Veteran reality producer in line to become general manager
He’s one of the most colorful and experienced producers in the reality biz. Now he’s poised to add a senior executive post to his resume.Thom Beers is said to be in line to become general manager of FremantleMedia North America, the U.S. outpost of Fremantle that is home to “American Idol,” “The X Factor,” “America’s Got Talent,” “The Price Is Right” and other shows. FremantleMedia acquired a majority stake in Beers’ Original Prods. in 2009. Reps for Fremantle and Beers declined comment. Sources cau tioned that the appointment is not yet a done deal, but it is expected to be approved by Fremantle’s London-based corporate stewards in the near future. An exec post for Beers would fill a void at the company that opened in April, when former FremantleMedia North America CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz was called back to London to run the entire Fremantle operation. The specifics are still murky, but it’s expected that Beers would focus on the creative side of the business. Industry observers note that FremantleMedia North America has an experienced chief operating officer in Donna Redier Linsk. U.K. Fremantle alum Trish Kinane relocated to L.A. in June to serve as prexy of entertainment programming and oversee creative on the domestic branch’s three top shows: Fox’s “Idol” and “X Factor” and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Beers has a strong track record of developing reality franchises. He built Original into a powerhouse indie with such shows as Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” History’s “Ice Road Truckers” and “Ax Men” and his latest hit, A&E Network’s “Storage Wars.” He’s known as an adventurous, hands-on producer who often handles the voiceover work on his shows. Beers has some experience on the exec side. Before launching Original in 1997, he spent 11 years as a production exec and producer of unscripted series and specials for Turner Broadcasting.