Endemol Poaches Key Exec For Scandi Production War

Top European independent producer Endemol Entertainment has jumped on the Nordic production band-wagon and will open its own pan-Scandinavian office in Stockholm after Jan. 1.

Endemol has thrown down the gauntlet to rival Kinnevik by poaching Gunilla Molund, until now production topper for Kinnevik-backed Strix, to head the new office.

The Dutch-based company already is present on TV3 in Denmark and Norway and TV4 in Sweden with glitzy gameshow and variety formats such as “The Soundmix Show” and “Love Letters,” but Endemol Entertainment president Peter Brouwer told Variety the company “for some time has wanted to have a more hands-on approach.”

The move to tap industry vet Molund, who also has worked at Swedish pubcaster SVT, comes just one month after Kinnevik media and entertainment arm Modern Times Group reshuffled its more than a dozen production outlets across Scandinavia, says MTG president Pelle Tornberg.

The nabbing of Molund from Strix, one of the largest Scandi TV production outfits and the dominant player in the new reshuffle, is expected to deal Kinnevik a major blow.

Endemol’s latest move puts it in competition not only with Kinnevik, but also with Svensk Filmindustri and Norwegian based Schibsted.

SF began shoring up its TV production side last year with the buyout of leading indie Wegelius. Schibsted last year began snapping up production bases across Norway, Sweden and Finland to feed current channels – which include commercial outlet TV2 and satcaster TV Pluss in Norway – as well as other planned outlets. Brouwer dismisses suggestions an all-out production war is starting up, adding he sees Kinnevik companies as “friendly competitors,” if not colleagues.

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