People/Biz

Off the Fence reorganizes executive ranks

Dutch non-fiction indie Off the Fence has reorganized its executive structure following the company’s full acquisition by ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm for German pubcaster ZDF, last month. With immediate effect, ...
February 26, 2019

Dutch non-fiction indie Off the Fence has reorganized its executive structure following the company’s full acquisition by ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm for German pubcaster ZDF, last month.

With immediate effect, Ralf Rüeckauer (pictured), VP of ZDFE.unscripted, the factual division of ZDF Enterprises, will share the title of CEO with Off the Fence founder Ellen Windemuth.

Rückauer will continue in his current role as VP of ZDFE.unscripted alongside his duties at the Netherlands-headquartered Off the Fence, which was founded in 1994 and produces and distributes documentary films and unscripted television series.

He has been with ZDF Enterprises since 2003, focusing on factual programming. In 2012, Rückauer was appointed to head of sales before being elevated to VP of ZDFE.factual one year later. He has served as VP of ZDFE.unscripted since the beginning of 2018.

“Ralf Rückauer is a proven expert in unscripted programming and has an excellent global network of long-standing industry contacts,” said Fred Burcksen, president and CEO of ZDF Enterprises, in a statement. “He is the perfect person to represent ZDF Enterprises and work with the Off the Fence B.V. team to advance our collective cause.”

“I have been working with Ellen Windemuth and Off the Fence for over 15 years,” Rückauer added. “Now we’re jointly leading a very young and international sales and production team that couldn’t be better positioned.”

Off the Fence Productions has created more than 500 hours of television content for a range of international broadcasters including History Channel, MTV, BBC, Channel 4, PBS and National Geographic. The Amsterdam-based factual producer creates content across multiple genres, including science, history, human stories, adventure and natural history.

Their work has garnered more than 80 awards, including Royal Television Society, Emmy and Golden Panda.

Meanwhile, the distributor has a catalog of over 6,500 hours of programming across wildlife, science, history, travel, people and culture, and lifestyle genres, including Love & Hip Hop and Kendra on Top. The company has sales offices in Amsterdam, London, Cape Town and Mainz.

(With files from Selina Chignall)

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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