Authentic’s former head of development, Helga Eike, will take over for Lexton, returning as the Endemol Shine North America-owned company’s president. Eike most recently launched Red Bandit Media with ITV America. She previously spent 10 years at Authentic Entertainment as senior vice president of development. An individual with knowledge of the situation said that Lexton hand picked Eike as her replacement.
“Lauren has developed and produced some of the most iconic unscripted series of the last two decades and helped build Authentic Entertainment into one of the leading production companies in our industry,” said Endemol Shine North America CEO Cris Abrego. “We are all truly thankful for her many contributions. And while we say a fond farewell to Lauren, we are happy to welcome Helga back to the studio that she helped lead to tremendous success, developing many of Authentic’s top series during her previous tenure.”
Lexton has overseen the creation and production of hit shows such as “Ace of Cakes,” “Knife Fight,” “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Flipping Out!,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” “Toddlers & Tiaras” and this year’s successful return of “Trading Spaces” for TLC. Over the course of Authentic Entertainment’s history, Lexton has worked on thousands of hours of programming that spans more than 80 shows for more than 20 different networks. Lexton co-founded Authentic Entertainment in 2000 with Tom Rogan. In August 2015, Lexton was named sole CEO of Authentic, as Rogan left the company after 15 years. Lexton and Rogan sold Authentic Entertainment to Endemol (now Endemol Shine) in 2010.
“Helga helped build Authentic, so it’s perfect that she will now run it. She’s one of the smartest people I know and I’m excited to see her take Authentic to new heights. I can’t imagine a better story to tell than this one,” said Lexton. “I’m also thrilled that Authentic will continue to be a female-led company.”
In 2016, Eike left Authentic to launch Red Bandit Media, producing two seasons of “Texas Cake House” for Food Network, “I Should have Known” for TLC and numerous projects in development at networks including Discovery, HGTV, Food, Travel, OWN and Lifetime, in its first two years.
“Authentic was my first home,” Eike said. “I love the brand and I am beyond thrilled to return to the fold. Lauren has been a mentor to me and I am honored to take over the leadership role she has shined in over the last 18 years. Authentic is one of the originals, a production company that has withstood the test of time, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue and guide it into its third decade.”
Prior to joining Authentic and starting Red Bandit, she spent seven years as a free-lance producer, director and writer in unscripted television in both NY and LA.