Talkback Thames undergoes change
“The X Factor” producer Talkback Thames will cease to exist Jan. 1 as part of a reorganization at the British production arm of FremantleMedia.Talkback Thames was formed eight years ago from the merger of its two constituent parts. In its wake, umbrella company FremantleMedia U.K. will bow, overseeing four new production labels: Thames, Talkback, Retort and Boundless. Run by Talkback Thames’ incumbent CEO Sara Geater, the production entities will be managed mainly by existing staff. Each will have a managing director, head of production and head of development. A spokeswoman said no job losses would be involved and the move was not driven by financial efficiencies. Geater said the aim is to give talent greater creative freedom and autonomy and win more new biz from broadcasters. She said under the new model senior management would be incentivized based on profits at their units. Thames will focus on entertainment and be led by the present head of entertainment Richard Holloway. It will be responsible for “The X Factor,” among other fare. Talkback will concentrate on comedy, while Retort will handle scripted comedy. Boundless is to concentrate on nonfiction: factual entertainment, features and specialist fare. “This new label structure allows us to showcase the amazing talent within our business by enabling us to be even more creative and innovative, to better respond to our customers’ needs,” Geater said. “We’re committed to developing inspiring entertainment for broadcasters and audiences.” FremantleMedia is owned by pan-European giant RTL Group.
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