Banijay Germany’s Good Times Founder Steps Down, Replaced By Shona Fraser
Sylvia Fahrenkrog-Peterson, the founder of Banijay Germany label Good Times, is stepping down after 25 years, replaced by Joint MD Shona Fraser. Fahrenkrog-Peterson opened the label in 1998, going on to oversee the likes of Mein Lokal, dein Lokal, Der Trödeltrupp and Armes Deutschland before Banijay acquired in 2019. Fraser, who joined recently and has been responsible for establishing Battle of the Reality Stars, Love Island and Naked Attraction in the German market, will take sole leadership, working closely with Chief Operating Officer Knut Kremling. “Together with the strong Good Times team, I am looking forward to creatively shaping the future of this production house, working closely with colleagues at Banijay,” said Fraser. “I’m a true fan of the existing portfolio and want to fully develop its potential, as well as exploring new exciting ways to captivate audiences with a fresh slate of programmes.” Banijay bolstered it German presence late last month with the acquisition of Sony Pictures Television Germany.
Goldfinch Behind John Bender Doc & Podcast
Goldfinch Group is forging Hell in Heaven, a documentary series and podcast based on the death of Wall Street millionaire John Bender at his Costa Rican jungle mansion. The projects are the first fruits of Goldfinch’s non-fiction IP incubator Selectors, which has tied with Cineflix Productions on the doc, with Michael Stephenson (Best Worst Movie, Girlfriend’s Day) attached to direct, and Blanchard House on the podcast. Bender moved with his wife Ann Patton to Costa Rica but was shot and killed in 2010, and Patton has since spent time in prison for the murder, which she claims was suicide. Run by William Ralston, Selectors describes itself as an incubator “for the world’s finest long-form non-fiction narrative IP and writers.”
WaterBear Promotes Sam Sutaria In Restructure
Off the Fence-owned environmental streamer WaterBear has rejigged its leadership team, upping VP Strategy and Business Development Sam Sutaria to Co-Chief Executive Officer, VP Marketing Poppy Mason-Watts to Chief Growth and Impact Officer, Louis Botha to Chief Financial Officer and bringing in Deloitte’s Jonny Siskind as VP of Business Operations. Sutaria will run the platform jointly with founder Ellen Windemuth, who moved full time to WaterBear late last year, at which point Off the Fence CEO Bo Stehmeier took full responsibility for the company. Launched with the support of Prince Harry in 2020, the streamer is dedicated to the future of the planet and hosts and commissions a wealth of environmental shows. “As we look to the future of the company, I know these changes within our leadership team will bring new perspectives and experiences that will help accelerate our continued growth and deliver even greater impact for all of WaterBear’s growing community and many stakeholders,” said Sutaria.