Canadian production house Thunderbird Entertainment promotes legal SVP to GC role

Lori Massini is replacing Sarah Nathanson, who is leaving the company this month

Lori Massini Photo courtesy of Thunderbird Entertainment

Canadian media and production company Thunderbird Entertainment has promoted Lori Massini to general counsel, replacing Sarah Nathanson who is stepping down this month.

Massini was previously senior vice president of legal and business affairs at the company, where she helped structure and finance international co-productions, co-ventures and Canadian content and services shows. In her new role she will provide legal and compliance support to all business units, as well as continuing to oversee the legal and business affairs team.

Vancouver-based Thunderbird Entertainment produces animated programmes and scripted and unscripted productions, including the award-winning The Last Kids on Earth animated series, documentaries such as Highway Thru Hell and internationally-acclaimed sitcom Kim’s Convenience.

Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Thunderbird’s CEO and chair, said: “Lori has proven to be an invaluable asset to our legal team during her time at Thunderbird. We are thrilled that Lori is stepping into this well-deserved key role, where she will employ her legal judgement and acumen to help guide the company in this wider capacity.”

Massini joined Thunderbird in 2021 from Canadian firm Broughton Law, where she was an associate counsel covering entertainment law. Prior to that she spent just under two years as vice president of business and legal affairs at Canadian motion picture company Bron Studios. She also had earlier private practice stints as an entertainment lawyer at Chandler Fogden Aldous and Roberts & Stahl.

Nathanson, meantime, is leaving Thunderbird after just shy of six years, having joined in 2018 as VP of legal and business affairs before being promoted to GC and then adding the chief operating officer role to her remit in 2021. Prior to joining Thunderbird, she was director of business and legal affairs at DHX Media and an associate at Heenan Blaikie before that.

Twiner McCarron added: “We are very grateful to Sarah for her time at the company and the crucial role she has played in Thunderbird’s growth over the past five years.”

In other recent in-house entertainment moves, Cineworld last month named John Henrich as its new GC as part of an executive leadership refresh following its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last year. Also in March, US media company the Corporation for Public Broadcasting hired Evan Slavit as GC, replacing veteran legal chief Westwood Smithers. And in February, former CBS lawyer Laura Franco joined US entertainment and venue groups Madison Square Garden Entertainment and Sphere Entertainment

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