Electus Acquires Tim Puntillo's Production Company Mannahatta

- Expands In-House Production Team, Appointing Justin Dudek as Executive In Charge of Production and Allison Kaz as Head of Casting & Talent -

May 07, 2012, 09:00 ET from Electus

NEW YORK, May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ben Silverman's multimedia entertainment studio Electus, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), today announced the acquisition of Tim Puntillo's production company Mannahatta Productions whereby Puntillo and Electus will form a new production company, yet to be named.  Also announced today is the expansion of Electus' in-house production team with the appointments of Justin Dudek as Electus' Executive In Charge of Production, and Allison Kaz as Head of Casting and Talent.

"Tim is a fantastic creative talent and will be a huge asset to Electus. His experience in creating and producing worldwide franchises aligns perfectly with the global strategy of our company. He will be instrumental in further developing Electus' already robust programming slate," said Chris Grant, CEO of Electus. "Tim's talents, coupled with the detailed production expertise of Justin and the superior casting skills of Allison will be essential to Electus as we continue to grow as a next generation studio."

Tim Puntillo founded Mannahatta Productions, a full service production company that develops and produces unscripted television programming. In this new position, Puntillo will be responsible for producing large format alternative programming that appeals to both domestic and international viewers. His Executive Producing credits include GSN's Friend or Foe and Baggage (2011) hosted by Jerry Springer, STYLE Network's Ruby, which ran for four seasons, NBC's Minute to Win It, and Who's Still Standing.  Puntillo has had incredible successes in the international marketplace as well. In 2005, he created and executive produced NBC's hit gameshow Identity, which has aired in over 25 countries worldwide.  He is currently Executive Producing the second seasons of Extreme Chef and Chef Hunter for the Food Network, both of which will air summer of 2012. Puntillo started his career as a feature writer, penning Christina Applegate's Brutal Truth in 2000. Puntillo is represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and Sean Marks of Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light, LLP.  Evolution Media Capital (EMC) and Marks negotiated the transaction on behalf of Puntillo. 

"As a longtime reality showrunner and particularly now as an owner of a production company, I thrive on exciting creative partnerships. When Ben and Chris approached me with the idea of working alongside them, I knew that it was a career opportunity that I simply couldn't pass up," said Tim Puntillo. "I am excited to join Electus, to not only have the backing of an incredibly strong company with strong ties to foreign markets and deep relationships with advertisers, but to be surrounded by some of the most creative and talented people in the business."

Justin Dudek will oversee all Electus and 3rd party productions. Prior to this role, Dudek served as Executive In Charge of Production for The Angel City Factory where he assisted in the startup of a new US Production arm for Banijay Entertainment (France). During his tenure he was responsible for all aspects of production, including the planning, scheduling and budgeting for network and cable shows. Dudek's production credits include: ABC's The Bachelor; Fox's Joe Millionaire, My Big, Fat Obnoxious Fiancee, Mobbed, Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy, My Parents Are Gonna Love You, and Secret Millionaire; OWN's House Arrest; and TLC's Must Love Kids, among others.

Allison Kaz will oversee Electus casting and 3rd party shows. Prior to this role, Kaz served as the Head of Casting for 3 Ball Productions for over a decade where she cast shows for major cable and broadcast networks including NBC, ABC, CW, FOX, VH1, Oxygen, MTV, Comedy Central, E!, Spike and Animal Planet. She oversaw casting for hit shows, including: NBC's The Biggest Loser, Age of Love and For Love or Money; CW's Beauty and the Geek; Fox's MasterChef; ABC's Extreme Makeover: WLE; Oxygen's Hair Battle Spectacular; VH1's The Pick Up Artist, I Know My Kid's a Star and The OCD Project; Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell and Groomer Has It; and Spike's Bar Rescue, to name a few. Earlier in her career Kaz worked in casting for NBC's The Apprentice and CBS' Big Brother.

About Electus Electus is the first integrated multimedia entertainment studio to unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof and produce all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. Headed by Ben Silverman in partnership with IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], the company connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling marketers and advertisers to be a true partner in campaigns and content creation. Electus International, the global distribution arm of Electus, is responsible for all international sales and distribution for Electus' programming and its studio partners as well as programs and formats from other well-known 3rd party providers. For more information on Electus, visit www.electus.com.

Electus Sunshine Sachs Jessica Berger / Ter'rece Walker (212) 691-2800 berger@sunshinesachs.com / walker@sunshinesachs.com

SOURCE Electus