Evan Shapiro to Join Participant Media as President, Participant Television

Evan Shapiro has been named President of Participant Television, effective May 7, it was announced today by Jim Berk, Participant Media CEO.

Shapiro, who will report directly to Berk, will be responsible for the conception, development, and production of original television programming that will follow the company’s model of commercial and socially relevant entertainment.  Participant’s 39 narrative and feature films include Oscar-nominated films such as Good Night, and Good Luck, Food, Inc. and Contagion and Oscar-winning films Syriana, An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, The Help and on May 4th, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Call at the Oasis.

Berk said, “Expanding Participant’s brand of storytelling into television is both a natural progression and integral part of our expansion strategy.  Evan’s tremendous impact in transforming the IFC and Sundance networks combined with his genuine interest in socially relevant media make him the perfect choice.”

“For me, Participant’s double bottom line mission and model have always stood out on the media landscape – personally and professionally, I am driven by similar goals, ” said Shapiro. “So I’m beyond excited to work with Jim Berk and the Participant team and bring their approach and mission to a new, powerful medium”.

Shapiro is known for breaking new ground in marketing, advertising and programming.  As president of IFC TV and Sundance Channel, he steered both networks to new business and programming models, garnering each first-ever Prime Time Emmy Nominations, as well as a first-ever Golden Globe Award. Additionally, he executive produced numerous well received original documentaries and series, including This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which took on the MPAA for its ratings practices; the Peabody Award Winning Brick City, which chronicled a year in the life Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker; At The Death House Door, Steve James’ Documentary on the death penalty; R. Kelly’s one-of-a-kind “hip-hopera”, Trapped In The Closet; and most recently, the hit series, Portlandia, which just garnered a second Peabody Award.

Shapiro is active in public service and education.  He has served on the Board of The Ghetto Film School for eight years, serving three years as Board Chair, helping the organization open the nation’s first Public High School for Film and Video; he is Chair of the 25th Anniversary Gala of the Social Venture Network; he serves on the Board of the NY Chapter of WICT; serves as the Chair of the Cable Center’s Cable Mavericks Masters Program; and is an Adjunct Professor of Television Management at NYU’s Stern School of Business.  He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Participant Media is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and narrative feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online Social Action Network is TakePart. Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War,  An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, , The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Last Call at the Oasis.