Rick Allen has run successful companies in nearly every form of media, and helped to develop or extend some of the country’s most prestigious brands. Rick is the founding CEO of SnagFilms, which he helped to create with Ted Leonsis. SnagFilms’ newest unit, ViewLift, is a unique platform helping media companies extend their audiences in the OTT, mobile and web world, via proprietary technology, leading industry relationships, and complementary additional content. SnagFilms is a leading distributor of independent films, with thousands of titles offered online and across all mobile and TV-connected devices, and also offers a tightly-refereed selection of films on all major pay platforms. The company owns and operates Indiewire, the independent film industry’s leading news service and blog network, twice named top entertainment site by the Webby Awards. Named in 2013 by Red Herring as a Top 100 company in North America and a 2014 Webby nominee, SnagFilms includes among its investors Mr. Leonsis, as well as Steve and Jean Case, New Enterprise Associates, Comcast Ventures, the Knight Foundation, Clark Enterprises and Terry Semel.
Allen joined Leonsis to produce Kicking It, which screened at Sundance, Tribeca and other film festivals and was aired globally by ESPN; for the film and their work on homelessness, Leonsis, Allen and colleagues received the 2009 Stewart B. McKinney Award from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. The two thereafter produced A Fighting Chance for ESPN, and a 2014 documentary, Lost for Life, televised in nearly 60 countries, including on Lifetime and the BBC.
Previously, as President and CEO of Sporting News, the country’s oldest sports media company, Allen led a revitalization that saw it named twice to Adweek’s annual “Hot List” as a top-10 media property. Earlier, he served as President and CEO of the for-profit arm of the National Geographic Society, responsible for television and film; interactive products, websites and e-commerce; maps; travel; retail; catalog; and consumer products. Under his leadership, the National Geographic Channel was launched and became one of the fastest growing cable channels in history. Before coming to National Geographic, Rick was a senior executive at Discovery Communications, parent of the Discovery Channel, where he extended the company’s brand into filmed entertainment, education, technology and retail.
He also served in the White House as a Deputy Assistant to President Clinton, helping to establish AmeriCorps (the domestic Peace Corps). Before his White House service, Allen was CEO of a privately-held group of 35 companies based in Los Angeles. He has written and lectured widely, and been active in civic affairs particularly dealing with education. He has received a number of industry honors. Rick and his wife have 3 sons.