Wizard World has just announced that Randy Malinoff has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Malinoff, who will report to Maata, has been interim COO since March and worked to develop Wizard’s new music/concert series. Malinoff was formerly Senior Vice President and Head of Direct to Consumer E-Commerce for Universal Music Group, and held various positions at Universal Music ad Ktel Records.
It’s been a busy few months for Wizard World, with a lot of business shifts. CEO John Macaluso left in April, to be replaced by John Maata and chairman of the board Paul Kessler. New business were launched – a concert series a cruise – and a few were cancelled, including the cruise, and some underperforming shows. And a bad earnings report. It’s a time of consolidation in the fan event space, with over crowding and con fatigue.
Wizard World is continuing to adapt to changing times however, and with a renewed focus on core event should be fine.
Tasked with operational responsibility and strategic growth initiatives, Mr. Malinoff will continue to drive development and execution of activities in the entertainment, online and transactional sectors. He will also be responsible for identifying strategic partnerships to grow the Company’s footprint as well as identifying next generation advertising and distribution channels to open new revenue streams.
Mr. Malinoff has served as interim Chief Operating Officer of Wizard World since March 2016 and has already pioneered a new chapter in pop culture entertainment with the introduction of the Wizard World Music Series – the first-ever concert series to accompany a pop culture and entertainment convention. The series launched during Wizard World’s Philadelphia show on June 3, 2016, featuring a headlining performance by award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Grimes. In addition, Melanie Martinez, a visually oriented singer-songwriter, is scheduled to perform during Wizard World’s Columbus show on July 29, 2016. Additional performance dates and headliners will be announced by the Company throughout the year.
“Innovation, leadership and imagination are essential to expanding our business even further, and there is no one better equipped to do this than Randy,” stated Paul Kessler, Chairman of the Board at Wizard World. “Not only has he been at the forefront of pioneering new models in such a challenging, competitive environment, but he has led the way in developing new business ventures with key strategic media, entertainment and technology partners.”
“It is a new day at Wizard World. We are working on a number of important initiatives intended to transform the Company into a significant media and live event platform. Through this new position, we have created a more comprehensive, integrated approach to implementing and growing our business,” said John D. Maatta, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wizard World. “It is our belief that Randy’s appointment will further enhance and maximize value for our shareholders, talent and business partners, as we move into new areas and drive new growth. We are confident that Randy will assist us in implementing the substantive plans that we have for Wizard World.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.