Michael co-founded and is CEO of Blue Ant Media. Started in 2011, the global media company owns and operates numerous production companies in North America and Asia-Pacific, creating content for broadcasters and streaming platforms in multiple genres including factual entertainment, natural history, documentary and adult animation. Further, the company’s distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a substantial catalogue of content, including one of the world’s largest 4K natural history offerings. Blue Ant Media also operates linear and FAST channels under several brands including Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel (Canada), BBC Earth (Canada), BBC First (Canada), HauntTV, Homeful, CrimeTime, TotalCrime and HistoryTime. The company is headquartered in Toronto, with seven international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Washington and Beijing.
For background, Michael co-founded Atlantis Films Limited in 1978. In its early years, Atlantis was primarily a film and television production house, winning an Oscar in 1984 for its short film Boys and Girls. In 1998 Atlantis acquired Alliance Communications in a reverse takeover and the company became Alliance Atlantis Communications. Under Michael’s continued leadership, as Chairman and CEO, the company operated 13 Canadian television networks and also distributed and produced movies and television programs including the hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 2007, Michael retired from Alliance Atlantis after selling the company to Canwest Communications and Goldman Sachs.
Michael is the co-founder and Chair of The Samara Centre for Democracy (launched in 2008) which is a non-partisan charity that is dedicated to reconnecting citizens to politics. Samara’s research and educational programming shines new light on Canada’s democratic system and encourages greater political participation across the country to build better politics and a better Canada, for everyone.
Michael is a co-founder and co-owner of Closson Chase Vineyards and Winery in Prince Edward Country, Ontario. Founded in 1998, Closson Chase makes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines.
A member of the Order of Canada, Michael has volunteered with numerous community and industry organizations over many years. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College and co-author of the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons.