Former Scripps Exec Jonathan Katz Named President of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Jonathan Katz
(Image credit: Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment)

Jonathan Katz, who launched the Katz Networks and sold them to E.W. Scripps, was named president of Chicken Soup For the Soul Entertainment, which completed its $375 million acquisition of Redbox Entertainment.

Katz, who left Scripps last year, will oversee the company’s operating businesses, including streaming services, Redbox kiosks and original content studios.

Also: Jonathan Katz Sees Technology Creating Opportunities in the TV Business

Galen Smith, who had been CEO of Redbox, was named executive vice chairman of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. He will oversee the company’s future growth plans, including future acquisitions.

Katz and Smith will report to William Rouhana Jr., chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. 

“I’ve been looking forward to the day Redbox would become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment family – and today is that day. The Redbox brand is a fixture in American entertainment and now joins our powerful portfolio of streaming brands, including Crackle, Popcornflix, and Chicken Soup for the Soul,” said Rouhana,

“These collective assets create a fully formed streaming business for a new era of digital entertainment that we anticipate will accelerate the growth and profitability of our company well ahead of our original plans. The team at Redbox is incredible and will join an equally talented team across our Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment companies. I’m excited to welcome our new colleagues and look forward to sharing more about our plans for the future,” Rouhana said. 

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment expects that the combined company will finish 2022 with a run rate exceeding $500 million of revenue and $100 million to $150 million of adjusted EBITDA. It expects to deliver annual run rate cost synergies in excess of $40 million in 2023. 

The company said it also sees numerous opportunities to drive revenue synergies from its complementary assets, including expansion of ad inventory through distribution of its larger content library and production pipeline across AVOD and FAST channels, and increased access to the TVOD window for original film productions.  ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.