As president of IFC tv and Sundance Channel, Evan Shapiro oversees the strategic development, management and operation of IFC and Sundance Channel, television’s premier independent film networks. Shapiro was named to this post in June 2008. Since then, he has had a tremendous impact on both networks, strategically evolving the brands in response to the rapidly changing programming delivery technologies, industry trends and issues critical to their audiences.
In this role, Shapiro oversees the strategic and creative direction for IFC and Sundance Channel, including original programming, content acquisition, marketing and sales. He also serves as executive producer on a number of originals, including the Peabody Award-winning mini-series Brick City for Sundance Channel, and IFC’s new comedy series The Onion News Network. Shapiro spearheaded the creation of a unified sales force to oversee the two networks’ sponsorships and branded content efforts and developed a joint advertising platform, Indienomics, which demonstrates IFC and Sundance Channel’s complimentary value to the advertising community. IFC’s sponsorship deals have included partnerships with ABSOLUT®, Red Bull®, Heineken® and Target, while Sundance Channel’s partners have included Brita®, Green Works®, Stella Artois® and Ferrero Rocher®.
Prior to this role, Shapiro served for three years as executive vice president and general manager of IFC. During his tenure, IFC produced a number of thought-provoking and acclaimed original series, specials and documentaries, including This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which prompted the MPAA to discuss making changes to its film ratings process. IFC grew dramatically in scope and magnitude under Shapiro’s guidance. In 2008, IFC launched its first On Demand offering, IFC Free, and the network became available in high-definition. Shapiro broke new ground in 2007 by bringing R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet, a landmark “hip-hopera,” to IFC.com. Called “the cultural event of the year” by New York magazine, Trapped in the Closet also served as the catalyst for driving a record number of visitors to IFC.com, which Shapiro remolded into a “second network” with extensive original content. Shapiro joined IFC in 2004 as senior vice president of marketing and in this role he launched some of IFC’s largest-ever marketing campaigns, including Film Fanatic Fridays and Pulp Month.
The industry honors bestowed upon IFC and Sundance Channel during Shapiro’s tenure include: BrandWeek Brand Builder (2005), two CableFAX Program Awards (2009), numerous CableFAXIES Awards (2009, 2010), Environmental Media Association Award (2009), IDA Documentary Award (2009), Myers Media Innovation & Creativity Award (2006), gold Reggie Award (2006), two silver Mark Awards (2006 and 2007), Peabody Awards (2006, 2010), seventeen PROMAX|BDA Awards (2007, 2008 and 2009), numerous Webby Awards (2009, 2010), Web Marketing Association Web Award (2009) and two Writers Guild Awards (2008, 2009).
Prior to joining IFC, Shapiro served as senior vice president of marketing for Court TV, where his campaigns for “Forensic Files” garnered several top awards. In 1996, Shapiro formed a marketing agency called FourFront, which he ran until joining Court TV. With clients such as HBO, Court TV, A&E, Microsoft and Universal Pictures, he developed marketing campaigns, events and guerrilla strategies for some of the world’s top brands. He was also integrally involved with the creation of countless Broadway enterprises such as The Lion King, Rent, Chicago, Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk and Freak. Before FourFront, Shapiro got his first major career lift as the director of marketing for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, where he re-launched the venerable theater’s brand after 40 years and developed a new look and image for Shakespeare in the Park (FREE WILL!) and Noise/Funk.
Shapiro is the chairman of the board of The Ghetto Film School, the only youth-media non-profit in the country that specializes in providing young people of color with first-person access to the film industry; a board member of the New York Chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications (NYWICT); and a member of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and PROMAX. Shapiro is a featured lecturer for the Cable Center’s Cable Mavericks program and a featured speaker at the NYU Stern School of Business.