Executives    Board of Directors


President/CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment

Leonard Asper

  • 30 years media industry experience

    • Founder/CEO of Anthem Sports & Entertainment 2011-

    • CEO Canwest Global Communications Corp., 2000-2010 - multinational media company  $3b revenue, $2b market cap, TSE listed) with holdings in Canada, U.S., Australia, New Zealand, U.K., Ireland, Europe and parts of Asia

    • COO 1997-1999

    • VP Corporate Development/M&A 1993-1997

    • Associate General Counsel 1991-1993

  • Chairman Rumble Gaming

  • Chairman Asper Foundation

  • Graduate of University of Toronto Law School, Member of Ontario Bar


Chief Corporate Officer and President, Impact Wresting

Ed Nordholm

  • Oversees the corporate activities of acquisitions, merger opportunities, partnerships, and investors. He plays a key role in the supporting the operational leaders on achieving their strategic plans.

  • President of IMPACT Wrestling since Anthem acquisition in 2017

  • Board member, general counsel and executive of Anthem since 2010

  • Member of original financing to launch Fight Network and served as President of Fight Network from 2008 to 2010

  • Former Co-lead of Tricap Restructuring Fund, Brookfield Asset Management’s first special situations fund and former Partner of Torys LLP


Chief Financial Officer

Niral V. Merchant

  • 18 years experience as CFO to companies in media, technology, investment and industrial sectors

  • Formerly with KPMG; Former director of TSX listed entity

  • Expertise with numerous corporate finance, cross-border and M&A transactions

  • MBA from INSEAD in France/Singapore, CFA charter holder, CPA(CA) from Ontario, Canada and B.Com from University of Toronto


HR Advisor

Michelle Hall

  • As an independent advisor, Ms. Hall provides advice to Anthem on human resources policies, programs, and operational matters

  • A senior human resources executive with over thirty years experience implementing human resources initiatives including, organizational development, change initiatives, people development strategies, communications, corporate reorganizations and labour relations strategy

  • Spent 8 years as a senior executive and ultimately Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer with Postmedia Network Inc, a publicly listed Canadian news media company representing more than 125 brands across multiple print, online, and mobile platforms

  • Worked 6 years CanWest Global Communications Corporation, a diversified international publicly listed media organization within the  broadcast,  print and online sectors, with the final role of policies, Senior Vice President People

  • Performed various additional human resources roles in the financial, manufacturing and recruitment sectors


President, Sports and Music Group

Frank J. Tanki

  • More than 20 years of entertainment and television experience

  • Oversees all operations and financial performance of the Sports and Music Group, which includes AXS TV and HDNET MOVIES, as well as IMPACT Wrestling and Invicta Fighting Championship

  • Former G.M., Country Music Television (CMT) and TV Land at Viacom, under his leadership, both networks experienced major growth in ad revenue, digital engagement, and brand partnerships

  • Former EVP of Marketing & Creative at Spike TV, led the rebrand of the network and launched mega-hit series, “Lip Sync Battle,” and grew ratings records for “Ink Master,” “Bar Rescue” and Bellator MMA

  • Former SVP, Marketing at Nickelodeon:

    • Oversaw global hits “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Dora The Explorer”

    • Brokered numerous strategic partnerships with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR and Sony Music (among others)

    • Served on the Viacom Marketing and Diversity & Inclusivity Councils at Viacom


President, Game Media Group

Anthony Cicione

  • More than 30 years of broadcast and digital media experience​

  • Oversees all operations and financial performance of the Game Media Group, which includes Game TV, Game+, Fight Network and Anthem Media Services, he is also responsible for broadcast and IT support for all Anthem operations

  • 10 years as VP of Programming & Production at The Score Television Network

  • 10 years as sports producer at Global Television Network

  • Various roles within Olympic Broadcast Services since 2010

  • Instructor and Advisory Board Member at College of Sports Media


Founder & CEO, Gravitas Ventures

Nolan Gallagher

  • Founded Gravitas Ventures in 2006

  • Under his leadership, Gravitas has become a global all rights theatrical distribution company that has released more than 3,000 films on Video on Demand (VOD)

  • Named a Hollywood New Leader by Variety and was chosen as part of the inaugural Indiewire Influencer class which recognized leaders in the independent film industry

  • Has spoken on numerous industry panels including the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), SXSW Film Festival, and the Produced By Conference

  • Previously worked in corporate marketing roles at industry leaders Comcast, Warner Bros., and General Cinema Theatres

  • Holds an MBA from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California whose Lloyd Grief Center of Entrepreneurial Studies named him its 2020 Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year and an undergraduate business degree from Boston College


President, Gravitas Ventures

Michael Murphy

  • Manages distribution of Gravitas’ library of more than 2,500 titles to more than 100 transactional, subscription, and ad-sponsored VOD operators on a worldwide basis and has been instrumental in growing the company’s distribution footprint

  • Has spoken about film distribution at many industry panels including SXSW Film Festival, Palo Alto Film Festival, Variety’s BRIC Summit, Variety’s BritWeek Film and TV Summit, and WestDoc Conference

  • Prior to joining Gravitas Ventures in 2007, he was Captain in the US Army where he served over four years on active duty as a Judge Advocate. In 2005 he deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio

  • Holds a JD from the University of Akron School of Law and a BA from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA


Executive VP, Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions

Scott D’Amore

  • 25+ years in business and the professional wrestling industry producing TV/PPV broadcast events in the U.S.

  • Oversees operations, production, talent relations and live events for IMPACT

  • Creative Director TNA Wrestling (now IMPACT) in addition to other production and management roles during TNA program run on Spike and Fox Sportsnet:

    • Oversaw launch of TNA on Spike

    • Created all female, “Knockouts Division”

    • Produced episodic and commercial content for Spike/MTV

  • In 1993, co-founded Border City Wrestling and Can-Am Wrestling School, which has launched or helped further the careers of many top national, international and local professional wrestlers


Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Gravitas Ventures

Brendan Gallagher

  • Joined Gravitas as Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel following 5 years of practice as an attorney at Frantz Ward LLP in Cleveland, Ohio, where he predominantly focused on commercial litigation, insurance disputes, and labor and employment issues. As part of his practice, he also supervised the nationwide litigation efforts of a banking client’s automobile-financing division

  • Holds a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (summa cum laude) and a BA from Boston College

  • Prior to attending law school, Brendan worked for the business-consulting company Accenture, participating in client engagements at NASA, Dow Chemical, and Consol Energy among others


Chief Financial Officer, Gravitas Ventures

Brian Kenyon

  • Joined Gravitas Ventures in August 2020

  • He is a finance and operations executive with more than thirty years of experience transforming and leading growing organizations in diverse industries

  • Spent 18 years with The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he served as its Executive Vice President and CFO and served as the Chief Financial and Operating Officer at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History 

  • Started his career in public accounting with Coopers & Lybrand and gained experience with publicly traded companies in the manufacturing, retail, coal mining, and staffing industries. His experience includes financial strategy, operational and administrative management, strategic planning, licensing and merchandising, and risk management

  • He is a CPA with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from The University of Akron


Chief Revenue Officer, Sports Group

Jaime Pollack

  • Oversees all revenue generation for Sports Media Group, including Fight Network, IMPACT Wrestling and Invicta FC

  • Vice President of Media and Business Development at Activision Blizzard, overseeing esports media and distribution of the Overwatch and Call Of Duty Leagues, brokering the first major esports digital streaming deal on Amazon’s Twitch platform, and securing broadcast partnerships with ABC, Disney XD, and ESPN Networks

  • Media Attorney at NBCUniversal Television Group​

  • Senior Vice President, Global Content & General Manager of Latin America at UFC, in addition to other high-level executive roles:

    • Oversaw UFC’s launch in Brazil and launched UFC NETWORK

    • Under his leadership, UFC conducted major global televised events, created platforms for blue-chip sponsors, and developed local fighters

    • Drove production of first international seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter”

    • Served as President of Pride Fighting Championship in Japan


GM Digital

Larry Schwartz

  • More than 25 years in MET (media, technology, and entertainment)

  • As GM of Digital, responsible for the development, expansion and monetization of Anthem’s digital footprint

  • Transformed a content producer to a digital media venture with 4x growth in revenue YoY. Represented client in structuring and AOL venture company; Direct-to-consumer social media platforms

  • President at Wordwave, a Highland Capital portfolio company, developing early voice search technologies; sold into customers including Cisco, Thompson Financial, and Wells Fargo.

  • Former management positions with Disney, General Electric (Six Sigma Certification), and Bloomberg; P&L responsibilities, key driver to $50M increase in revenue, market expansion


Head of Programming, Development & Multi-Platform Content at AXS TV

Sarah Weidman

  • Responsible for all Programming, Development and Content across AXS TV’s linear and digital platforms, including Original Productions, Acquisitions, On-Camera Talent Development and Content Strategy

  • 3x Emmy nominee with more than 25 years of broadcast and digital experience, as both a Producer and an Executive, including programming and development roles with NBCU / Style Network, Clevver Media, Viacom/MTV and Sony Pictures Television

  • Creative and strategic consultant for companies including Forbes Entertainment and The Design Network


Vice President, Sales

Anthony Burroughs

  • More than a dozen years of media sales experience

  • Oversees all Canadian ad sales

  • Nearly a decade selling for Canada’s leading sports networks -- Rogers Sportsnet and Bell Media - TSN

  • Helped launch TVA Sports for Quebecor Media

  • Managed sales for sporting events including NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, MLB World Series, NBA Finals, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, World Jr. Hockey Championships, UEFA Euro Soccer, FIFA World Cup Soccer, and the CFL Grey Cup.


President, Invicta Fighting Championships

Shannon Knapp

  • Oversees operations, production, talent relations and live events for Invicta FC

  • Founded Invicta Fighting Championships in 2012

  • 20+ years MMA industry experience with leading MMA organizations including the UFC, Strikeforce, Affliction, IFL, King of the Cage, WFA and SportFight


Vice President Administration and Operations

Carol McDaniel

  • Joined AXS in 2006, currently oversees Information Technology, Engineering, Post Production, Programming Operations, Traffic Operations and Master Control for AXS TV and HDNet Movies

  • Has over 25 years experience in media operations, production and promotion

  • Leads hardware and software integrations across departments and business units


Vice President Programming Game+ and Fight Network

Chad Midgley

  • More than 22 years of media programming experience​

  • 15 years as VP Programming & Content at Fight Network

  • 7 years in programming at The Score Television Network

  • Conceptualized, launched Fantasy Sports Network (now Game+) and Fight Network

  • Key roles on events involving, among others NBA, MLB, NHL, CFL, PGA Tour, UFC and multiple combat sports promotions


Vice President Business Development

Ariel Shnerer

  • Leading media rights distribution and coordinating across content and sales to develop growth strategies that maximize revenue and reach across the Anthem portfolio

  • Former roles with Anthem include General Manager Fight Network, Senior Director of Programming, Global Distribution & Communications for Anthem, overseeing growth initiatives and content strategy for assets across the Anthem portfolio, including execution of licensing agreements with major studios, distributors and content producers, as well as international launches across North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East

  • Former head of distribution for IMPACT Wrestling, spearheading the launch of the IMPACT Plus digital subscription platform, digital expansion with Pluto TV and Twitch, as well as international broadcast partnerships

  • Former combat sports analyst for FOX Sports and The National Post

  • More than 15 years of broadcast and media experience, covering programming, production, digital, technical infrastructure, marketing and communications