FremantleMedia has appointed Ian Hogg as chief executive officer for FremantleMedia Australia (FMA), reporting to Simon Spalding, FremantleMedia’s regional CEO of Europe and Asia Pacific.
Working out of Sydney, Hogg will be responsible for the overall management and business performance of FMA and will lead its creative development. He will also be responsible for the development of programming for the Australian and international markets, and for representing FremantleMedia formats in Australia while working closely with FremantleMedia’s international operations. Hogg’s career has spanned stints with Australia’s Channel Ten, New Zealand’s NZTV3, and Sydney’s Becker Group Limited. He also founded Singapore-based media company Theatre Red Pte, and was most recently SVP and managing director for MGM Worldwide’s Asia Pacific region.
‘It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead such a respected and creative company,’ Hogg said in a statement. ‘With the television industry going through a period of structural change, there is no better time to be producing great content.’
Hogg replaces Mark Fennessy, who is leaving Fremantle in November to head up Shine Australia with his brother Carl. Shine’s Australian operation is due to open in 2010.
FremantleMedia Enterprises has also appointed a CEO for the EMEA regions. Mel Alcock, most recently the chief client officer for social media agency iCrossing, will be responsible for maintaining and enhancing the performance of FME’s operations across the core current EMEA markets of the UK, France and Germany, while also developing growth strategies for Turkey, Greece, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. He will be based in London and report directly to David Ellender, Global CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises.
‘There is already an exceptional team in place in the EMEA region, with excellent local knowledge and the ability to tap into the wider global FremantleMedia network,’ Alcock said. ‘I am looking forward to working with the team to maintain and maximize FME’s performance in the region, and around the world.’
Meanwhile, on the programming front, FME is bullish on its latest celebrity dance format. Let’s Dance, acquired from WhizzKid Entertainment, was launched at MIPTV last spring and follows celebs as they learn how to perform their favorite dance routines. The show has already sashayed to the pole position at BBC1, the No. 1 rated program in its time period across all demographics. It’s also launched recently in the Netherlands (RTL4) and Germany (SAT.1, with the local title Yes, We Can Dance) and will be headed Stateside in November via ABC.
FME will also be bringing the game show format Crash Course to MIPCOM. Having premiered in the U.S. this past August on ABC, the show pits teams with pre-existing relationships (fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, best friends) against each other in assorted extreme driving contests, with the winners receiving a cash prize. The American version is produced by A. Smith & Co.