Michael Jay Solomon
Michael Jay Solomon has been the largest distributor of American television content in the world for the last 35 years. He has pioneered the international marketplace for the American television industry.
Mr. Solomon began his career in film distribution by loading films onto trucks for United Artists at the age of 18, while attending New York University at night. In 1960, when he was 21, UA sent him to Panama to open the Central American territory for American films. He travelled to Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras, as well as Panama. He was then sent to Bogota, Colombia for a year and was then made manager of Peru and Bolivia, living in Lima. He was 24 years old and lived there for two years.
He was then hired by MCA, the largest producer and distributor of American television content at that time (now Comcast, Universal, NBC) to start their Latin American television division, and moved to Mexico City and Brazil to open their offices. He literally put most of the TV Networks on the air in Latin America. He was 26. He was then brought back to New York and given international responsibilities, travelling to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, besides Latin America. At 30, he was made a VP of MCA.
After eight years with United Artists and 14 years with MCA, he co-founded Telepictures Corporation in 1978 and went public 14 months later in January of 1980. He was Chairman and CEO. The Company started television syndication with a series called “People’s Court” which is still on the air after 32 years, and is the Godfather of all the court shows. They became the largest U.S. television syndication company and one of the largest international television distribution companies, as well as the owner and operator of six television stations in the U.S. (one in Puerto Rico), and the publisher of six magazines, including US Magazine, which they bought out of bankruptcy with Jan Wenner (Rolling Stone). Their stock went from $3.00 to $32.00 within a couple of years.
Seven years later Telepictures merged with Lorimar to form Lorimar Telepictures Corp. (American Stock Exchange), and he became the new company’s President, serving on its Board of Directors. Mr. Solomon, with his partners, led Lorimar Telepictures to become the largest television production and distribution company of American content in the world, producing TV series such as Dallas, Falcon Crest, Knot’s Landing, Alf, and many more at their studios, which was formally the MGM Studios and is now SONY Studios.
Four years later, Lorimar Telepictures was acquired by Warner Bros. Mr. Solomon then became President of Warner Bros. International Television, heading up the company’s sales and marketing to television, cable and satellite companies internationally. Under his leadership, Warner Bros. became the largest (by 2.5 times) TV program distribution company in the world. He was also responsible for investments in the telecommunications area internationally. He is a co-founder of HBO OLE (now HBO Latin America), the leading pay-tv service in Latin America. He opened the door to Western programming in China, Russia, India and many more third-world countries. He also co-founded the first satellite-delivered station in Scandinavia (SF Succe), co-owned a TV and feature film production company in India (Armitraj-Solomon) and France. He was the first international distributor of The Grammys, MTV and “E” Entertainment Channel, and is a Founder of the American Film Market Association.
Following a five-year tenure at Warner Bros., in which he increased international television revenues more than 400 percent and built a lasting international structure, Mr. Solomon left to launch his own television communications company, Solomon Entertainment Enterprises. He distributed independent TV product to the international market and formed a partnership with Canal Plus (France) and UFA (Germany) to produce TV movies.
For three years he created El Camino Entertainment Group, Inc. (now called North American Midway), the largest Midway operating company in North America, by consolidating six of the most important family-run companies in the U.S. and Canada, consisting of rides, food and games, serving state and county fairs. This business was bought out by a large investment fund, and then by a management buy-out.
He now focuses all of his time on Truli Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB/TRLI), which he founded, financed and of which he is Chairman and CEO. Under the website www.truli.com it is on the way to being the largest digital aggregator of content focusing on family and faith. Truli already has over 10,000 videos in high definition from features (G and PG rated), children’s and animation programs, music videos, documentaries and sports, as well as messages from over 250 churches in English and Spanish, and also has close to one million likes on Face Book.
Mr. Solomon serves on the Board of Overseers of New York University’s Stern School of Business (31 years). He is a Founder of The Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem, and was Founding Chairman of The Jerusalem Foundation of the West Coast of the United States. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the Actors Equity of China, being the first American to ever hold this post. In March 2013 he followed in the steps of many famous Americans in being nominated to receive the annual Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
He was educated at New York University’s Stern School of Business and Boston’s Emerson College, where he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree. He is a member of the international honor society, Beta Gama Sigma, which is the highest recognition a business student can receive anywhere in the world.