A job ad was put out last week for the newly-created post, which will see a senior exec join EVP Global Content Julie Meldal-Johnsen’s team. Meldal-Johnsen’s division focuses on co-production, development, strategy and marketing across labels to “secure the content pipeline for ITV Studio’s international distribution business.”
The successful person will “account manage natural history and factual production companies, and ITV Studios labels both in the UK and internationally; meaning overseeing the pipeline of programming from them into the distribution business, both commissioned and at development stage,” according to the ad.
ITV Studios is seeking someone with “significant experience working in natural history sales,” who has a proven track record in deal-making and a capacity for “entrepreneurial thinking.”
The move to strengthen Meldal-Johnsen’s Global Content team comes around a year after ITV acquired a majority stake in Plimsoll that valued the Hostile Planet and Tiny World producer at £131M ($162.3M). The acquisition remains one of the biggest in UK TV M&A for years and laid down a marker for ITV’s ambitions in the natural history space. Plimsoll’s distribution outfit Magnify Media was recently taken over by ITV Studios and Andrea Jackson became the outfit’s Creative Director of Factual Entertainment.
At Mip TV, distribution boss Ruth Berry said she is thinking about “how we can take natural history brands to different places,” adding: “Natural history can be quite a closed genre so this is a brilliant opportunity for us to enter the space and it has gone from strength to strength.”
ITV Studios also owns the likes of Secrets of the Elephants producer Oxford Scientific Films, while the new recruit will be expected to work with third parties.
The news comes at a time of change for ITV Studios globally. Berry was recently promoted to a newly-combined finished tape/formats role in the rebranded Global Partnerships division, with Arjan Pomper departing, which has seen her take charge of a catalog of around 90,000 hours and more than 250 formats.
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