Ascent Media Group taps Royo as CEO


Jose Royo has been uppped to CEO of Ascent Media Group, which oversees more than 75 postproduction, media management and distribution facilities in California, New York, London, Singapore and other locations through its creative services and network services divisions.

In his previous post as AMG's chief technology and strategy officer, Royo led efforts to introduce digital services, and his appointment as CEO reflects the industry's shift from physical media and hardware-based processes to digital services and file-based workflows.

As part of his new role, Royo said, he will be looking for strategic investment opportunities — perhaps through acquisition — in such new-media areas as video distribution on the Web and mobile content creation and distribution.

Ascent's creative services business unit is the umbrella for a large number of Los Angeles-area post and audio houses, including Company 3, Encore and Level 3 Post. During the WGA strike, most of the affected employees were put on hiatus — they did not collect paychecks but did maintain their benefits.

Royo said he expects that with a conclusion to the strike, most will return to work at the Ascent companies and that the pace of the ramp-up will be determined by how the business returns and what happens with pilots. "We want to see what happens," he said. "We don't expect to look very different from pre-strike."

Said Bill Fitzgerald, AMG chairman and senior vp Liberty Media: "Drawing on a rare combination of industry foresight, technological knowledge and operations management skills, Jose has already helped transform not only Ascent, but the industry we serve as well. By complementing our legacy strengths in creative, media management and network services with innovative digital technologies and services, he has helped establish a new model for doing business in the digital age."

As chief technology officer, Royo helped forge a technology partnership with Hewlett-Packard, key to AMG's digital initiatives, beginning in 2004 with the joint development of content management and repurposing solutions to support new media distribution channels on a worldwide basis.

"Jose has played a vital role in helping us deploy our next-generation digital initiatives," sand Jeff Hargleroad, executive vp corporate operations at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which became an AMG-HP client. "He has a deep understanding of emerging markets and how best to address them, from how digital assets are stored and managed to the many ways they can now be delivered worldwide, and he has the technical acumen to make it all work."

Before joining AMG, Royo was chief technology officer at Broadband Sports, director of program management at Trilogy Software, and lead software architect at Harvard University.

Since the departure of former Ascent CEO Ken Williams in 2006, Ascent has been led by an executive committee of key managers, rather than by a CEO.