New York, NY (April 5, 2019) – AMC Networks, the entertainment company known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, today announced that Miguel Penella has been named to the new role of President, Global Direct-to-Consumer. Mr. Penella will continue to run RLJ Entertainment, the company AMC Networks acquired a majority interest in late last year, and with this new appointment, he will hold a dual role, as President, Global Direct-to-Consumer for AMC Networks and President, RLJ Entertainment.
In his new role with AMC Networks, Mr. Penella will be responsible for leading AMC Networks’ direct-to-consumer businesses Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC (Urban Movie Channel). These growing services offer compelling and entertaining content that connect with passionate audiences and represent significant growth opportunities for AMC Networks.
As head of RLJ Entertainment (RLJE), Mr. Penella built two sought-after subscription streaming services: Acorn TV, known for its high-quality British and international mysteries and dramas; and UMC, the first and largest subscription streaming service dedicated to Black film and television. RLJE also owns a majority stake in the Agatha Christie library, which represents an exceptionally popular world-class franchise. Shudder is the world’s largest streaming service dedicated to all things horror, suspense and mystery. Sundance Now brings members the best of foreign and independent film, documentaries and original series.
“Miguel is perfectly qualified to take on this new assignment, consistent with his role as President of RLJ Entertainment. His leadership will continue to prove the benefit of the strategic combination of RLJ Entertainment and AMC Networks,” said Robert L. Johnson, founder and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment.
“Our direct-to-consumer platforms are a key priority as we continue to strategically position our business for the future,” said Ed Carroll, Chief Operating Officer for AMC Networks. “Miguel is an experienced leader with an exceptional track record in the direct-to-consumer space and we look forward to his leadership in this area as these services become an increasingly meaningful part of our business.
Mr. Penella added, “AMC Networks is in a class of its own, driven by its reputation for having excellent content and its expertise in building strong, powerful brands. I look forward to working with the outstanding teams at Shudder and Sundance Now as we work together to develop and grow these compelling offerings into even greater destinations for our passionate and growing fanbases.”
Mr. Penella has led RLJE since January 2013. From October 2012 until January 2013, he served as Chief Operating Officer and he has also served as a director of RLJE since October 2012. From 2007 to October 2012, Mr. Penella served as chief executive officer of Acorn Media Group, Inc. (which was acquired by RLJE in October 2012) where he oversaw operations and was the driving force behind the worldwide expansion of the Acorn brand, including the acquisition of a majority of Agatha Christie Limited and the launch of Acorn TV, the Company’s first proprietary subscription SVOD channel. From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Penella was president of Acorn’s direct-to-consumer operations offering DVDs and other high quality products through catalogs and online marketing vehicles. Under his leadership, Acorn Media was transformed from a DVD distributor into a media company with a significant library of television dramas and mysteries, including intellectual property rights, and a nascent proprietary SVOD business.
Mr. Penella came to Acorn from Time-Life where he rose in the ranks from circulation director of the catalog department to director of catalogs for the music division and then to vice president of customer marketing in 2001. Previously, he worked in e-commerce catalog management for the National Direct Marketing Corporation and the National Wildlife Federation.
About RLJ Entertainment
A privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks, in which Robert L. Johnson, its founder and Chairman, is the beneficial co-owner, RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is a premium digital channel company serving distinct audiences primarily through its popular OTT branded channels, Acorn TV (British TV) and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which have rapidly grown through development, acquisition, and distribution of its exclusive rights to a large library of international and British dramas, independent feature films and urban content. RLJE’s titles are also distributed in multiple formats including broadcast and pay television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, and a variety of digital distribution models (including EST, VOD, SVOD and AVOD) in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, through Acorn Media Enterprises, its UK development arm, RLJE commissions and co-produces new programs and owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited. For more information, please visit RLJENTERTAINMENT.COM, ACORN.TV, and UMC.TV
About AMC Networks
Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on cable television for nine consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Shudder and Sundance Now; RLJ Entertainment, a content distribution company that includes the subscription streaming services Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.