Former BET chief Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment, Inc. has hired Mike Pears in the newly created position of Executive Vice President of Content Sales for RLJE U.S. Mr. Pears will be heading up sales for RLJE’s non-physical wholesale business, including digital, VOD, and television. 

President of RLJE U.S. Sylvia George made the announcement.

Mr. Pears comes to RLJE with nearly 20 years experience in the media industry and over 15 in digital media. For the past seven years, he oversaw digital/VOD distribution as Vice President of Digital Sales at Cinedigm Entertainment (previously Gaiam-Vivendi Entertainment and Universal Music Group), growing that business through various mergers and acquisitions into one of the world’s largest indie distributors and the world’s largest aggregator of digital film and television content. Mr. Pears has also held executive positions at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), SoundExchange, Ernst & Young, as well as co-founding MusiKube LLC. Mr. Pears is a graduate of the King’s College London.

“We are very excited to bring Mike on board. With his foundational experience in the industry and leading role in the digital and cable/satellite VOD space, he brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic perspective to the exploitation of RLJE content. He will be leading all non-physical distribution channels in North America and working closely with the RLJE global businesses to help ensure an integrated, fully-maximized exploitation strategy.” 

Mr. Pears will be based out of the RLJE’s West Coast office in Woodland Hills, CA.

RLJ Entertainment, Inc. is a premier independent owner, developer, licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in primarily North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (feature films, stand-up comedy), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Athena (documentaries) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download and digital streaming. Via its relationship with Agatha Christie Limited, a company that RLJE owns 64% of, RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. RLJE also owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyle’s War.