Lionsgate Promotes Key Starz Merger Dealmaker James Gladstone

James Gladstone - Headshot - P - 2016
Marisa Q Photography

The studio veteran also is rewarded with a new long-term contract for helping close the $4.4 billion tie-up with the cable premium channel.

Lionsgate on Tuesday said it has promoted a key dealmaking exec, James Gladstone, as the studio gets set to merge with Starz.

Gladstone, an 18-year veteran of Lionsgate, becomes executive vp and general manager of business and legal affairs as part of a new multiyear agreement with the studio. The promotion was unveiled by Lionsgate general counsel and chief strategic officer Wayne Levin, whose team played a key role in Lionsgate's partnering with Liberty Global and Discovery Communications, two conglomerates aligned with billionaire investor John Malone.

That came before the $4.4 billion merger deal for a combined Lionsgate and Starz entity to operate or be invested in 30 channel platforms around the world, including the flagship Starz platform.

Gladstone's other dealmaking credits include Lionsgate’s acquisition of Summit Entertainment, Pop (formerly TVGN), Lionsgate UK and Mandate Pictures. He also negotiated the deal for Lionsgate’s Comic-Con HQ subscription VOD platform with partner Comic-Con International: San Diego.

"He (Gladstone) has played an integral role in the corporate and financial deals that have helped build Lionsgate from a small independent studio into a global content leader and major creative force in the entertainment industry, and we look forward to his expanded contributions in the years to come," Levin said in a statement.

Gladstone joined Lionsgate in 2003 after the studio acquired Artisan Pictures, where he served as senior vp business and legal affairs.