NEP Expands Board of Directors
NEP announced a reformulation of its board of directors which follows the company’s recent acquisition by New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners. Two prominent members of the media and entertainment industries, Ken Schanzer and Mark Patricof, have joined the NEP board, in addition to Crestview Partners’ Jeff Marcus, Brian Cassidy, and Katherine Chung. Debra Honkus will remain in her position as chairman of the board, and Kevin Rabbitt, NEP CEO, will also continue as a director on the board.
Schanzer served as president of NBC Sports from June 1998 until his retirement in September 2011. He also served as chief operating officer and was responsible for supervising the day-to-day operation of the division. Schanzer played a key role in negotiating NBC’s six-year agreement with the National Football League to become the network home of premier prime-time television package Sunday Night Football beginning in 2006. He was also responsible for NBC’s landmark agreement for exclusive network telecast rights for the University of Notre Dame’s home football games. Before joining NBC Sports, Schanzer served eight months as senior vice president, government relations, for the National Association of Broadcasters.
Patricof is the co-founder and managing partner of MESA Global, a merchant bank and strategic advisory firm specializing in media and entertainment. Since MESA’s inception in 2008, Patricof has advised on numerous transactions including, most notably, the acquisition of Miramax and financing for Relativity and Blue Man Group. Additionally, Patricof manages a seed fund called MESA+, which invests alongside top-tier VCs in early-stage digital media companies. Prior to his work at MESA, Patricof was the founder and CEO of <kpe>, a highly renowned digital media incubator that partnered with major media companies on their earliest content initiatives. <kpe> was recognized as an early pioneer in streaming media, in 1996 producing the first ever webcast of a presidential inauguration. Patricof’s career began with a six-year stint at CAA. He serves on numerous boards and is a former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.
Joining Crestview in 2004, Marcus is a media and communications entrepreneur who previously served as the president and chief executive officer of AMFM, one of the nation’s largest radio broadcasting companies. Marcus was also founder and chief executive officer of Marcus Cable, which at its sale in 1998 was the largest privately held cable company in the U.S. In addition to serving on the NEP board, Marcus serves on the board of directors for Camping World/Good Sam Enterprises, Charter Communications, and Cumulus Media.
Cassidy joined Crestview Partners in 2004. Previously, he worked in private equity at Boston Ventures, where he invested in companies in the media and communications, entertainment, and business services industries. He was an investment banking analyst at Alex. Brown & Sons, where he completed a range of financing and M&A assignments for companies in the consumer and business services sectors. Cassidy sits on the board of directors for ValueOptions and Camping World/Good Sam Enterprises.
Chung joined Crestview in 2009 from the Blackstone Group, where she was a principal in the private equity fund and worked in both New York and London. At Blackstone, Chung evaluated, executed, and monitored investments across a variety of sectors, with a focus on financial services, including insurance, asset management, and banks. Prior to joining Blackstone, Chung was an associate at Capital Z Partners, a financial services-focused fund, and an analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley.
“Ken and Mark bring tremendous strategic skills and knowledge to the NEP board of directors, and their stellar reputations in the industry precede them. We’re also honored to have Jeff, Brian, and Katherine join the board and lend their industry expertise along with their financial and business expertise and experience,” said Rabbitt. “With this fine team of industry and business visionaries, NEP is well-positioned to continue on its current strong path of worldwide growth.”