EXCLUSIVE: Veteran TV executive Sandra Ortiz will be leaving Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment at the end of her contract in February 2023. Ortiz, who joined Kapital as head of business operations four and a half years ago, has been working remotely since returning to her home town , Albuquerque, NM, last year. She hopes to continue to consult for Kapital after she steps down from her full-time post next year as she scales back following more than 35 years in the media and entertainment business.
“I have always been happiest when challenged, and I am grateful to Aaron for allowing me to be part of Kapital. The challenges of the past five years have been amazing!” Ortiz said. “There is never a good time to make way for the next person, but with Kapital having made the transition from an emerging studio to a successful studio with production happening domestically and internationally, now seems like the right time.”
Ortiz, a 25-year Fox veteran, had played an important role in Kapital’s success from the company’s inception, even before she joined as an executive at the start of 2018. Former WMA agent Kaplan’s first series as a producer was Terra Nova at Fox and 20th TV. Ortiz, who was the BA executive on the futuristic drama, taught him details about the business aspects of the production process. She remained Kaplan’s close confidant after the end of Terra Nova and worked with him on other series in her role as Fox21’s head of BA, including the Kapital/Fox 21 Showtime drama series The Chi.
“As an executive producer on both Terra Nova and The Chi, i was always so grateful for Sandra’s honesty, kindness and transparency,” Kaplan said.
As he steered Kapital toward becoming a fully fledged independent studio, Kaplan brought in Ortiz to help him navigate the deal- and decision-making process.
“For the past five years, Sandra has been an incredible partner, helping to navigate the challenges of an ever changing business,” Kaplan said. “Her relationships with both the business and creative community are unmatched and we at Kapital will miss her greatly.”
Kaplan will use the upcoming months to find a replacement for Ortiz ahead of her departure.
At Kapital, Ortiz worked on the company’s slate, which includes A Million Little Things and Women of the Movement at ABC, The Neighborhood at CBS, American Auto at NBC, animated comedy Housebroken at Fox and Shining Vale at Starz.
Ortiz’s 25-year tenure at Fox included stints in domestic syndication, 20th Century Fox Television and more recently at Fox 21, and she worked on projects ranging from animation – The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers and Futurama to award-winning dramas such as Feud, American Crime Story (both The People v. OJ Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace); The Americans, Homeland, Genius and Sons of Anarchy. Ortiz started her career in entertainment at KCET when it was part of the public television family, and later was hired by Disney as General Counsel to KCAL (prior to Disney’s acquisition of ABC).
A graduate of Stanford Law School and Stanford University, with a Masters from USC in journalism, Ortiz also spent two years (2001-2003) at USC on the faculty of both the USC Gould School of Law and the Annenberg School of Journalism, running a media policy center and teaching in both the law school (entertainment law) and in the graduate program of the journalism school (media policy).