Thom Beers, CEO and executive producer at Los Angeles-based Original Productions, is the new CEO of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), effective September 1.
Beers, the creative force behind recent reality hits such as the Emmy-winning Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers and Storage Wars, is succeeding Cécile Frot-Coutaz as CEO for the American Idol producer’s North American arm. Frot-Coutaz was named CEO of FremantleMedia in July, replacing Tony Cohen, and Beers will report to her.
Beers will be responsible for FMNA’s overall management and business performance and will oversee the development, production and business operations of over 600 hours of programming.
“Thom Beers has a creative vision that has placed Original Productions, the company he founded, at the forefront of the industry,” said Frot-Coutaz in a statement. “Thom’s multi-award winning combination of experience, innovation and expertise has made Original a dominant force on U.S. primetime cable networks, and as an existing member of the FremantleMedia family he has a deep knowledge of our people, our company and our operations around the world.
“Thom is the perfect choice to take the helm of FMNA as it continues to grow, and we are very pleased that he has agreed to build on his successful leadership of Original and take on responsibility for FMNA.”
“I’m very excited to be taking on the challenge of leading FremantleMedia North America,” added Beers. “FMNA has an unrivaled position in the largest television market in the world, creating some of the best loved, most successful television shows on the planet.
“Working closely in all areas with COO Donna Redier Linsk, we hope to strategically grow and expand our reach. The company’s productions and the teams behind them are amongst the most innovative and creative in the industry, and I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead the company.”
FremantleMedia purchased a 75% majority stake in Original Productions in 2009, and in 2011, Beers told realscreen that he “couldn’t be happier” with the arrangement.
“It’s the greatest relationship I ever had,” he enthused at the time. “Their constant question to us is, ‘Are we leaving you alone enough?’”
Prior to founding Original Productions, Beers held positions with Turner Broadcasting and with Paramount’s syndicated television division. He was VP/supervising producer for Turner Original Productions and also a VP of development for TBS Productions, and also held the post of series producer for the series Wild Things while at Paramount.
In June, Trish Kinane, previously president of worldwide entertainment for FremantleMedia, was named president of entertainment programming for FremantleMedia North America, a Los Angeles-based position.
(Photo: Thom Beers at realscreen‘s Factual Entertainment Awards, by Rahoul Ghose)