L.A. Studios Taps Producer to Lead Unit

LOS ANGELES Independent audio post-production company The L.A. Studios, Inc. has appointed Jonathan Whitehead general manager, operations and sales at its West Side Los Angeles facility, Margarita Mix de Santa Monica, the company said.

“This management role uses a lot of the same skills as producing,” said Whitehead, 47, most recently a freelance producer and client of the studio, which also operates facilities in Los Angeles and Hollywood, Calif. “I’ve worked with many of the engineers here before, so it’s a really nice fit.”

Whitehead said he will be responsible for overseeing “the smooth functioning of all aspects of the facility,” which has a client base ranging from advertising agencies to videogame developers to music-video and feature-film companies. Recent studio projects include HBO’s Deadwood, commercials for ESPN, and hip-hop videos by 50 Cent and Usher.

In addition to managing daily operations, Whitehead will work with The L.A. Studios’ president and CEO, Jesse Meli, to develop strategies for the company’s long-term growth, sales and branding.

Prior to joining the studio, Whitehead’s experience included “work in the ad business in one capacity or another for more than 25 years,” he said. He has served as vp and director of broadcast productions for the Los Angeles office of D’Arcy Worldwide; as visual effects supervisor on the McDonald’s account for Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett; and as executive producer on Toyota at Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi. His freelance efforts include work on the Kia account for independent davidandgoliath; Suzuki for Dentsu’s Colby & Partners; and Mattel for WPP Group’s Young & Rubicam.

Whitehead, who lives in Torrance, Calif., with his wife, Cathy, and two teenage sons, said the Margarita Mix moniker is due to the facility’s “upscale, hacienda” style. With authentic Mexican decor and a wooden door relocated from a 17th-century Spanish monastery, “it’s definitely not a Tijuana motif,” he laughed.