After 17 years at the helm of ReedPop, president Lance Fensterman is leaving the company for “an exciting new adventure.”
Fensterman announced the move in a letter to colleagues and Popverse, the ReedPop hosted newsite, broke the news.
“Leaving all this was not an easy decision,” Fensterman wrote in his letter, “but the time was right as we are emerging from those pesky and awful pandemic years and the business is on extremely solid footing and thriving. Now I can take a deep breath before moving on to a new challenge.”
Mike Kisken, a longterm Reed employee, and currently Group VP at ReedPOp, will take over running ReedPop for now and UK Managing Director Simon Maxwell will continue to oversee the digital business which includes a group of gaming sites and Popverse. Popverse reports that the event management team of Mike Armstong, Kristina Rogers, and Kyle Marsden Kish will continue to run the branded partner events, the comic con portfolio, and the video game portfolio respectively.
ReedPop currently owns NYCC, ECCC, C2E2, and runs Star Wars Celebration, the Pax shows and other events around the world, as well as the online EuroGamer network which has more than 67 million users. As President, Fensterman helped found ReedPop, an unprecedented consumer facing division within global B2B events company Reed Exhibitions. He oversaw the launch of or partnership with all of these shows except NYCC, and helped lead the way as comic cons and related pop culture events became world-famous events for the whole family, and not just niche fan enclaves.
Of his new gig, Fensterman told Popverse, ” We’ve emerged really strongly from the pandemic and the difficult years that period included and as we are positioned for tremendous growth, I was ready to consider what the next chapter of my career could look like, and a very interesting opportunity arose that I’ll share in due time, today is about my wonderful time at ReedPop.”
Taking off my reporter hat for a moment, I was a consultant on the fist few NYCCs and met with Fensterman weeks after he took the gig running that show, following a career in bookselling and a year running BookExpo. I immediately saw he was the kind of smart, perceptive person who could take this space into a whole new direction, given the support of a company the size of Reed. He was also a people person who understood what makes these events so special – even life changing – to the fans and guests who attend them. We also immediately became friends, because that’s just who Lance is, and though his duties took him further and further from showrunning, I always enjoyed our catch ups, most recently at ECCC. And in all fairness, he never shied away when I asked the tough questions, giving candid answers – something I appreciate even more as a reporter on the convention space.
We look forward to whatever Lance has planned for the future and wish him well on all his travels.