Destination: London

Ascent turns up volume

LONDON — John Malone created a monster.

Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global company comprising over 70 facilities with an annual revenue of $538 million.

According to Ascent Media president-CEO Ken Williams, his biggest challenge has been to forge a common business culture from the many previously separate, and often fiercely competitive, facilities. “The integration challenge has been harder than we ever could have imagined.”

Williams feels Ascent is making steady progress — it’s eliminated brand clutter but some of the established services, such as Todd-AO, Soundelux, St. Anne’s Post and Rushes, have retained their names. Williams is quick to refute suggestions that Ascent’s corporate consolidation of boutique operations has alienated some clients. “In fact,” he says, “the back of the curtain infrastructure provided by Ascent has supercharged boutiques.”

Mike Luckwell, chair of trade org U.K. Post, which is jointly funded by the Dept. of Trade and Industry and the U.K. Film Council, concurs, saying, “(Consolidation) can be made to work; there are economies of scale and cross-fertilization (opportunities).”

To Luckwell, the success or failure of merger efforts rests on the ability to retain key personnel. “This is a people business and running these kind of companies takes verve and entrepreneurial skill that is not easily replaced,” he says.

Indeed, in October, Ascent opened a branch of Soundelux with big-budget pics such as “King Arthur” and “Troy” christening the new venture.

More Film

  • King Cohen review

    Film Review: 'King Cohen'

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • 'The Equalizer 2' Review

    Film Review: Denzel Washington in 'The Equalizer 2'

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • Stan Dragoti 'The Last Boyscout' PremiereDecember

    Stan Dragoti, Director of 'Mr. Mom,' 'Love at First Bite,' Dies at 85

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • Jagged Edge

    Film News Roundup: Halle Berry's 'Jagged Edge' Remake Finds Writer

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • Kate Winslet Diane Keaton Mia Wasikowska

    Kate Winslet, Diane Keaton, Mia Wasikowska to Star in 'Silent Heart' Remake

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • (L to R) Young Tanya (JESSICA

    'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

    'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' Stage Musical in the Works

    LONDON — John Malone created a monster. Between 1999 and 2002, the U.S. media mogul bought 40 service companies including key SoHo post-production outfits Rushes, Todd-AO and St Anne’s Post. The plan behind the massive acquisitions push was to create a post network able to provide end-to-end services. The result was Ascent Media, a global […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content