New hire for RDF unit

Distrib unit draws acquisitions topper

RDF Media Group has named Martin Rakusen head of acquisitions and commercial development for the company’s distribution arm, RDF Rights.

Rakusen last served as commercial director for drama, entertainment and children’s programming at the BBC Commercial Agency, where he spearheaded the upcoming HBO co-production “Five Days” and the BBC America conspiracy thriller “State Within.”

In his new capacity, Rakusen will head up a new drama team at RDF Rights, reporting to group commercial director Debbie Manners. He will be charged with seeking out co-production and deficit financing deals in the drama, comedy and children’s programming genres.

“As RDF moves further into these key genres, Martin brings fantastic experience, both in raising co-production finance and in his knowledge of the U.K. and international distribution markets,” Manners said.

Rakusen will also be responsible for sourcing programs to format on behalf of Stateside division RDF USA, which under Chris Coelen is aggressively working on a move into the scripted arena. U.S. unit currently produces reality programming, including ABC hit “Wife Swap.”

“We’re really looking forward to utilizing Martin’s relationships and experiences on the scripted side,” Coelen said. “We’ll now be able to reach out with broadcasters not only in the U.K. but in the other parts of the world that regularly do business with Martin.”

Before BBC, Rakusen was an acquisitions manager at Target Entertainment.

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