Endemol Shine UK is shuttering 20-year-old indie Princess Productions by the year’s end.
The decision comes on the heels of a full scale, 10-week review of the production studio conducted by Endemol Shine UK’s CEO Richard Johnston and COO Lucinda Hicks. The appraisal process was initiated by the impending closure of Princess’s TV studio and in-house post-production facility to redevelopment, coupled with Emma Hardy’s decision to step down as managing director in July.
Existing productions, and their production teams, will be relocated to appropriate Endemol Shine Group companies over the course of the year. Current series include Channel 4′s Sunday Brunch (pictured) and Taxi of Mum and Dad; BBC2′s recently commissioned The Mash Report (w/t); and Channel 5′s The Wright Stuff, which will run the course of its contract until the end of the year within Princess.
“This is not a decision we are taking lightly and we have carefully considered all potential options for Princess Productions,” said Johnston in a statement. “However taking into account the costs involved in moving the studio shows, the makeup of Princess’s upcoming slate and Channel 5′s recent decision to put The Wright Stuff out to tender we can see no alternative to this difficult commercial decision.
Princess Productions is home to 120 employees, the majority of whom are on fixed-term contracts assigned to specific productions. As such, they will move internally with the shows or their contracts will be seen through to completion.
Approximately 40 permanent jobs will be affected when the studio shuts its doors by year’s end. The company will undergo a consultation period to determine whether there is an appropriate role needing to be filled within the wider group, a spokesperson with Endemol Shine Group told realscreen.
Founded in September 1996 by Henrietta Conrad and Sebastian Scott, the West London-based firm specialized in entertainment and fact-ent programming.
The indie was originally acquired by Shine in 2006 before being merged into the Endemol Shine Group banner in 2014.
“The Princess team currently deliver 13 hours of high quality live television each week, and it is our priority to ensure that these shows, along with the other existing entertainment titles, are not impacted in any way,” added Hicks. “As such we will be working closely with the individual broadcasters and the incredibly experienced production teams at Princess to ensure a smooth transition.”
“Our industry is constantly evolving, with entertainment in particular going through a period of change in recent years, and in order to stay ahead of the market we need to regularly review our structure and investment,” Johnston further stated.