Former BBC Worldwide president and managing director Steve Macallister has been appointed CEO Zodiak Rights, the international sales and distribution arm of Zodiak Media. The exec is replacing Matthew Frank who is stepping down after 20 years. Frank originally joined the group when it was fledgling indie RDF which was founded by his brother David Frank. RDF was acquired in 2010 by Zodiak and became Zodiak Rights. David Frank left the role of CEO of Zodiak Media in October 2013 and was replaced by Marc-Antoine d’Halluin. Commenting on the departing Matthew Frank, d’Halluin said, “The scale of what Matthew has achieved over the last 20 years is remarkable, and I know he will be missed on both a professional and personal level and I wish him all the best. He leaves behind an incredibly successful and reputable business and I have every confidence that Steve will now take the company to its next phase.” Macallister joined BBC Worldwide in 2007 and prior to that managed the distribution business for Disney ABC International Television in Asia Pacific. He left the BBC in March 2013 as the commercial arm was shifting the management of sales and distribution to the regional level. Zodiak Media’s properties include Millennium, Wife Swap, The Inbetweeners, Totally Spies and The Returned.
Zodiak Rights, the international distribution arm of Zodiak Media, has named Caroline Torrance as its new Head of International Scripted. Torrance will run the scripted sales team in Paris and work with in-house and external producers on developing drama and comedy co-productions. She joins from BBC Worldwide where her title was Director of Scripted, Content and Production. Zodiak’s scripted production companies include Wallander producer Yellow Bird, The Inbetweeners producer Bwark and Paris-based Marathon which produces the long-running serial St. Tropez.
Zodiak Media (“Zodiak”) has announced that David Frank is to stand down as group CEO in mid-October and that Marc-Antoine d’Halluin will succeed him.
Frank was appointed Zodiak CEO in July 2010 when RDF Media Group (“RDF”) was acquired by Zodiak. Prior to that he was CEO of RDF, a company he founded in 1993.
Marc-Antoine d’Halluin has been appointed as the new CEO and will take up his responsibilities on 15th October 2013. A French national, since 2011 he has been a partner of Rubis Media Partners, a media investment and advisory practice. Prior to this he was CEO and President of pan-Arabic broadcasters Showtime (2006-2009) and Orbit Showtime Network (2009-2010). He was CEO of pay TV Scandinavian Platform Canal+ Nordic (C More Entertainment) between 2003 and 2005. He began his TV career with Sony Pictures in London in 1995 before moving to Fox Kids Europe (1997-2003) as Group MD, Channels.
Global Showbiz Briefs: No Charges Yet In French ‘Survivor’ Player’s Death; ‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets UK Streaming Record; More
Prosecutors: Charges Not Imminent In Death Of French ‘Survivor’ Contestant
French prosecutors in the Parisian suburb of Creteil have denied reports that they plan to open a criminal investigation into the March death of reality show contestant Gérald Babin. Babin suffered a heart attack during the first day of shooting on Koh-Lanta, France’s local version of Survivor, and a preliminary manslaughter inquiry was later opened. At the time, anonymous sources called into question the show’s handling of Babin’s collapse. But reports that surfaced in the French media this morning, which said the opening of an official judicial investigation was imminent, are incorrect. “You cannot set a timetable. No decision has been made,” prosecutors told AFP. Babin’s death preceded the April suicide of the show’s physician Dr. Thierry Costa, who left a note saying he was confident he had treated Babin “as a patient and not a contestant” but that he was distraught by “false accusations and assumptions” in the media. Koh-Lanta started airing in 2001 and is one of leading network TF1′s flagship series, drawing an average of 7.4M viewers. The network promptly shelved the 16th season and has yet to make a decision about the series’ long-term future.
‘Game Of Thrones’ Sets Streaming Record In UK
The third season of Game Of Thrones just became available on UK streaming service Blinkbox, resulting in a sales record with a 632% increase in revenue versus the same day last year. Owned by retail giant Tesco, Blinkbox is the only service currently carrying the season. The show airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and holds the top three spots in Blinkbox’s rankings. Much as UKTV did with its giant lake-bound Mr. Darcy in celebration of the launch of its Drama channel, Blinkbox installed a giant dragon skull on a Dorset beach to promote the S3 release of Game Of Thrones.
In what’s become an increasingly grim couple of weeks for reality television, a doctor working on TF1‘s Koh-Lanta, France’s version of Survivor, has committed suicide. Dr. Thierry Costa’s death comes a little over a week after contestant Gérald Babin died from a heart attack during filming of the first episode of the show’s 16th season in Cambodia. Production had already been shut down on Koh-Lanta and resulted in the cancellation of the entire 16th season. In a suicide note he asked be made public, Costa said he was confident he had treated Babin “as a patient and not a contestant” but said he was distraught by “false accusations and assumptions” in the media, according to local reports. Last Friday, Koh-Lanta producer Adventure Line Productions, a subsidiary of Zodiak media, said it would sue for defamation after information from an anonymous source, which called into question the on-site response of the production team and the doctor, was published by French media. A manslaughter inquiry has been opened into Babin’s death. Koh-Lanta started airing in 2001 and is one of leading network TF1′s flagship series, drawing an average of 7.4M viewers.
The death of a participant on TF1 reality series Koh-Lanta, the French version of Survivor, has resulted in the cancellation of the show’s 16th season. Gérald Babin suffered a heart attack and died on Friday during the first day of shooting in Cambodia following a “shipwreck” challenge. He was 25. Production ceased immediately and the other contestants were being flown back to Paris today. Over the weekend, a spokesperson for France’s leading commercial broadcaster TF1 said, “The show will not take place in 2013.” Koh-Lanta, produced by Zodiak Media subsidiary Adventure Line Productions, started airing in 2001 and has consistently won its timeslot, drawing an average of 7.4M viewers. The 16th season was expected to air next fall. TF1 and ALP said in a joint statement: “The teams from ALP, TF1 and (host) Denis Brogniart are devastated and join in the profound sadness of Gérald’s family. All of their thoughts are with his parents, his sister, his girlfriend and all those close to him.”
Zodiak Rights, the international distribution and rights exploitation arm of Zodiak Media, has hired Janet Robinson as VP Sales & Acquisitions, North America, where she will focus on selling Zodiak Media’s unscripted programs to the U.S. and Canada. She will be based in Zodiak’s LA office and report to Glen Hansen, SVP Sales, Acquisitions & Co-Productions, North America. Previously, Robinson was Sales Manager at ITV Global Entertainment, where she managed sales and programming revenues across North America and the company’s distribution partnership with Animal Planet/Discovery Enterprises.