Brent Montgomery, creator of Pawn Stars and other top reality series, is expected to be named head of ITV Studios U.S. Group, although the deal is not comple.
ITV acquired Montgomery’s Leftfield Entertainment in 2014 for $360 million. The acquisition was part of ITV’s move to bulk up its production company assets.
Montgomery would Paul Buccieri, who left ITV to join A+E Networks.
In a memo to staff after news of the potential move broke in publications including Variety, Montgomery said "there is a very good chance that I will be taking over a new role as head of ITV"s American operations," but he added any sort of a deal is weeks away.
"It's an extremly complicated deal that is far from done," he said, adding "this would be an amazing opportunity and one that I simply couldn't passs up."
At Leftfield, Montgomery’s responsibilities are likely to be filed by David George, who is currently president, according to Variety,
In his memo, Montgomery called Gorge "the obvious choice" but said he'll still be around the office and that while his role might expand Leftfield would remain a focus.
In addition to Pawn Stars, Leftfield is responsible for Counting Cars and Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Here is Montgomery's memo:
Good Morning Leftfielders,
As many of you have heard me say over the years, the only way you can move up is by "replacing yourself" and today I'm very close to taking my own advice.
There's a very good chance that I will be taking over a new role as the head of ITV's American operation. Any sort of deal, despite press reports, is weeks away as it's an extremely complicated deal that is far from done. I had hoped to sit down and write this email in the next couple of weeks in a quiet moment, but instead it's a rush job this morning as we were working hard through the night to try and stem speculative press reports before I got to tell you personally as well as our clients and partners. As I often tell my two year old daughter, "you don't get to control everything."
This would be an amazing opportunity and one that I simply couldn't pass up. For those of you hoping that this would mean you wouldn't see me around the office throwing all sorts of balls towards you (whether you're looking or not) I'm sorry to disappoint but I'll be staying put in my office.
Leftfield absolutely will continue to be an enormous focus for me, but my role also will definitely expand beyond it; thus, like every move I've made, this creates more opportunity for each of you moving forward.
My other favorite saying is "Find Good People and Keep Good People." A move like this can’t be done without an incredible team, and so some of those team members will be expanding their roles and coming with me.
Different names will likely be cited for who will run Leftfield, but the obvious choice will be the guy I've been both grooming and also learning from for the last five years, our group President David George. To hand over the keys to my “third child” is the hardest professional move I've ever made but to know it's someone as smart and creative as DG who shares the same vision to continue to grow and expand it gives me great excitement.
I'd like to also specially thank my smartest hire, the Wizard of Oz as I call him, our COO Chris Valentini. Our company wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today without you. You left a stable job and moved to NY when we were a rag tag outfit to which most people would have said “thanks but no thanks.” You said you wanted to make one last big run in your career and it's been a helluva ride and I look forward to dragging you through one more exciting chapter.
There are so many more of you at every level who I will thank in person but an enormous thank you goes to Adam Sher and Ed Simpson who have been so critical to our story and will be so vital to the next chapter right alongside me. You both bring incredible insight and creative thinking to the offices every day and I can't wait to take this all on with you both!
Finally, I'd like to thank each and every one of you who log, load, edit, produce, shoot, run our beautiful facilities, build schedules, budgets and cast like no one else. This company is made up of people we know are smart, but who more importantly are good people. I always joke that if I were to rename Leftfield I'd call it "Sandbox" as we have found over 1,000 people who play so well in it and now we'll be able to play in an even larger one.
See you this morning!