Mini Bio (1)
Shapiro energized and re-invented the Six Flags brand - making it more family-friendly, while still maintaining its signature reputation for record-breaking thrill rides. The strategy struck a chord with consumers and the business community. Six Flags recorded all-time high guest satisfaction scores in each of his four years as the company broadened its product offerings through the introduction of rides and themed areas for younger children based on popular franchises like Thomas the Tank Engine and The Wiggles, considered the most popular children's entertainers in the world. Inspired by the 25 million guests who visit Six Flags' network of 19 parks, Shapiro developed a Corporate Alliance Division to attract premium consumer brands like Papa John's, Nintendo, Mars Snackfood, Johnny Rockets, Cadbury and Discover Cards. Such initiatives resulted in a 20% increase in revenue per guest (in-park spending, corporate sponsorship and licensing fees). Shapiro directed the launch of Six Flags Media Networks which provided advertisers with comprehensive, multi-platform media opportunities via a variety of media touch points that went beyond that of traditional advertising. The division included Six Flags Television Network, a collection of digital assets that delivers nearly 100 million annual impressions, with approximately 20 million per month during peak season.
Shapiro also spearheaded Six Flags' international development, having announced a historic agreement with Tatweer, a member of Dubai Holding, to develop Six Flags Dubailand, the first exclusive Six Flags theme park outside of North America.
The Six Flags Entertainment portfolio grew and diversified under Shapiro's leadership. In 2007, the company acquired Dick Clark Productions, a leading independent producer of perennial hit television franchises such as the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, the Academy of Country Music Awards and So You Think You Can Dance. Six Flags had management oversight of the company, exploring logical synergies within its stable of parks to create a fully integrated entertainment platform. DCP's annual EBITDA performance jumped 40% in two years with Shapiro at the helm.
After engineering an operational restructuring in just three years and leading Six Flags in 2008 to its best earnings performance (EBITDA and Free Cash Flow) in the company's 48 year history, Shapiro guided the company through a chapter 11 financial restructuring in 2009, shedding $1.7B in legacy debt. This 11-month process was successfully completed in April, 2010 and cut the company's leverage ratio from nearly 13x EBITDA to just 5x EBITDA. Upon emergence from chapter 11, Shapiro left the company.
Shapiro was a partner with Tom Cruise in the actor's production company and was an Executive Producer of United Artists' 2008 film, "Valkyrie." Before joining Six Flags in 2005, Shapiro spent 12 years at ESPN, where he bore significant responsibility for many of the sports and entertainment properties that built the television network into one of the world's strongest multi-media brands. During his tenure, he garnered 16 Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards. Shapiro served as ESPN's Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, a position he assumed in September 2002. In this role, Shapiro was responsible for the development, acquisition, and scheduling of all programming for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, and oversaw all remote and studio production for ESPN's domestic and international entities, including the company's engineering and technical operations. His production responsibilities included ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN Radio, and ESPN International's worldwide networks. In 2002, Shapiro initiated the company's expansion into original proprietary programming with the launch of ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE), which encompassed the X Games, ESPY Awards, Tele-pics, ESPN Outdoors, including BASS and the Great Outdoor Games. EOE also debuted the company's first dramatic series, Playmakers, which was awarded a 2003 American Film Institute Award for its contribution to America's cultural legacy. Shapiro was coordinating producer of ESPN's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning SportsCentury: 50 Greatest Athletes series from January 1997 to December 1999.
Prior to ESPN, Shapiro worked in various positions for NBC Sports from 1989-92. He began as an intern for the network's SportsWorld series (1989), before being promoted to production assistant for a variety of events and shows, including the NBA Finals, the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, NFL Live, and the Breeders' Cup (1990-91). In 1991 and 1992 he worked on NBC's coverage of Notre Dame football as an associate producer, a role he held for the network's coverage of gymnastics during the 1992 Olympics from Barcelona.
In 2003, Shapiro was named one of the "Rising" stars in Entertainment Weekly's annual "101 Most Powerful People in Show Business." In 2004, Shapiro was listed among the top 10 in the Sporting News' "Power 100," for the second consecutive year. In 2005, he was named to the Sports Business Daily's "Top 40 Under 40" for the third consecutive year.
Shapiro serves on the board of directors for the Tribune Company, Live Nation Entertainment, Frontier Communications, Papa John's International and Equity Residential.
A Chicago native, Shapiro graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: dcp