Talpa launches Middle East production office

The company, headed up by Ziad Kebbi (pictured), will represent Talpa's catalog across North Africa and the Middle East, and produce local versions of Talpa formats.
October 8, 2014

Global content company Talpa Media is launching a Middle East office, to be headed by production veteran Ziad Kebbi (pictured).

Talpa Middle East will represent the Talpa catalog across North Africa and the Middle East, as well as produce local adaptations of Talpa formats.

Kebbi, who remains as CEO of his own company, Maximum Media, was president of Sony Pictures Television Arabia prior to establishing his own prodco and has produced Arab versions of such global formats as The Voice, Deal or No Deal, Wheel of Fortune and Fear Factor Extreme. For Talpa Middle East, he will report to Maarten Meijs, managing director of Talpa Global.

“The Arab speaking region has been evolving rapidly, both on a technological and industrial level,” said Meijs in a statement. “With 350 million people spread over such a vast area in so many countries, it is clearly a region with many opportunities. We’re therefore very pleased to have Ziad Kebbi on board; he has worked with every broadcaster in the region and is thoroughly familiar with the Talpa catalog.”

The first production from the new Talpa outpost will be the third season of MBC’s The Voice Arabia, the pan-regional Arab adaptation of the Talpa format.

Talpa Middle East, with its office in Dubai, is the second fully-owned Talpa production office outside of its headquarters in The Netherlands, with the other being Talpa Media USA, formed in 2012. The company has also launched several joint ventures in assorted territories with existing prodcos, including Talpa UK, Talpa Italy and Talpa Nordic.

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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.