UTA Taps Former Summit Exec Alex Fragen for Global Distribution Post
Fragen will help clients identify a diverse array of platforms for their projects in his newly created role.
Former Summit Entertainment executive Alex Fragen has joined UTA as global distribution strategist, a new position created by the agency in response to the trend toward a "content everywhere" paradigm and in order to give creators more control over their projects through rights separation and direct distribution.
Fragen will work with UTA's existing departments to help clients identify a growing number of windows and platforms for their projects, which include independently financed films, internationally and non-traditionally financed TV series and Internet Protocol TV, all forms of digital media and live entertainment.
"Alex brings a high level of expertise that our clients can access as we evaluate the best distribution path for the content they have created," UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer said in a statement. "Alex's long-standing relationships will be helpful as we build the most effective and efficient strategies for self-distribution of non-theatrical content."
Fragen comes to the agency from the entertainment and technology consultancy Question Media Group, where he served as president. He was previously president of domestic TV distribution at Summit, where he negotiated numerous major pay TV output deals, executed free TV sales with all the major cable network groups and created major studio-level output deals with PPV, VOD and digital distribution partners. Fragen also advised Summit's Canadian and Latin American output partners on free and pay TV and digital distribution output deals.
A key player at Summit, he was a member of the studio’s nine-person greenlight committee and was involved in the valuation and negotiation process during its January 2012 sale to Lionsgate. Fragen's innovative work in day and date theatrical release strategy has led to changes in release timing industry-wide. He also helped develop the new media distribution strategy for the studio’s home entertainment division.
Before Summit, Fragen was at Paramount for 14 years, departing as its svp of domestic television distribution.
"Jeremy and the UTA team have always been at the forefront of creating a dynamic range of services for their clients," Fragen said in a statement. "I am excited to bring my expertise in developing and managing the fluid world of content distribution to the agency."
UTA's pioneering work with non-traditional distribution includes arranging for the million-dollar sale of 2011's Margin Call to Roadside Attractions. The $3.4 million financial thriller grossed $5.3 million domestically, plus another $5 million on VOD in a simultaneous day-and-date release. The agency also established the international and Netflix-exclusive distribution model for Tom Fontana's Borgia and helped client Brian Robbins launch his multichannel network AwesomenessTV, which distributes its youth-oriented content online, on cable and theatrically and heavily employs social media platforms to build its brands. The digital network was acquired by DreamWorks Animation last summer for more than $33 million.