TalkbackTHAMES to restructure as four labels

Splitting the company's output into four divisions focusing on factual, entertainment, comedy and comedy entertainment, the new structure will see the retirement of the talkbackTHAMES brand. (Pictured: CEO Sara Geater, who will now head up FremantleMedia UK)
November 23, 2011

FremantleMedia-owned, UK prodco talkbackTHAMES will undergo a restructure in the new year that will see the brand split into four divisions, each one focusing on a particular programming genre.

The four brands¬†– Thames, Talkback, Retort and Boundless¬†– will all be overseen by a new entity, FremantleMedia UK, led by current talkbackTHAMES CEO Sara Geater. The company says the restructuring, effective January 1, is designed to give its production talent “greater creative freedom and autonomy in order to deliver the best programs for customers.”

Each label will have a managing director, a head of development and a head of production. The factual label, Boundless, will take care of factual entertainment, factual features, and specialist factual to create what the company calls “a super factual label.” The division is currently recruiting a managing director, and the company says Michele Kurland, its current head of factual entertainment, will hold a “key role” in the new brand.

The long-standing brands Thames and Talkback will once again be separate within the company, with Thames concentrating on entertainment. Richard Holloway, the company’s current head of entertainment, will lead Thames, which will itself be split into two divisions: Thames Productions, led by Suzy Lamb, and Thames/Syco Coproductions, led by Andrew Llinares.

Comedy entertainment will fall under the Talkback brand, to be led by Dan Baldwin. Meanwhile, Retort, led by Jon Rolph, will focus on scripted comedy.

“We’re committed to developing inspiring entertainment for broadcasters and audiences, and I believe that this structure of labels with big ambitions will ensure we better serve our customers with bespoke propositions that will deliver them the hits of the future,” said Geater.

FremantleMedia UK will continue to invest “heavily” in the labels as well as offer support functions such as legal, HR and communications capabilities.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.