People/Biz

Chicken Soup hires Sofko and Winter as SVPs

Producer-distributor Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has hired Elana Sofko as its SVP of business development and distribution and Michael Winter as its SVP of programming and development. Sofko (pictured, left) joined the ...
February 28, 2017

Producer-distributor Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has hired Elana Sofko as its SVP of business development and distribution and Michael Winter as its SVP of programming and development.

Sofko (pictured, left) joined the company after a career in media and entertainment that spanned more than two decades. She recently led digital business expansion initiatives for WWE starting in 2013, including the launch and international expansion of subscription-based video service WWE Network.

From 2011 to 2012, Sofko led a technology innovation development program at ESPN. She also launched digital businesses for A&E Television Networks, served as part of the start-up team at Sirius Satellite Radio (now SiriusXM), and created and launched commercial background music services for News Corp.

Winter (right) joins Chicken Soup for the Entertainment Soul following 20 years as a television producer and executive. Through his company Speedway Boogie Productions, he developed and produced new shows for HGTV, DIY Network, Great American Country, Bravo, A&E, among others.

From 2010 to 2014, he was VP of development for Leopard Films and produced House Hunters InternationalDuring his tenure, he created and sold dozens of new projects, pilots and series for a range of networks. Prior to that, he spent three years as director of programming for HGTV and DIY Network, where he created and executive produced approximately 30 series and specials including Man Caves, Renovation Realities, Desperate Landscapes and Blog Cabin.

From 2004 to 2006, Winter was the first director of programming for Comcast’s Outdoor Life Network, which later became NBC Sports Network. He got his foot in the television world as a producer working on shows for ABC, Fox, MTV, VH1 and TLC.

“Sofko and Winter are essential hires to build our management team and accelerate the growth of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment,” said Scott W. Seaton, vice chair and chief strategy officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, in a statement. “They will be driving forces in our plans to have multiple television and online series and build our own over-the-top/direct-to-consumer service.”

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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