Participant adds Liesl Copland as EVP, content and platform strategy

Participant Media has announced its latest team member, industry vet Liesl Copland, who will join the prodco and distributor as EVP of content and platform strategy, a newly created role. Copland ...
February 16, 2021

Participant Media has announced its latest team member, industry vet Liesl Copland, who will join the prodco and distributor as EVP of content and platform strategy, a newly created role.

Copland will report to Participant’s CEO David Linde and its chief content officer Diane Weyermann.

“Liesl brings a unique set of skills and experience to Participant that will advance our work in new ways and continue to build our direct relationship with the global distribution community,” said Linde in a statement. “Tens of millions of people are now seeing and embracing both single films and series, multiplying that by all that we do as Participant, makes this an exciting moment for the company. We look forward to what we know will be an additive new position to our efforts.”

Copland’s remit is to create and implement how Participant’s slate of film and television content is best situated in the international distribution infrastructure. Working alongside the company’s content teams throughout development and production, she will advise on and target the strategic options for all properties, including overseeing all sales. To achieve these goals she will work alongside the company’s content teams including EVPs of narrative film, Anikah McLaren and Robert Kessel, and SVP of global television, Miura Kite.

Prior to joining the team at Participant, Copland was partner and EVP at Endeavor Content where she led the non-scripted advisory practice, which included feature documentaries and premium non-fiction series. Over the course of her 12-year stint with the group – which began within Endeavor and grew with the company through mergers via William Morris and IMG, expanding into television, international sales and more – Copland oversaw the narrative film sales practice, as well as digital media and the emerging distribution realm as part of her corporate advisory work.

Participant produces up to six narrative feature films, six documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 20 hours of digital short form programming each year. The company’s more than 100 films have collectively earned 74 Academy Award nominations and 19 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book; Best Documentary Feature for An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, Citizenfour and American Factory; and Best Foreign Language Film for Roma and A Fantastic Woman.

“Participant is an incredible company both in the content it creates and the broader service it provides to the global society as a whole,” Copland added. “I have been fortunate throughout my career to be able to identify new business models and opportunities for content development and distribution and this new role affords me a broad foundation on which to continue to innovate around compelling and important content. Throughout my career, I have been able to touch upon the social and cultural impact space and now at Participant I am thankful to be able to amplify that work which has always been of great personal importance to me.”

Copland begins her new role at Participant on March 15, 2021.

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 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.