International production powerhouse Endemol has announced the formation of a global distribution operation. Endemol Worldwide Distribution, to be launched officially during MIPCOM, comprises the recently integrated Endemol International and Southern Star International and will be headed up by former Southern Star International chief Cathy Payne.
The new distribution division will operate out of eight offices spread across the globe. In addition to current Endemol distribution offices in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, new regional offices will open in Paris and Madrid later this year, with Los Angeles and Miami to follow in 2010. The combined entity incorporates 20,000 hours of content across multiple genres including drama, reality TV, game shows, entertainment, kids programming, animation and comedy. Endemol Worldwide Distribution will commence business with a client portfolio that includes approximately 400 broadcasters, licensees and producers.
Reporting to Cathy Payne will be Matt Creasey, executive sales director Americas, Asia, Australia/New Zealand and Veronique Verges, executive sales director Europe, Middle East and Africa. The Paris office will be staffed by Claire Taltas, sales director Benelux and French speaking territories, while in Madrid, Gisela Asimus-Minnbergh will handle sales director duties for Spain, Portugal, Italy and Africa. The sales director for Asia and the Middle East is Daniel Edwards in Hong Kong, and for Australia and New Zealand, it’s Kirsten Cargill in the Sydney office.
The company will also announce the hiring of an acquisitions executive to be based in Los Angeles in the coming months. That executive will be charged with increasing third party producer representation in North America, to complement the existing third party distro business from the UK and Australia.
‘Following Endemol’s acquisition of Southern Star at the beginning of the year we have been working on establishing a world leading distribution operation that will offer a first class service to broadcasters and both internal and third party producers alike,’ said Payne in a statement. ‘We are extremely excited about the launch of Endemol Worldwide Distribution and I couldn’t have greater confidence in the team we have assembled, which is among the very best in the business.’
‘The new division will debut with a fantastic line up of new Endemol shows and third party product this MIPCOM and we are looking forward to making a lot of noise in Cannes,’ added Endemol Group chief commercial officer Tom Toumazis.