‘Catastrophe’ Producer Avalon Hires Laura Kennedy as CEO

Laura Kennedy has joined Avalon Group, the management, events, and production business that makes shows including “Catastrophe” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.” Kennedy will be CEO and on the board at Avalon. She started this week and will work out of the U.K.- and U.S.-based firm’s L.A. base.

With Kennedy on board, company founders Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner become co-executive chairmen.

The new recruit joins Avalon after working at Lionsgate for more than a decade, most recently as COO of its TV division. During her tenure at Lionsgate, Kennedy, who featured in the Variety Power of Women L.A. Impact Report in 2018, led transactions such as its acquisitions of Debmar-Mercury, Pilgrim and 3 Arts.

“Laura’s record at Lionsgate speaks for itself. She is an exceptionally talented executive, and we are delighted she has chosen to return to Avalon,” said Thoday. “It’s very rare to have the opportunity to bring someone in who understands the company’s DNA, and we are all looking forward to the future in this exciting environment for creative talent.”

“They have built a phenomenal business, with an impressive talent roster and a high-quality production slate,” Kennedy said of her new employer. “I am honored to be granted the opportunity to work with them, and am excited to lead the next phase of the company’s growth.”

Avalon has been in the news in recent days as the company behind the reboot of satirical puppet series “Spitting Image.” It is thought to be close to securing a deal for a contemporary version of the show, which would feature modern-day political and entertainment icons such as Donald Trump and Kanye West.

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