Indie Production Giant Argonon Expands U.S. Operation

Lindsay Schwartz - H - 2020
Credit: Argonon

Lindsay Schwartz has joined the company as chief creative officer of its Leopard USA production banner.

Argonon, the superindie group headquartered in the U.K. and U.S. that is made up of seven independent production companies, has expanded its U.S. operations with a major new appointment, the opening of a new West Coast base and a series of senior level promotions on the East Coast.

The company has appointed Lindsay Schwartz as the new chief creative officer for its banner Leopard USA, joining from Story Street where she was senior vice-president, development. Schwartz, who starts in August, was previously at Collins Avenue for nine years, producer of Dance Moms, and was responsible for creating, developing and producing several successful projects across a range of networks and genres, including reality, documentary, competitive formats and lifestyle.

The new appointment coincides with the launch of the first-ever West Coast headquarters for Argonon, with Schwartz operating out of the L.A. base.

Argonon has also launched Argonon USA, with the ambition to significantly grow the group’s operations across the continent through acquisitions.

James Burstall, Argonon CEO, will head up the new U.S. arm, supported by Leopard USA chief operating officer Shirley Escott in a newly expanded role. Argonon is appointing a West Coast advisor to open dialog with production and digital companies as part of an acquisitive strategy to identify and capitalise on new growth opportunities for Argonon USA. The new operation will encompass Leopard USA, the Manhattan-headquartered production company and producer of returning hit show House Hunters International.

Schwartz will report to both Burstall and Escott.

"The next phase in the group’s evolution will expand our horizons and broaden our content ambitions in the US, where we will be investing in talent as we grow out of the COVID-19 climate," said Burstall. 

The appointment of the hugely impressive and talented Lindsay Schwartz as Leopard USA CCO in our new West Coast bureau will enable us to build the company out further, expanding both our range of content genres and potential network partners. The launch of Argonon USA is another landmark for the group and we’re looking for talented companies in both the production and digital space to help us drive expansion across the continent. The opening of our new West Coast base will open up new conversations and we’re hugely excited by the opportunities this will present in a fast-changing content world."

Added Schwartz: "I have followed Leopard USA for many years and admired their hugely successful and long-running formats such as House Hunters International. It’s the perfect time to join this talented team and help power the next phase of growth, both on the East and West Coast. Our ambition is to identify popular new formats across a range of genres and take Leopard Films USA to the next level."

Argonon has also confirmed internal promotions across the Leopard USA team. Corporate controller Matt Widmayer is upped to Leopard USA New York bureau chief and Livvy Clackett becomes executive in charge of production. Jillian Brand remains as senior vice president, development across the whole of Leopard USA.