Leftfield Entertainment CEO Brent Montgomery is to become the head of ITV Studios U.S. Group, realscreen understands, and has addressed his staff this morning (October 28).
The deal for Montgomery’s appointment at ITV, first reported by UK trade outlet C21, finds the exec set to be taking over from former chariman Paul Buccieri, who left ITV Studios to become the president of U.S. nets History and A&E earlier this year.
In a memo from Montgomery to staff, shared with realscreen, the exec says there is a “very good chance that [he] will be taking over a new role as the head of ITV’s American operation.”
“Any sort of deal, despite press reports, is weeks away as it’s an extremely complicated deal that is far from done,” reads the memo. “I had hoped to sit down and write this email in the next couple of weeks in a quiet moment, but instead it’s a rush job this morning as we were working hard through the night to try and stem speculative press reports before I got to tell you personally as well as our clients and partners. As I often tell my two year old daughter, ‘You don’t get to control everything.’”
Montgomery goes on to say he will be remaining at Leftfield until the deal is finalized. “Leftfield absolutely will continue to be an enormous focus for me, but my role also will definitely expand beyond it; thus, like every move I’ve made, this creates more opportunity for each of you moving forward.”
The exec confirms that David George, president of Leftfield Entertainment, will run the company, adding, “To hand over the keys to my ‘third child’ is the hardest professional move I’ve ever made but to know it’s someone as smart and creative as [David George] who shares the same vision to continue to grow and expand it gives me great excitement.”
As head of ITV Studios U.S. Group, Montgomery will oversee such production companies as ITV Studios America, Gurney Productions, High Noon Entertainment, Thinkfactory Media and DiGa LLC, in addition to Leftfield Entertainment and its subsidiaries.
ITV paid US$360 million to acquire 80% of Leftfield Entertainment in May 2014, making the company one of the largest indie unscripted producers in the U.S.
Spokespersons for Leftfield Entertainment and ITV had not responded to realscreen’s request for further comment at press time.
George was named president of Leftfield Pictures back in June 2014, and was elevated to president of Leftfield Entertainment last year, though his promotion was not formally announced.
(Photo of Brent Montgomery at Realscreen London 2014 by Olu Olgunshakin.)