Kino Lorber Taps Former AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll And Ex-IFC Films Boss Lisa Schwartz For C-Suite Roles

An expanding Kino Lorber has brought in two former AMC Networks veterans in key exec roles, installing Ed Carroll as Chief Strategy Officer and Lisa Schwartz as Chief Revenue Officer.

The pair will work with CEO Richard Lorber and COO Martha Benyam to help shape the company’s content and distribution efforts. Along with its longtime presence in specialty film, Kino Lorber last year made a significant streaming acquisition, buying international TV specialist MHz Networks.

Carroll left AMC Networks in 2021 after 34 years at the company, including a lengthy stint as COO. Along with helping to orchestrate M&A deals such as the acquisition of RLJ/Acorn and its equity stake in BBC America, he shepherded shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Portlandia and Killing Eve. AMC Networks’ niche streaming push, via outlets like Acorn, Sundance Now, IFC Unlimited and Shudder, was another Carroll initiative. And when Bravo was part of AMC Networks’ prior incarnation, Rainbow Media, Carroll served as the network’s president, overseeing arts-and-culture programming staples like Inside the Actors Studio.

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Schwartz’s 20-year tenure at AMC Networks concluded with a run as head of IFC Films. She led the distribution strategies of a number of Oscar-nominated films and documentaries, including Boyhood; Two Days, One Night; 45 Years; and Finding Vivian Maier. She also spearheaded the development and launch of subscription streaming outlet IFC Films Unlimited as well as the division’s first AVOD streaming channel, IFC Films Pick.

“Bringing prestige content to market and helping it find a wide audience has been the most fun and satisfying part of my career,” Carroll said. “Richard Lorber and his team have built a company that stands for high-quality storytelling, and I am excited to help build on that success.”

Schwartz pronounced herself a “longtime admirer” of Kino Lorber. “I’m excited to bring their high-quality, diverse new releases and extensive catalog films to passionate, discerning audiences through expanding access on both digital and traditional distribution platforms,” she said. “I’m looking forward to working together with Richard, Ed and Martha to continue to grow the business.”

Kino Lorber, a notable player in independent arthouse distribution for nearly four decades, has a library of more than 4,000 titles. It releases 30 theatrical films a year under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners and has picked up seven Academy Award nominations in 10 years. The company handles releases across various media platforms for Zeitgeist Films, Milestone Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video and others. It operates transactional VOD outlet Kino Now, virtual cinema offering Kino Marquee and free, ad-supported streaming channel Kino Cult.

“Ed and Lisa are a powerful combination and I’m thrilled to welcome them both to the Kino Lorber C-suite,” Lorber said. “Following our acquisition of the MHz Choice streaming service, it’s the perfect time for them to join, as we further innovate our distribution strategies to make prestige international film and TV content accessible to audiences throughout North America. Like me, they care intensely about quality, and finding and sharing artistically elevated stories that connect across many genres.”

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