23 Nov 2017
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Fremantlemedia restructures UK ops

MUMBAI: Television format creator and distributor FremantleMedia is restructuring its UK production business to reflect the changing demands in the television industry.

The company is bringing together its entertainment and factual labels – Thames, Boundless and Talkback – under one genre umbrella, focusing on unscripted content. The labels will continue to exist, but the new unscripted structure will allow all three teams to combine their expertise and work together more holistically.

Creative leadership for the new operation will come from Liam Humphreys, currently Channel 4 head of popular factual television, who has been hired as FMUK Unscripted CEO and who will report to FremantleMedia’s Group CEO, Cecile Frot-Coutaz.

FMUK’s drama and comedy businesses will continue to operate separately with Kate Harwood (MD, Euston Films) and Jon Rolph (MD, Retort) reporting directly to Frot-Coutaz, while FremantleMedia’s UK business will be represented at operating board level by its chairman David Liddiment.

Frot-Coutaz commented, “Unscripted has played a pivotal role in FremantleMedia’s success to date and will be critical to our future growth in the UK and globally. As the entertainment and factual genres increasingly bleed into one another, it makes sense to run these labels as a single entity with a greater focus in order to explore new areas and further expand our unscripted business.

“I’m delighted that Liam will be joining FremantleMedia to help us achieve this. He has a brilliant track record and combines strategic thinking with impeccable editorial judgement. His natural instinct for programmes has seen him consistently deliver some of the UK’s most influential and successful factual entertainment hits of the last few years.

“I’d like to thank Richard Holloway for doing a fantastic job as interim CEO over the last two and a half years, while concurrently managing Thames. I am very grateful for his support during this time and will continue to rely on him for his unrivalled understanding of entertainment and his ability to deliver programmes that attract millions of viewers week in, week out, in particular ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.”

Humphreys said, “Working at Channel 4 has been the most creatively fulfilling chapter of my career to date. It’s with sadness that I’m saying goodbye, but the opportunity to join Cecile and her talented team at Fremantle is one I couldn’t resist. I’m looking forward to helping the unscripted labels go from strength to strength and I couldn’t be more excited about the creative adventures that lie ahead.”

Holloway will continue to act as interim CEO for FMUK until Humphreys joins the business later this year.