Studio appoints Gardner, Cook
As part of an active push to expand its domestic and international television presence, Miramax has tapped TV vets Lindsay Gardner and Bob Cook as strategic advisers.Working with the company’s management team, duo will assist on a range of initiatives including digital distribution, domestic TV syndication and development of Miramax-branded cable nets both domestically and abroad. “We think it’s a significant opportunity for us given our brand and content,” Miramax CEO Mike Lang said in an email. Cook, a former COO of Fox’s syndie wing, Twentieth Television, has extensive TV sales experience and runs advisory company MBN, which helps entertainment companies syndicate content. Cook will focus on domestic syndication to local TV stations, broadcast nets and emerging digital channels. He is also at work exploring potential mobile applications to help exploit Miramax content. Gardner, a former prexy, affiliate sales and marketing at Fox Cable Networks, helped create more than 30 cable channels and satellite stations worldwide. Lang, part of Miramax’s new leadership since a team of investors bought the it from Disney last year, has outlined broad plans to become more active in TV in recent weeks. He told Variety earlier this month that the company would look for edgy and original TV programs, such as AMC’s ‘Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” and hoped to announce pilots within two months. Company will explore options for both primetime cable and broadcast content. Lang, Gardner and Cook share history as all three worked together at Fox. Last week, Miramax announced a pact with Netflix to make Miramax titles available for streaming in June. At the time, Lang said the deal was a sign that the company was heading into making other digital distribution deals.