Susan L. Solomon named chairman and chief executive officer of Lancit, leading producer and creator of quality children's programming.
Ms. Solomon, who has spent her career building businesses in the entertainment industry, joins Lancit from the Sony Corporation of America where she created and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Worldwide Networks. At Sony, she helped oversee the development of worldwide music video channels, including the highly successful Viva, based in Germany. Prior to joining Sony, Ms. Solomon served in senior executive positions at MacAndrews and Forbes, CBS Inc., and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Co. She was also an investment banker and lawyer specializing in entertainment and media transactions.
Cecily Truett, who previously held the posts of Chairman and CEO, was named Co-President of the Company, a position she will share with current President Larry Lancit.
Ms. Truett said, "Late last year our Board set out to find a senior executive with a record of success in the entertainment industry and substantial financial and operating experience who could help make the most of Lancit's business opportunities. We have found the ideal executive in Susan.
"Susan brings a strategic vision, proven managerial skills, a breadth of industry knowledge and relationships and an entrepreneurial approach that will be of tremendous value to Lancit. Larry and I will devote our full energy to creating and producing the high-quality programming for which Lancit is known. This will position the Company for tremendous growth."
"I am delighted to join Lancit, a company with a well-earned reputation for producing high-quality, award-winning programming - like Reading Rainbow - and a strong track record in creating great brands," Ms. Solomon said. "With our excellent creative team, our new programming relationships - with Discovery, with educational institutions like the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History, and with others - our committed staff, and our own licensing resources, we will aggressively pursue business opportunities available to the Company."
About Susan L. Solomon
Ms. Solomon served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Worldwide Networks - a national digital radio and online network pioneering the use of advanced broadcast and Internet technologies - until August 1996 when she was named Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for Sony Corporation of America. Ms. Solomon first joined Sony in January 1994 when Sony USA's Chairman recruited her to oversee the Company's radio investments and to develop worldwide music video channels.
Prior to joining Sony, Ms. Solomon was with MacAndrews and Forbes, serving as Executive Vice President of The Andrews Group where she formulated strategy and identified and acquired businesses to expand the Company's media and entertainment holdings, including products for children. Previously, Ms. Solomon was a senior investment banker, specializing in entertainment and media, affiliated with MMG Patricof & Co., and a principal of Trillium Media Ltd., a financial advisor in entertainment and media transactions. Ms. Solomon has also held senior executive positions with CBS Inc. and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment Co. - where she contributed to the growth of Nickelodeon as a full-fledged network.
She began her career practicing law with Debevoise & Plimpton. Ms. Solomon holds a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School.
Lancit Media Entertainment is a leading creator and producer of high-quality children's and family programming, including Reading Rainbow, which has won 11 Emmy Awards including the 1996 Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Series," and The Puzzle Place, the hit daily PBS children's series produced in cooperation with KCET television/Los Angeles.
Besides Reading Rainbow and The Puzzle Place, Lancit's television projects include: Seekers, a major new action adventure show in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and Backyard Safari, a natural science series in association with the American Museum of Natural History. Lancit is also developing The Giver, the best-selling children's fiction book, as a feature film with Jeff Bridges and AsIs Productions. The Strategy Licensing Company, a Lancit subsidiary, represents Lancit properties and several high profile multi-media properties including Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, Broderbund's Kid Pix, and Humongous' Putt-Putt and Freddi Fish.
In September 1996, Discovery Communications, Inc., owner of cable television's Discovery Channel and retailing's The Nature Company, formed a strategic programming alliance with the Company and purchased a 6.6% equity stake in Lancit.
Except for the historical information contained here, certain matters included in this press release constitute `forward- looking' statements, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve certain risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the outcome of current negotiations as well as risks generally associated with the production and distribution of a television series, movie, or other entertainment project which could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed herein. See the relevant discussions of these and other risks as described in the Company's 1996 Annual Report on Form 10-K/A filled with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a further discussion of the risks and uncertainties applicable to the Company and its business.
CONTACT: Jaffoni & Collins Incorporated
Joseph N. Jaffoni, Stewart A. Lewack
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