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Authentic Entertainment Unveils New Executive Structure Including Michael Bouson Named Chief Operating Officer

September 1, 2015 - Authentic Entertainment, the Emmy Award-winning unscripted and documentary production company, has unveiled its new executive team structure including naming Michael Bouson as its Chief Operating Officer, it was announced today by CEO and Co-Founder Lauren Lexton.

The new structure comes just weeks after Lexton announced she had renewed her contract to remain as CEO of the Endemol Shine North America subsidiary.

As part of the new alignment, Doug Mirabello has been named Senior Vice President, Development, Jeff Weaver will serve as Senior Vice President, Current Programming and Will Pisnieski is Authentic’s new Chief Technology Officer and Head of Post Production.

Paul Halperin has been named SVP Finance and Risk Management, Patrick Stringer will serve as Vice President, Broadcast Operations and Paul O’Malley is Vice President of Development. Carolyn Yamazaki will serve as Vice President of Business and Legal, Mark LaFleur is the company’s Creative Director and Nneka Enurah will serve in the newly created role of Director, Digital and Communications. Other announcements will be made soon.

Authentic Entertainment has produced many of the top unscripted shows of the last decade, including “Ace of Cakes,” “Flipping Out,” “Toddlers & Tiaras,” “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and many more series and specials.

In addition to shows currently on air, Authentic Entertainment is in production on five series and specials premiering later this year including Duff Goldman's “Cakemasters” for Food Network, “Knife Fight” for Esquire and “Waterfront House Hunting” for FYI, multiple other series for Food Network, and new series for History Channel and Discovery. In August 2010, Authentic was acquired by Endemol USA, now Endemol Shine North America.

Lexton says, “This team is the reason that Authentic is one of the top production companies in the industry. I couldn’t be happier to have them lead the way with me into the future. We’ve always prided ourselves on the fact that we recognize great talent; those who work behind the scenes to create some of the most creative content out there, and those in front of the camera who bare their souls for the world to see. It’s that talent that’s always made us truly Authentic.”

Bouson added, “I am both honoured and energized to be among a team of creative superstars who will lead Authentic into its next chapter. With the dynamic infrastructure and singular talent we’ve assembled, we are on the brink of greatness!”

Bouson, who was named COO, began his television career as a producer on the long-running "Love Connection." He then went on to write, produce and direct all genres of unscripted TV from documentaries and talk shows, to biographies and travel series. After several years as a showrunner, Bouson joined the team at Authentic Entertainment, where he served as Executive in Charge of Production and SVP of Production and Operations. Prior to his work in television, Bouson worked on Broadway for nearly a decade. He founded and served as Artistic Director of the award-winning Avante Garage Comedy Repertory Theatre Company in Nashville, TN.

Will Pisnieski, who was named CTO and Head of Post, previously served as the SVP of Post Production at Authentic Entertainment. He joined the company in 2007 as post producer, overseeing one of the largest Apple Final Cut Pro infrastructures in the U.S. Pisnieski has been a part of the reality television industry since graduating college and has worked in all facets of the industry, starting out on MTV's long-running reality series "The Real World." 

Doug Mirabello, who was named SVP Development, has been responsible for every written word that has come out of Authentic’s Development Department for the past five years. Mirabello has contributed to such shows as “Auction Kings,” “Knife Fight” “Flipping the Block,” Food Networks new hit “Top 5 Restaurants” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” among others.

Jeff Weaver, who was named SVP Current Programming, is an Emmy-nominated executive producer and has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a showrunner, writer and director. Over the last five years, Weaver wrapped an exceptional 209-episode run of TLC’s hit “Little People, Big World,” ran the inaugural season of Animal Planet’s breakout series “Tanked,” produced Discovery’s “Auction Kings” (which ran for 90 episodes) and Nat Geo’s “You Can’t Lick Your Elbow” with NFL legend Tony Gonzalez. Most recently, Weaver received an Emmy nomination for the reboot of A&E’s “Intervention.”

Paul O'Malley, who was named VP Development, has cast and developed numerous shows for broadcast and cable. He got his start on “Deal or No Deal,” and has worked on many other hit shows like “American Gladiators,” “Parental Control,” “Tabatha Takes Over,” “Love in the Wild,” “Rupaul's Drag Race” and he produced over 70 episodes of GSN’s hit show “Baggage.”

Patrick Stringer, who was named VP Broadcast Operations, joined Authentic in 2011 as an assistant camera operator. He is responsible for overseeing Authentic's broadcast division and develops new workflows for the company’s field crews. He has extensive experience as a camera operator, production manager, editor and technical supervisor. 

Carolyn Yamazaki, who was named VP Business and Legal, started her entertainment law career as part of the team at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein and Kohner and subsequently worked at Universal Pictures. She has served as Authentic’s counsel for the past three years. In addition to her work at Authentic, Carolyn is a pro-bono attorney for Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project and Catholic Charities, where she assists unaccompanied refugee minors.

Paul Halperin, who was named SVP Finance and Risk Management, has created budgets and schedules, production managed, supervised production and field and line-produced hundreds of episodes of lifestyle and reality/documentary programming for cable networks including HGTV, TLC, Travel Channel and History Channel. His previous position in Finance and Risk Management at Authentic Entertainment included management of all financial and insurance matters. Prior to joining Authentic in 2008, Halperin spent eight years as a production manager, Executive in Charge of Production and executive producer at Broadview Media in Minneapolis.

Mark LaFleur, who was named Creative Director, spent four years as Senior Director / DP for Authentic Entertainment, making television programs for Showtime, Discovery Channel, Bravo, Food Network, TLC, History, Travel Channel, Esquire Network and HGTV. Over the past few years, LaFleur has added multi-camera directing to his resume, completing shows such as Esquire Network's “Knife Fight” and “White Collar Brawlers” and HGTV's “Flipping the Block.”

Nneka Enurah, who was named Director, Digital & Communications, was previously Manager of TV Development for Authentic Entertainment. Nneka is a versatile entertainment professional with experience in producing, talent-booking and creative development. Prior to joining Authentic, Enurah developed and produced both digital and television content POPSUGAR, where she led lifestyle programming efforts and helped create branded content for clients including Nike, Crest, Levi’s, Dr. Pepper and St. Ives.

Further information

Joe Schlosser
(310) 691 7215
[email protected]



Authentic Entertainment is an Emmy Award-winning production company with a growing list of innovative reality and documentary programming. In recent seasons, Authentic has produced many popular shows including Ace of Cakes, Flipping Out!, Toddlers & Tiaras, Knife Fight, Auction Kings, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and many more series and specials. Authentic has brought its creative vision to the Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC, History Channel, National Geographic, Showtime, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, Bravo, Sundance Channel, and WEtv. In 2010, Authentic joined Endemol Shine North America, a worldwide leader in multi-platform entertainment programming.


Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the newly launched global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies in the U.S. that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Its Endemol Shine Latino division oversees all Spanish-language sales and development in both the U.S. and Mexico. And subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. In addition, Endemol Shine North America has announced a strategic partnership with Ryan Seacrest Productions.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind hit series including Below Deck (Bravo), Bullseye (FOX), Big Brother (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Fake Off (TruTV) Hell on Wheels (AMC), Ink Master (Spike), It Takes a Church (GSN), Kingdom (DirecTV), Knife Fight (Esquire), MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), Restaurant Startup (CNBC), Swamp People (History), The Island (NBC), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), Steve Harvey (NBCU), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1), Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge (CMT), Wipeout (ABC) and many more.

Endemol Beyond USA, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning digital networks of 2014, is part of the Endemol Shine Group. As a Premium Content Network, Endemol Beyond USA content is available across more than 20 platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Roku, TiVo, DailyMotion and Amazon Fire TV. Endemol Beyond is the first Premium Channel Network with hubs in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with plans to expand into Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Endemol Beyond USA produces and distributes premium-quality online content starring influential talent such as Pitbull, Brittany Furlan, Drea De Matteo and Andy Milonakis across lifestyle, comedy, reality and music-themed digital networks. Together Endemol Beyond and digital pioneer Michelle Phan have recently launched ICON, the first worldwide Premium Lifestyle Network. ICON is an online global destination featuring a prolific slate of original programming in beauty, fashion, wellness, DIY, food, human interest stories and travel.

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