Ian Stratford (Courtesy of First Look Media)
First Look Media has appointed Ian Stratford as its new chief legal officer and head of business affairs.
Prior to joining First Look Media, Stratford served as SVP, associate general counsel at Endeavor where he helped found Endeavor Content, the agency’s production, financing and sales arm. In this role, he built and led Endeavor Content’s expansive business and legal affairs team, working across its motion picture, scripted television, non-scripted/documentary, and podcast studios, as well as the company’s partnerships, investments, and joint ventures. Prior to Endeavor, Stratford was partner at Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP, where he served as a strategic advisor to various media companies, and led the firm’s finance practice.
In his new role at First Look, Stratford will lead the company’s overall business and legal affairs team and strategy across all divisions of the company. These include Topic Studios, the entertainment studio which develops, produces and finances feature films, documentaries, television and podcasts; its Topic streaming service; the investigative journalism outlet The Intercept; the documentary film unit Field of Vision; and the Press Freedom Defense Fund, which provides legal support for journalists, news organizations, and whistleblowers. Stratford will report to First Look Media Chief Operating and Chief Finance Officer Drew Wilson.
“Ian’s track record of building and guiding the legal and business affairs practices at several media companies, enabling them to reach their fullest potential, is undeniably impressive,” said Wilson. “His pioneering mindset and reputation as a creative problem solver will be incredible assets to our team as we enter an exciting phase of growth.”
First Look Media was launched in 2013 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The company has produced such films as “Spotlight” and “Leave No Trace,” podcasts like “Politically Re-Active” and “Intercepted,” and documentaries like “American Factory.”
“The First Look Media team has built a dynamic company structured to thrive in the swiftly changing media, news and entertainment landscapes,” said Stratford. “I am excited to join the team and help lead the company’s continued evolution.”
Stratford received his law degree from Fordham University School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in biology from Fordham University. He will be based in New York.
Variety's Brett Lang contributed to this post.