Garth Ancier

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Garth Ancier
Born (1957-09-03) September 3, 1957 (age 60)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Princeton University
Occupation Media executive

Garth Ancier (born September 3, 1957 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey[1]) is a media executive best known for being one of only two people (the other being Fred Silverman) to have programmed three of the five US broadcast television networks (Founding Programmer at Fox, Founding Programmer at The WB (now The CW), and NBC Entertainment).

Ancier is also well known for being the NBC executive to cancel the beloved 1999 teen drama-comedy Freaks and Geeks.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ancier graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1975[3] and Princeton University in 1979.[4]

He began his broadcasting career as a high school sophomore in 1972, working as a reporter for NBC radio affiliates WBUD-AM and WBJH-FM in Trenton, New Jersey.[4][5] In radio, he created American Focus, a weekly national interview program carried by over 200 radio stations in the U.S., including New York's WNBC. Ancier served as executive producer and host of over 250 episodes through 1979, each featuring a full-length career retrospective interview with guests ranging from Ayn Rand to Henry Fonda to David Brinkley. The show continued production for 17 years, and many of the programs are part of the permanent collection of the Paley Center for Media.

Career[edit]

Ancier's network television career began in 1979[6] when NBC Entertainment President Brandon Tartikoff hired him as a program associate.[7] He rose through the ranks and supervised production of the network's top comedies including The Cosby Show, Cheers, Family Ties and Golden Girls.

In 1986, Barry Diller, Jamie Kellner and Rupert Murdoch tapped the then 28-year-old Ancier to be the founding Entertainment President for the new Fox Broadcasting Company,[8] where he put 21 Jump Street, Married... with Children, The Simpsons and In Living Color on the air.

Ancier went from Fox (resigning March 1, 1989) to Disney as president of network television for Walt Disney Studios on April 18, 1989.[9] He developed Home Improvement and oversaw Disney's signature franchise The Magical World of Disney, hosted by Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

From October 1991 through July 1992, Ancier served as the Television Consultant to the Democratic National Committee, specifically to advise on the television presentation of the Democratic Convention in New York City and reporting to DNC Chairman Ron Brown. In that role, Ancier introduced political convention format innovations, such as a 56-screen "videowall" integrated into the convention podium and program, to such forums for the first time.

Also in late 1992, Ancier co-created and executive produced The Ricki Lake Show[8] (with former Donahue producer Gail Steinberg), which aired for 11 seasons from 1993-2004.

In 1994, Ancier re-teamed with Fox colleague Jamie Kellner and Warners Bros. CEO Barry Meyer to launch The WB as its chief programmer from 1994–99,[8] where he helped put 7th Heaven, Dawson's Creek, Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Steve Harvey Show and The Jamie Foxx Show on the air.

Beginning in May 1999, Ancier served as President of NBC Entertainment,[8] where he helped put The West Wing and Law & Order: SVU on the air.[citation needed] Ancier was forced out from NBC in November 1999.[8]

Ancier returned to Time Warner in 2001 as EVP, Programming for Turner Broadcasting[10] (including the WB) and programmed CNN, TBS, TNT, etc., where he launched CNN's American Morning and its signature 10PM newscast with Anderson Cooper, as well as expanded Adult Swim on Cartoon Network by acquiring the then-cancelled Family Guy series from 20th Century Fox.

Ancier returned to The WB as Co-Chairman in September 2003,[citation needed] then became the Chairman of the WB Television Network from May 2004 until its merger with UPN to form The CW in September 2006,[10] during which Supernatural and One Tree Hill were launched.[citation needed] He was transferred to run In2TV, the Warners/AOL broadband television network.[10] Through Garth Ancier Company, he was developing a talk show at the pilot stage while negotiating a potential network, cable and first-run syndicated shows deal with Telepictures and Warner Horizon as of October 2006.[11]

He served as first President of BBC Worldwide America from February 2007[10]-March 2010, where he launched Top Gear, Torchwood, and DC produced BBC World News America (BBC's first US produced daily newscast) on BBC America. Ancier also moved BBC's iconic Doctor Who series from the Syfy network to BBC America and prepared CBeebies for a US launch. Ancier was able to increase by 78% BBC Worldwide America's profit and will hold a director's seat on its board.[12]

In April 2013, Ancier formed Zeus Media Partners, Inc. as a retro cable network company to provide four decade focused channels (1960s-1990s), later called The Quad.[13][14]

Most recently, Mr. Ancier has worked for a number of media corporations as a Senior Advisor to management on digital streaming, SVOD and vMVPD projects. His most notable clients have been Intel Media, and IAC/Vimeo.

Sexual Abuse Allegations & Exoneration[edit]

On April 21, 2014, Mr. Ancier (as well as three other gay Hollywood figures) were accused of sexual abusing Michael Egan fifteen years prior, when Egan was 17.[15]

The accuser and his attorneys withdrew the case against Mr. Ancier on June 25, 2014, after they failed to meet the Federal Court deadline for producing their evidence (also known as Rule 11)[16]

However, Mr. Ancier understood the enormous damage that had been done to his spotless reputation by this false claim, reported around the globe. Two days later, on June 27, 2014, Mr. Ancier and his attorneys aggressively filed a new suit against Mr. Egan and his attorneys for malicious prosecution and abuse of process[17] The suit asked for a jury trial and noted that "The Action was brought to smear, harass and severely injure Mr. Ancier," the complaint said, "as part of an avowed and very public campaign by Mr. Egan’s counsel to troll for new clients who would enable them to shake down other entertainment industry executives with threats of sexual assault charges."[17]

A year later, after the case had moved through extensive document discovery, sworn video depositions of the principals, and towards trial - Mr. Egan's lawyers issued formal apologies to Mr. Ancier, along with a 7 figure financial settlement. Egan's lead lawyer, Mr. Jeff Herman, said in a statement "Based on what I know now, I believe that I participated in making what I now know to be untrue and proveably false allegations against you. Had I known what I learned after filing the lawsuits, I would never have filed these claims against you. I deeply regret the pain, suffering and damages the lawsuits and publicity have caused you, and your family, friends, and colleagues."[18]

Even without his attorneys, the case against Mr. Egan himself continued, and Mr. Egan was finally, very reluctantly placed under oath on June 23, 2015. In that four hour deposition, Mr. Egan "declined to reiterate his allegations and instead asserted his Fifth Amendment rights more than 400 times"[19]

Facing a upcoming summary judgement against him, and without any legal counsel, Mr. Egan filed for Bankruptcy on 11/19/15, effectively staying the case.

Shortly thereafter, in an unrelated felony case brought by the US government, Mr. Egan was sentenced to two years in Federal Prison for pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Who's Who. 2008 ed., Vol. 1, p. 94
  2. ^ Dockterman, Eliana (15 October 2014). "Seth Rogen Confronted the Guy Who Canceled Freaks and Geeks". Time. 
  3. ^ "NOTABLE ALUMNI". The Lawrenceville School. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Adalian, Josef (November 17, 1999). "Ancier rejoins big three". Variety. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "STUDENT-RUN RADIO SHOW IS FOCUSING ON AMERICA". The New York Times. March 11, 1984. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Biographies: Garth Ancier". BBC Press Office. Retrieved May 31, 2009. 
  7. ^ Buck, Jerry (September 3, 1986). "Young Garth Ancier Has Fox By The Tail". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Adalian, Josef; Schneider, Michael (December 13, 2000). "Peacock Zucker-punched". Variety. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ Haitman, Diane (March 30, 1989). "Disney TV Chief Heads Back to Mainstream". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c d Nordyke, Kimberly (February 14, 2007). "Ancier carries flag for the BBC". The Hollywood Reporter. AP. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  11. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (October 9, 2006). "Ancier talker in the works at Telepictures". The Hollywood Reporter. AP. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 19, 2009). "Garth Ancier exiting BBC Worldwide America". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  13. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 31, 2013). "Garth Ancier Lines Up TV Vets to Launch Four Retro Cable Nets". Variety. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Quad Media Partners". garthancier.com. 
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (2014-04-21). "Bryan Singer's Accuser Names Three More Alleged Sex Abusers". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-07. 
  16. ^ McNary, Dave (2014-06-25). "Sexual Abuse Case Against Garth Ancier Withdrawn". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-07. 
  17. ^ a b Faughnder, Ryan (2014-06-27). "Garth Ancier sues sex-abuse accuser Michael Egan, attorneys". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-07. 
  18. ^ Sewell, Abby (2015-06-07). "Michael Egan's former attorneys apologize for false Hollywood sex abuse claims". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-07. 
  19. ^ "Hollywood Sex Abuse Accuser Invokes Fifth Amendment 400 Times in Deposition". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-07. 
  20. ^ Johnson, Ted (2015-12-09). "Michael Egan, Bryan Singer's Accuser, Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Investment Fraud". Variety. Retrieved 2018-01-07.