 films and television programs, he is a member of the Producers Guild Association (PGA), the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Jeff Lynas was responsible for all of the day-to-day operations for eOne Television on a global basis before leaving the company after a decade. He also led business development for the division, establishing and structuring new business relationships across production, distribution, and digital media. Lynas supported the growth of eOne’s U.S. non-scripted business, worked on transformative deals including the initial acquisition of The Mark Gordon Company and a multi-series output deal with AMC networks. Lynas joined eOne in September 2008 when the company acquired Blueprint Entertainment, where he served as senior VP. Before the acquisition, he played a key role in establishing Blueprint’s business in the U.S. and building relationships with producers and broadcasters.

Nelson Kuo-Lee served as Executive Vice-President of eOne’s Film and Television business and also held positions of COO and CFO before departing in early 2020. Kuo-Lee joined eOne in 2007 as it planned its launch as a content studio and was instrumental in shepherding its growth into a leading global independent; as COO, leading its early M&A efforts and its entry into film production and most recently as CFO, overseeing its finance transformation initiative.

Kirstine Stewart is an internationally award-winning leader with deep expertise working at the intersection of media and technology, and a reputation for turning around revenue performance and driving new market expansion on a global scale. Her work spans executive leadership roles with Twitter, Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), Crown Family Media/Hallmark, the World Economic Forum, as well as other media corporations and technology start-ups. Stewart is presently the Chief Revenue Officer of Pex, a technology company backed by Tencent and Universal Music Group. Formerly at the World Economic Forum, Stewart headed the Future of Media, Entertainment, & Sport division, collaborating with C-level leaders from multinational enterprises to address emerging issues. Prior to joining the WEF, she served as President and Chief Revenue Officer for TribalScale, a global innovation and digital transformation firm, after leaving her post as Chief Strategy Officer for Diply, an early-stage tech start-up and content publisher that ranked #1 in Deloitte’s Fast50 Tech Growth Companies in Canada. Stewart initially entered the tech industry as the Founding Head of Canada for Twitter before taking on the role of VP Media for all of North America. As a prolific broadcasting industry leader, she was credited with catapulting ratings and launching into the digital market as CBC’s Head of TV, Radio & Digital. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President to grow the subscriber base for Alliance Atlantis, a media company with a portfolio of Canadian lifestyle channels including HGTV, Food Network, BBC Canada, National Geographic, History, and many others.

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