Tony Yates to lead Zodiak Los Angeles

Zodiak Americas is rebranding Zodiak USA as Zodiak Los Angeles, and has named chief operating officer Tony Yates (pictured) as CEO of the new entity.
September 19, 2013

Zodiak Americas is rebranding Zodiak USA as Zodiak Los Angeles, and has named Tony Yates (pictured) as CEO of the new entity.

Zodiak Los Angeles will serve as Zodiak’s West Coast non-scripted production base, and Yates – who most recently served as Zodiak Americas chief operating officer – will manage a programming slate that includes ABC’s Secret Millionaire and Celebrity Wife Swap, and TruTV’s Killer Karaoke. He will report to Zodiak Americas CEO Jonny Slow.

As part of the restructuring, Yates has appointed David Wollock as senior VP of development. Wollock previously served as VP of development at Zodiak’s Creativity & Innovation Unit in Los Angeles.

Current production at Zodiak Los Angeles will continue to be led by senior VP Dave Shikiar, with casting handled by senior VP Sunny Agans. All three report to Yates.

“Tony has over two decades of television experience, from syndication to network formats to cable docu-series and everything in between,” said Slow in a statement.

“His production expertise along with his incredible relationships both within the community and the rest of the Zodiak group make Tony a fantastic choice to lead Zodiak Los Angeles through the next phase of its growth.”

Zodiak USA was most recently led by CEO Natalka Znak, who left the company in April. Andy Lennon, the current CFO of Zodiak Americas, will be taking on Yates’ vacant chief operating officer role, as well as his current responsibilities.

Since joining Zodiak in 2006, Yates has executive produced 160 episodes of the syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics for 20th Television, VH1 and My NetworkTV; and has served as point executive on shows such as  Secret Millionaire and How To Look Good Naked.

“Zodiak has a great opportunity to expand its presence in North America,” said Yates. “I’m excited to be working with Jonny and the wider Zodiak Americas team as we move from being a one-stop shop for formats to expanding into other genres including live events, ramping up our syndication efforts and engaging in more third party and talent partnerships.”

Zodiak New York will remain as the division’s East Coast production base, focusing on character driven docu-series for East Coast cable networks, and will continue to be led by chief creative officer Mike Gamson and chief operating officer Sheila Cabano, both of whom report to Slow.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.