Endemol North America has named 51 Minds exec Ben Samek (pictured, right) as its chief operating officer, and promoted Endemol USA exec Rob Smith (left) to the expanded role of exec VP of creative affairs.
Samek, who was most recently COO at Endemol-owned 51 Minds, will oversee business development and strategy, as well as operations for the company, including its recently launched multi-channel network Endemol Beyond USA.
Meanwhile Smith, who was previously exec VP of programming for Endemol USA, will oversee the company’s development and production slate and will continue to oversee current programming and the studio’s portfolio of shows, including Steve Harvey and Wipeout.
Both Samek and Smith are based in LA and will report to Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, co-chairmen and co-CEOs of Endemol North America.
In a statement, Abrego said of Samek: “He is a talented producer with exceptional instincts for creative and business development and execution and a keen sense of strategic vision for entertainment. He will be a driving force in capturing revenue opportunities and forging creative partnerships on behalf of Endemol North America.”
Corwin added of Smith: “He has been the key point person for producers and network executives since the beginning, for Endemol’s powerhouse brands like Steve Harvey, Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor; it is rare to find an executive with a solid track record for success in primetime, cable and in daytime syndication.”