• Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021
James Goldston stepping down as top ABC News executive
ABC News President James Goldston attends the International Women's Media Foundation's 26th Annual Courage in Journalism Awards in New York on Oct. 21, 2015. Goldston said Thursday that he will leave the network at the end of March, after seven years leading the news division. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

ABC News President James Goldston said Thursday that he will leave the network at the end of March, after seven years of leading the news division.

The low-profile Goldston leaves at a time ABC's flagship newscasts, "World News Tonight" and "Good Morning America," are both leading its rivals in the ratings.

"I've always assumed that after this extraordinary election cycle, which we've covered at a full sprint for four years, it would be time for a change," Goldston said in a note to staff members. "After a great deal of reflection over the last few months, I'm ready for a new adventure."

His departure adds to the list of top jobs that need to be filled at major news organizations, including The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.

During his tenure, the network purchased the FiveThirtyEight blog, took over "The View" from ABC's entertainment division and launched a more aggressive online offering, ABC News Live.

Goldston's decision to install David Muir as "World News Tonight" anchor paid dividends as the show now dominates the evening news ratings, often reaching 10 million viewers a night.

One low point came last year when a Goldston deputy in charge of talent relations was forced out after an investigation revealed she had made racially insensitive comments.

Peter Rice, chairman of general entertainment content for ABC parent Walt Disney Co., praised Goldston for his work, particularly during the pandemic and 2020's political upheaval.

"As a leader he is a calming force in the chaos of perpetual news, remaining both thoughtful and strategic while also maintaining his much appreciated wit," Rice said in a memo to staff.

Rice said he's appointing five ABC News executives to run the division as a search commences for a new leader: Derek Medina, Michael Corn, Almin Karamehmedovic, Wendy Fisher and Marie Nelson.

  • Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021
Publicis Groupe appoints Natalie Lam as CCO, APAC & MEA
Natalie Lam

Publicis Groupe has appointed Natalie Lam as its first ever chief creative officer, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

In this newly created role, Lam will be leading Publicis Groupe’s APAC & MEA agenda when it comes to creativity, with an oversight over the creative product as well as managing and activating the creative community across the region. She will focus on driving impact for clients through disruptive, dynamic creative offering. She will be based across Hong Kong and Singapore, reporting to Loris Nold, CEO Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Publicis Groupe.

Lam brings a unique combination of creative leadership, experience, craft and having worked across the U.S. and Asia. She made her mark in the industry with her work on Nike at R/GA, before joining Ogilvy One as regional creative director out of Shanghai in 2008. Then she served as an ECD at McCann before taking on the ECD role at Razorfish in the U.S.

Most recently, she was at Google in New York, leading the creative team for Art, Copy & Code. Over the years, she worked on many global brands including Coke, Mercedes-Benz, Spotify, Nike and Instagram. Given her career path, Lam’s work reflects a unique balance of storytelling and technology.

Lam said, “In my year-long discussion with Loris I was impressed with the breadth and depth of the Groupe’s offerings and ambition, the region’s endless possibilities, and the incredible opportunity to work with the amazing talent pool in the network. Being a New Yorker from Hong Kong, I appreciate the beauty of diverse cultures and the changes that shape our lives everyday around the world. I’m excited to join the dynamic community in the region and create work that’s modern, relevant, touches lives in positive ways and moves brands forward.”

  • Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021
Motion Picture Sound Editors elects new board; Steve Urban becomes VP
Steve Urban (l) and Jeremy Gordon
STUDIO CITY, Calif. -- 

The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) has elected Steve Urban to a two-year term as vice president, succeeding Bernard Weiser. Additionally, Jeremy Gordon was reelected as treasurer and Christopher Reeves as sergeant-at-arms in the organization’s annual board elections. They join Mark A. Lanza, who continues in the role of President, as board officers.

Newly elected as Board members at large are Peter Albrechtsen, Amber Funk, Scott Jennings and Charles Maynes. Re-elected board members include Miguel Araujo, David Barber, Daniel Blanck, Perry La Marca, Paulette Victor-Lifton and Garrett Montgomery.

“The MPSE is fortunate to have many talented members willing to devote their time to help elevate our amazing craft,” said Lanza. “Our new board was chosen from a field of especially strong candidates. We are grateful for their dedication.” Lanza also offered special thanks to Weiser for his years of service to MPSE. Weiser will focus on his role as president of the Entertainment Industry Professionals Mentoring Alliance (EIPMA).

Despite the pandemic, MPSE expanded its outreach in 2020. It conducted nine virtual “Sound Advice” webinars focusing on sound work on such projects as Mr. Robot and Better Call Saul and highlighting new technologies. It also launched a quarterly publication for members titled Wavelength. The organization’s 68th Annual Golden Reel Awards, will be held as a virtual event April 18th with participants from around the globe.

Urban is a supervising sound editor based as Sony Pictures Entertainment. His credits include Madame Secretary, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. He won a Golden Reel Award for his work on The Duel.

Gordon is a supervising sound editor with Atomic Post Sound, where his credits include The Magicians, The Leftovers, and Resurrection. He is a two-time Emmy Award nominee for Smallville and Party of Five and a three-time Golden Reel Award nominee.

Reeves is a supervising sound editor based at NBC/Universal. He is a nine-time Emmy Award nominee, with two wins for his work on The X Files. His recent credits include Superstore and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

  • Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021
Feature film/TV editor Colin Patton joins Arcade for U.S. spot representation
Colin Patton

Feature film and television editor Colin Patton has signed with Arcade for commercial representation in the U.S. Based in Los Angeles, Patton is best known for his work on the films Pitch Perfect 3, Our Brand Is Crisis, Manglehorn, Life After Beth, Joe and 2013 Berlin Silver Bear winner Prince Avalanche, along with the series Dickinson, I’m Dying Up Here, Vice Principals, Nobodies, Red Oaks and The Good Place

After graduating from Columbia University, Patton cut his teeth in the editorial department on films like Knocked Up, Funny People, Yes Man, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, The Sitter, Your Highness and Pineapple Express. He has since collaborated on four features with director David Gordon Green, while also working with such filmmakers as Trish Sie, Jeff Baena, Drew Goddard, Jonathan Levine and Ben Falcone on films and series starring actors ranging from Anna Kendrick to Al Pacino. Patton’s latest project, Our Friend directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019. 

Patton’s work caught the attention of Arcade partner and editor Geoff Hounsell, who was able to connect with him through their mutual relationship with helmer Green. In October, Patton brought his comedy chops from the big screen to advertising when he edited his first commercial with Arcade--a Facebook Portal job featuring Leslie Jones for TBWA\Chiat\Day. 

Arcade EP and partner Sila Soyer said of their work together, “Colin assimilated seamlessly to the team and the workflow right out of the gate. He really fit right in and the agency felt it--the producers and creatives on the project loved him.”

Patton grew up in Seattle and has always known he wanted to be involved in the arts. While studying Visual Arts at Columbia University, he discovered the films of Claire Denis, and it was her 1999 feature Beau Travail that convinced him that he wanted to make movies. He moved to Los Angeles after graduating, started editing as a way into the film industry, fell in love with it as an art form and never looked back. Now, with assorted feature films under his belt, Patton is looking forward to adding commercials to his body of work.

  • Monday, Jan. 25, 2021
Felix De N’Yeurt joins Adolescent as head talent manager
Felix De N'Yeurt

Felix De N’Yeurt has joined Adolescent as head talent manager. De N’Yeurt comes to Adolescent from WME Lens/IMG division. She has a background growing and repping leading photographers and directors in the industry from Steven Klein to Santiago & Mauricio. Although she was heavily courted by photo agencies and talent management companies, De N’Yeurt chose Adolescent as her new home.

“Over the past 27 years I have had the privilege of working with some of the industry’s most creative talent; I’m proud to have played a part in getting them opportunities and setting them up for successful careers in our industry. Born and raised in the U.K., I began my career in a photo rental studio in New York City where I was able to observe and understand the industry from the ground level. I went on to work for some of the industry’s most respected talent agencies, representing a diverse range of artists across art, entertainment and advertising. I’m truly excited to join Adolescent as the work that their GenZ Creators are doing inspires me tremendously. Many of these creators are coming from inner city and rural towns.”

Adolescent continues to build its talent roster, signing over the past six months such artisans as Lou Jasmine, a Black, female identifying, British director/photographer, and Shingi Rice, a self-taught fashion and portrait photographer of British Zimbabwean origin.

  • Friday, Jan. 22, 2021
Kim Laama named VP, ECD at R/GA Portland
Kim Laama
PORTLAND, Ore. -- 

R/GA has named Kim Laama as its VP, executive creative director after a short sabbatical from her role as group ECD at R/GA New York. Laama will lead a growing team of designers and creative technologists to strengthen the product and service design capability with a focus on the office’s future-facing commerce and activation expertise. She’ll also work closely with SVP, managing director Tara Moss to drive innovation and growth for current client partners Nike, McDonald’s, MasterClass, and The British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).

“We’re thrilled to have Kim return to R/GA helming our creative practice in Portland, where we’ve done some of our most notable work with adventurous brands like Nike and McDonald’s,” said Tiffany Rolfe, R/GA global chief creative officer. 

Ben Williams, R/GA chief experience officer, added, “Kim is an exceptional creative who understands how to create relationships between people and brands through thoughtful and innovative experience design.”

Laama returns to R/GA after a one-year sabbatical. Previously, she was part of the creative leadership team overseeing Samsung, Equinox and Johnson & Johnson, among others, at R/GA New York. Laama was pivotal in leading key projects, while establishing and fostering an experience and design focused creative team. Prior to R/GA, Laama led brand experience initiatives at AKQA while growing talent and building diverse, inspired, and collaborative teams. In her tenure at AKQA, Laama established and grew the company’s product design practices in San Francisco and New York, co-created New York’s D&I program and led creative work for Audi, Nike, Soho House, Verizon, Volvo, and Xbox.  

R/GA Portland’s recent work collaborations include Nike’s sixth season of its PLAYlist episodic series, as well as the brand’s Game Growers series, both of which were geared at kids and the benefit of making sport a daily habit. The office also drove the design innovation build for McDonald’s corporate digital ecosystem. 

  • Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Apache promotes Stefanie Schaldenbrand to head of production
Stefanie Schaldenbrand
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- 

Stefanie Schaldenbrand has been elevated from sr. producer to head of production at Apache, a Santa Monica-based color and finishing boutique with work that spans commercials, music videos, episodic television shows and feature films. 

A Florida transplant, Schaldenbrand joined Apache in 2015 after a career in marketing that saw her rise to sr. project manager at a firm that produced educational materials. She started in a client service role and quickly advanced into production. Since then she’s been instrumental in producing memorable projects at Apache, such as award-winning campaigns for Burger King with DAVID Miami, as well as for the studio’s body of long-form entertainment projects and feature documentaries. Among these are HBO’s The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, along with two films from Bruce Springsteen, Letter to You and, before that, Western Stars. Other nonfiction projects she’s shepherded through the studio include the Netflix original doc Challenger: The Final Flight; the Tribeca Film Festival selection With Drawn Arms, which ran on the Starz channel; and The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, produced by The Kennedy/Marshall Company.

In her new position, Schaldenbrand will be the lead contact for artists, assistants and producers, overseeing the creation of budgets and schedules; serve as liaison between clients and Apache’s creative teams; and help cultivate a positive, engaging, and balanced work environment at the studio.

“I saw a lot of myself in her when we first met,” said Apache co-founder, managing partner and EP LaRue Anderson about Apache’s new head of production. “She was wanting to pivot in her career, and knew she needed to take the steps to learn our industry. She stepped in with a proactive mindset, and moved into producing within a year. She’s a strategist, an entrepreneur and an important part of what we do and who we are – we call her the Human Flame, and her spark is infectious! I love how she’s always three steps ahead of me.”

As for her goals at Apache, Schaldenbrand shared, “I’d hope my greatest contribution is the bond I’ve formed with clients while working hard to produce their projects seamlessly, but also the encouragement and implementation of increased communication among ourselves. We have amazing colorists, online editors, finishing artists and assistants who know their skill set through and through, but the magic really only happens when we’re all aligned.

“In bridging the gaps between artists, assistants and producers, we’ve created a space where we can problem solve and brainstorm new processes that can thrive in this ever-changing technical landscape,” Schaldenbrand continues. “It’s been a great benefit to our clients and their projects.”

While Apache has been busier than ever, even in light of the pandemic and how it’s impacted advertising and entertainment clients, there’s more to this head of production than just juggling budgets, schedules and Zoom meetings. On weekends, Schaldenbrand and her husband, an agency producer, quench their love for food by manning A.M. Smash, their celebrated breakfast sandwich pop-up. They set up shop every Saturday in West L.A., and every other Sunday in Costa Mesa. What’s their claim to fame? “We’re known for our killer, house-made sausage and maple aioli,” she admits, “but mostly, we specialize in starting someone’s day just right.”

This isn’t Schaldenbrand’s first foray into the food world--before leaving Florida for her new life with Chris in L.A., she won a national grilled cheese sandwich contest, netting a sweet $15K first prize--which is something to say ‘cheese’ about. Indeed, she quips, “It paid for our wedding.”

  • Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Thinkingbox hires Helen Androlia as strategy director  
Helen Androlia

Creative shop Thinkingbox has hired Helen Androlia to lead digital strategy from its Toronto office, marking continued growth for the company across North America. 

Androlia most recently worked at Juniper Park\TBWA as director of digital strategy. She previously served as director, social media strategy at Innocean Worldwide Canada, with earlier stints at Gravity Partners and FCB Canada. In this new role as strategy director, she will be responsible for leading digital strategy for Thinkingbox clients including Adobe, Primer, and Riot Games. 

Androlia brings extensive experience handling strategy across a wide range of industry verticals. Her client portfolio has included brands such as Oreo Canada, Corby Distilleries, Sobeys, Coca-Cola Canada, Kia/Hyundai/Genesis Motors, Little Caesars Canada and Merrell. 

Androlia has served as a strategy instructor at Miami Ad School Toronto since June 2018, which helped her develop strengths in employee growth and mentorship.  

  • Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021
VFX artist Ruben Vandebroek joins Preymaker
Ruben Vandebroek

Preymaker, a creative and technology studio that was launched last fall by industry leaders Angus Kneale, Melanie Wickham and Verity Grantham, has added multiple award-winning VFX artist Ruben Vandebroek to its growing team. Vandebroek brings a wealth of experience and a combination of creative vision and technical expertise in CGI and emerging technology. He will be a leading creative and technical force at Preymaker with a wide remit, from working on cutting edge visual effects to helping nurture and advance Preymaker’s culture of innovation and invention.

“Ruben is brilliant, he is innovative, technical and highly creative,” said Preymaker chief creative Kneale. “He steps back and looks at the whole idea, rather than just solving what he’s asked to solve. He is a practical, lateral thinker with the ability to simplify complex problems.” 

Vandebroek shared, “I have had a longstanding working relationship with Angus as well as many other team members at Preymaker. I’m excited to be part of a pioneering new company where talented people collaborate and create absolutely amazing work. I’ll be able to help build a company that can withstand the swift changes in our industry not only by taking advantage of the cloud based model but also by investing and implementing the latest techniques out there.”

Vandebroek spent the last 13 years at The Mill New York, most recently as head of 3D, where he helped create high-profile work for brands including Nike, PlayStation and Johnnie Walker, and collaborated on projects with artists such as Daft Punk and Beyonce. He counts directors Matthijs Van Heijningen, Rupert Sanders, Nicolai Fuglsig, Peter Thwaites and Johnny Green among his many collaborators. He has worked on a wide range of award-winning projects including Monster.com’s “Opportunity Roars” (a CLIO Silver, AICE and Webby Award winner), the OFFF Festival’s titles (a Cannes Gold Lion winner), Range Rover’s “Accelerator” (a British Arrow winner) and Nike’s “Hypervenom” (winner of Ciclope GOLD).


  • Monday, Jan. 18, 2021
Andrea Lennon, Sara Anhorn among key exec promotions at Critical Mass
Andrea Lennon

Global digital marketing and experience design agency Critical Mass has expanded its executive leadership team with 13 promotions and new hires. Of note are the promotions of Andrea Lennon to president and Sara Anhorn to chief talent officer. The agency has also expanded its global executive team adding an SVP layer to its existing C-Level and EVP groups.  There have been appointments to all tiers in the form of promotions and new hires in order to keep up with agency growth and evolving client needs. 

When Chris Gokiert steps into his role as CEO this month, a transition that Critical Mass announced earlier, Lennon, formerly EVP, managing director, will assume her role as president. During her last six years at Critical Mass, Lennon was focused on driving new business growth across APAC and EU regions. In London, she successfully tripled the office’s revenue and staff, diversified the talent pool, and broadened the team’s capabilities. As president, Lennon will focus on client relationships, creative excellence, and business development with an emphasis on developing the agency’s culture and talent.

Anhorn, former EVP of talent, has also been promoted to the global executive team as chief talent officer. As a 20-year Critical Mass vet, Anhorn has been instrumental in fostering young talent and transplanting the culture of the agency’s Calgary headquarters to other office locations around the world. In her new role, Anhorn will oversee HR, talent acquisition, learning & development and internal communications on a global scale and continue to elevate the agency’s unique culture as a purpose-driven organization. 

Promotions and additions to the Critical Mass executive leadership team span a majority of the agency’s core disciplines. Beefing up their client service practice, Stacia Parseghian joins Critical Mass from BBDO as EVP, client partner, while Samantha Stringfellow, currently VP, client partner, has been promoted to EVP, client partner. Four other Critical Mass vets have been promoted to the SVP, client partner role--Maria Hodgson, Jason Finch, Alysson Scartz and Heather Livengood—all formerly VPs.

VPs from marketing science, technology, talent, and production have seen executive promotions as well. They include Wilson Tsang, SVP marketing science; Jaimie Patel, SVP marketing science; Mike Lanyon, EVP technology; Scott Ingalls, SVP technology; Phaedra Marshall, SVP technology; Alissa Hansen, EVP head of production; and Rebecca Bloom Geddes, SVP human resources.

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