Jonathan Koch is an Emmy Award-winning television producer, accomplished entrepreneur, and renowned team leader.
Jonathan is the former President and Chief Creative Officer at Asylum Entertainment, a Los Angeles based television production company that he built from the ground up along with his partner, Steve Michaels. His notable productions include the Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Kennedys, 30 for 30, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, and the acclaimed documentary feature film Happy Valley among hundreds of other scripted, documentary, and reality projects.
After graduating from Shippensburg University in his home state of Pennsylvania, Jonathan left for Los Angeles armed with $200 and an impeccable work ethic. After a couple of years of epic failure as an aspiring actor, Jonathan began his entertainment career in earnest, as a talent agent with The Barbara Cameron Agency, which quickly became a dominate player in the representation of young celebrities. After a couple of successful years at that post, Jonathan founded his own entertainment marketing company, Gravy Train Productions, which helped to create the celebrity branding industry by aligning star clients with companies, initiatives, and products. During that period, he was brought in as a partner to launch CelebritySightings.com, a proprietary intellectual property celebrity website which enjoyed a multi-million dollar sale to Alloy Online in 1999.
In 2003, after a brief stint in the creative trenches with Merv Griffin Entertainment, Jonathan was introduced to his business partner, Steve Michaels. The two have been at the helm of Asylum Entertainment for the past 15 years.
Asylum Entertainment’s most notable productions include the epic 8-part mini-series “The Kennedys” for which they received 10 Emmy® nominations and won four. Additionally, Asylum’s scripted division was nominated for four Emmy Awards on the television film, “Ring of Fire” starring singer/songwriter Jewel. For more than a decade, Asylum’s lifeblood has been unscripted television. Their notable unscripted projects include the 10-time Emmy nominated “Beyond The Glory,” ESPN’s “30 for 30,” “The Locator,” “Addicted,” “American Gangster,” “Beverly Hills Pawn,” “Flip or Flop-Nashville” and many many more. Asylum’s groundbreaking feature documentary “Happy Valley,“ which focuses on the gripping scandal that has rocked Penn State University, was recently featured at the famed Sundance Film Festival. To learn more visit: www.asylument.com.
In 2014, Asylum Entertainment was purchased by Legendary Entertainment for more than 100 million dollars. Legendary Entertainment has produced some of the most powerful and successful films of our times including Godzilla, 300, Pacific Rim, The Hangover, Batman Returns, and many more.
In January of 2015, everything changed forever.
While at a television producers conference in Washington DC, Jonathan became desperately ill. So ill, that in order to save his life, the doctors had to place him into a coma. A few harrowing weeks later, he woke up with both his mind and spirit intact.
Jonathan learned that he had survived septic shock, but that his body was severely compromised. Jonathan resolved not just to survive, but to thrive—for himself, for his teenaged daughter, and for his fiancée, whom he married right before he had the surgery that took all or part of all four limbs, including his right leg and left hand.
He spent the next 18 months rebuilding with several painful surgeries, multiple prosthetic fittings, and endless rehabilitation appointments. But day after day, he exceeded his doctors’ expectations. One doctor in particular, a pioneering surgeon, recognized that Jonathan carried the mental and physical strength to successfully receive a human hand transplant. One year later, Jonathan Koch made medical history when he received a new hand. Usually, it takes several years to learn how to use a new hand. Not with Jonathan. Four months later, he was back on the tennis court.
These days, Jonathan is busy sharing the message of his story all over the world. Jonathan lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jennifer. He finds purpose in coaching, leading and encouraging others to stand up and fight.
Jonathan and Jennifer in 2017 after Jonathan's hand transplant.