Super indie, Argonon, has launched a brand new US arm, made a major new US hire, opened a new West Coast base and made a series of senior level promotions on the East Coast.

Lindsay Schwartz has been named as the new Chief Creative Officer for Leopard USA, joining from Story Street, part of The Content Group, Asylum Entertainment where she was SVP, Development.  She was previously at Collins Avenue for nine years, producer of international hit Dance Moms, and was responsible for creating, developing and producing projects across a range of networks and genres, including reality, documentary, competitive formats and lifestyle.

This new appointment coincides with the launch of the West Coast headquarters for Argonon and Schwartz will operate out of the LA base. She She starts in August.

Argonon USA launches today with the ambition to significantly grow the group’s operations across the continent.  James Burstall, Argonon CEO will head up the new US arm, supported by Leopard USA Chief Operating Officer Shirley Escott in a newly expanded role.  Argonon is appointing a West Coast advisor to open dialogue with production and digital companies as part of an acquisitive strategy to identify and capitalise on new growth opportunities for Argonon USA.  The new operation will encompass Leopard USA, the Manhattan-headquartered production company and producer of returning hit show House Hunters International.

Schwartz will report into both James Burstall and Shirley Escott.

James Burstall, CEO of Argonon, said: “The next phase in the group’s evolution will expand our horizons and broaden our content ambitions in the US, where we will be investing in talent as we grow out of the COVID-19 climate.

“The appointment of the hugely impressive and talented Lindsay Schwartz as Leopard USA CCO in our new West Coast bureau will enable us to build the company out further, expanding both our range of content genres and potential network partners. The launch of Argonon USA is another landmark for the group and we’re looking for talented companies in both the production and digital space to help us drive expansion across the continent.  The opening of our new West Coast base will open up new conversations and we’re hugely excited by the opportunities this will present in a fast-changing content world.”

Lindsay Schwartz said: “I have followed Leopard USA for many years and admired their hugely successful and long-running formats such as House Hunters International.  It’s the perfect time to join this talented team and help power the next phase of growth, both on the East and West Coast.  Our ambition is to identify popular new formats across a range of genres and take Leopard Films USA to the next level.”

Also today, Argonon has confirmed internal promotions across the Leopard USA team.  Corporate Controller Matt Widmayer is upped to Leopard USA New York Bureau Chief and Livvy Clackett becomes Executive in Charge of Production.  Jillian Brand remains as SVP, Development across the whole of Leopard USA.

Argonon is home to production companies including Leopard USA (House Hunters International – Discovery), Bandicoot (The Masked Singer – ITV), Leopard Pictures (Worzel – BBC One), BriteSpark Films (Dispatches – Channel 4) and Windfall Films (Unearthed – Discovery), Like A Shot (Abandoned Engineering – Discovery).

Jon Creamer