Magilla Entertainment is a production company recognized as one of the leaders in the field of non-scripted TV. Magilla is owned by longtime colleagues and executive producers Matthew Ostrom and Laura Palumbo Johnson; each of whom have been active in the television world collectively and individually for over 15 years. Whether producing, line producing, writing, directing, and/or creating and selling television, they have worked with a wide variety of media outlets including: ABC, AMC, Bravo (The Rachel Zoe Project), CMT (Bayou Billionaires), Discovery (Moonshiners, Dual Survivor), DIY, E!, Food Network (Chopped), FX, HGTV (Celebrities at Home, My Favorite Place) HBO, Lifetime (Glamour Belles), MTV (Totally Clueless), Oxygen (Jersey Couture), Style, TLC (Long Island Medium, LA Ink), Travel Channel, truTV, History Channel (Swamp People) and VH1.
Matt and Laura possess a diverse background, having worked on all forms of non-scripted television – docu-reality, celeb-reality, competition reality, scripted hybrid, makeover, hidden camera, game show and talk/variety shows. They met 10 years ago on the TLC series, Help Wanted, and reunited in 2009 to form Magilla Entertainment.
Matthew Ostrom – Owner and Executive Producer Matthew began his television career as an Associate Producer for the fX network, as well as a co-host on Sound fX, a live music show. Since then, he has written, directed and created hit television series. He has Executive Produced such hits as Long Island Medium for TLC, Moonshiners for Discovery and Swamp People for History. Prior to founding Magilla, Matt served as Vice President of Current Series and Development for Original Media. There, he oversaw the creation and execution of over 20 pilots and test tapes, resulting in 12 series. He is currently Executive Producing 14 series and 10 pilots for a multitude of networks.
Laura Palumbo Johnson – Owner and Executive Producer Laura Palumbo Johnson is Partner and Executive Producer at Magilla Entertainment with longtime colleague, Matthew Ostrom. Magilla is recognized as a leader of non-scripted television and works with a wide variety of media outlets including: CMT (Bayou Billionaires), Discovery (Diesel Brothers, Moonshiners, Devil’s Canyon, Tickle), FUSE (Warped Roadies), HGTV (Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Lakefront Bargain Hunt, Beachfront Bargain Hunt Renovation, Castle Hunters, Celebrities at Home, My Favorite Place), History (American Ripper, Road Hauks), Lifetime (Glamour Belles), MTV (Totally Clueless, Meet the Benjamins), Oxygen (Jersey Couture), TLC (Long Island Medium, Rattled) and VH1 (The Gossip Game).
Before Magilla, Laura joined start-up City Lights Television, where she became Senior Vice President of Production Operations, supervising over 400 hours of programming and 2,000 webisodes. She created their International Development division brokering hit formats worldwide, such as Food Network’s hit show Chopped.
Laura possesses a diverse background, having worked on all forms of non-scripted television – docu-reality, celeb-reality, competition reality, soft scripted, makeover, hidden camera, game show and talk/variety shows.
Laura graduated from SUNY Albany with a bachelor’s degree in English and a double minor in Journalism and Film Studies. Laura also attended the NY Film Academy in NY.
Jason Fox – President With over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry Jason oversees development, organization and implementation of the overall business strategy of Magilla Entertainment. Prior to joining Magilla Entertainment, Jason was an agent in the New York office of the non-scripted division of the Creative Artists Agency. Fox began his career as a political reporter for New York 1 News before entering the mailroom at the William Morris Agency in 2002. Fox graduated with honors from Rutgers College of Rutgers University with a degree in both Journalism and Politics.
Valerie Smaltini – SVP, Production Operations Valerie Fisher Smaltini began her career as audio assistant at a post mixing house, learning all aspects of television operations. She spent 10 years at Food Network’s New York headquarters heading up production operations. After Food, she managed various projects for clients including DIY, Lidia Bastinach and PBS, and at indie production companies, New Animal Productions and Tapestry International, where she was part of the Emmy award winning team of “Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye.” She has served as adjunct faculty at Brookdale Community College, where she taught multi-camera production. Smaltini is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.
Josh Abrahamson – VP, Development Hailing from Fargo, North Dakota (with only a slight accent), NYC was a big change for Josh. He first met Laura and Matt while interning in NYC on the TLC show, Help Wanted about 10 years ago. After completing his Film/TV BA at Montana State University, Josh returned to the Big Apple and began working with Laura at City Lights Television as Show PA on Marcus Samuelsson’s first TV project, Inner Chef. Over the following years, Josh worked his way through all the significant positions, to eventually direct and produce 8 seasons of HGTV’s Don’t Sweat It and other numerous projects with various companies like Notional, RDF Media, and Yahoo. He was later reunited with Laura and Matt as a part of the development team at Magilla Entertainment.
Drawn to the relentless creativity, challenging odds, and ever-evolving landscape of development work, Abrahamson finds his Midwestern work ethic and upbringing advantageous in reaching and breaking through new ground wherever the job takes him. He is constantly searching for the stories that surround us, and is stockpiling an odd collection of experiences that he embraces fully.
Sabine Kertscher – VP, Post Production Sabine Kertscher has extensive experience in post-production management with a strong practical and technical background in both feature film and TV. In a career spanning over 12 years, she has worked with internationally renowned filmmakers and post-houses. At Mill Film London, Sabine landed her first job as a 2D vfx artist on Ridley Scott’s academy award-winning Black Hawk Down. She then went on to work as a 2D Compositor on blockbuster films including Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life (Jim Henson’s Creature Shop), Pierce Brosnan’s Evelyn and for directors such as Tim Burton and Bruce Beresford. Since moving to NYC in 2004, she has worked as a post-production supervisor and workflow consultant for many production companies. Sabine holds an MA in History of Art, Musicology and Philosophy.
Dominick Pupa – VP, Current Series As the Vice President of Current Series at Magilla, he also serves as the Co-Executive Producer of Long Island Medium. Prior to joining Magilla, Dominick was Emmy-nominated for his work in daytime, and served as a producer or EP on some of the biggest hits of the reality age, including: Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta, Blood Sweat & Heels, Real Housewives of New York, and Don’t Be Tardy for the Wedding, ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Wife Swap, Logo’s The A-List: New York, and Style Network’s Married Away and Whose Wedding Is It Anyway. Outside of his career in television, Dominick is also a comedy writer and performer, recently performing at Carnegie Hall. He has a bulldog named Gravy, who was recently described by his neighbor as “the ugliest creature I have ever seen.”
Courtney Maglione – VP, Talent With over 10 years experience in television, Courtney Maglione has cast shows in production and development for a multitude of networks. She joined Magilla in 2011 as a development producer, working on pilots including Totally Clueless, Warped Roadies, America’s Worst Tattoos and Beachfront Bargain Hunt. With a keen eye for discovering talent, she aided in the growth of Magilla’s casting department and took on the role as VP of Talent. She began her career in production at MTV Networks working on shows such as Room Raiders, My Super Sweet 16, and Total Request Live. Courtney became a go-to casting director for many of the networks live events, specials, and promos. In addition to working in non-scripted television, Courtney has cast national commercial spots for companies such as Honda, Best Western and AAA as well as several independent films. Courtney graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism.
Marc Palumbo – VP, Information Technology & Facilities Marc has over 17 years of professional experience in the field of Information Technology, with a background on information security, systems administration, networking, and technical support. He has worked, consulted, and led various IT departments in a variety of industries, including advertising, financial software, hospitality, and health care, and, currently, with the television industry at Magilla Entertainment. His expertise lies in moving companies forward with the right use of technology to fit the company’s needs. He holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from LeMoyne College.
Mark Ragone – General Counsel Mark has more than 15 years experience as an in‐house entertainment and intellectual property law attorney. As Magilla’s General Counsel, Mark is responsible for negotiating, drafting and reviewing a wide variety of agreements in connection with Magilla’s operations, production personnel, television series and related projects. In addition, Mark counsels and advises Magilla’s executives in connection with all facets of Magilla’s operations and corporate strategy. Prior to joining Magilla, Mark was the EVP of Legal and Business Affairs for City Lights TV, a New York based TV production company, where he handled the business and legal affairs for the company and its related TV and Film divisions. Before City Lights, he served as the Head of Business Affairs for the New York based Indie Palm Pictures, where applied his expertise in connection with film, TV, video, music, new media and related entertainment business agreements for all of Palm’s entities and as well as for projects marketed and distributed by all major film and TV distributors. Prior to joining Palm, Mark practiced law in the private sector with prominent entertainment law firms and represented various independent and major film and music companies and related films (Sling Blade, Tumbleweeds, Black and White, American Buffalo, Outside Providence) and talent (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync). He received his JD from Hofstra School of Law and holds a B.A. from Hofstra University School of Government and International Affairs.
Judi Chandler – CFO Judi Chandler began her career analyzing client profitability and designing reporting systems for an ad agency. After earning a BS in accounting, she assumed the role of controller for the agency. Later Judi applied her knowledge of project based accounting to a controller role in a theatrical prop production house. The position grew to include human resources, benefits administration and oversight of IT and administrative functions. When the company merged with a prop rental house, Judi was responsible for consolidation of the accounting records, banking, benefits, and IT functions. Her role at Magilla Entertainment includes oversight of production payroll, corporate accounting, financial reporting, benefits, HR, tax filing, and treasury management.