PARIS– FremantleMedia is set to ramp up its drama and entertainment biz in the Netherlands viz its two label brands, FourOne.Media and Blue Circle.
Willem Zijlstra will oversee all drama production through his label FourOne.Media, while Georgette Schlick will lead the Blue Circle entertainment label.
Zijlstra took the helm Blue Circle in 2009 and has produced some of Netherlands’ most popular entertainment shows, including “The X Factor,” and “Boer zoekt vrouw” (“The Farmer Wants a Wife”).
Schlick, meanwhile, joins FremantleMedia previously worked as CEO of SBS Broadcasting, where she oversaw the company’s three broadcast networks, SBS6, NET5 and Veronica, as well as Holland’s TV mag, Veronica Magazine.
Schlick will work closely with creative director Raul Ter Linden, who will continue to drive Blue Circle’s creative output. Both Zijlstra and Schlick report directly to FremantleMedia’s CEO, Cecile Frot-Coutaz.
“In the last few years, our drama and entertainment productions have enjoyed success in this highly competitive market. However, we’ve now reached the stage where we need to split the responsibilities for both genres if we are to grow further,” said FremantleMedia’s CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “By taking more of a label approach to our drama and entertainment output in this market, Willem and Georgette can (…) expand our scripted business while continuing to build on our world class entertainment operation.”
Willem Zijlstra, FourOne.Media CEO, said, “Given my long track record in drama, and FremantleMedia’s ambition to expand its focus in this area, it makes absolute sense for me to take on this more targeted role.”
The Netherlands is increasingly considered a hot spot for delivering hit drama and entertainment formats that travel worldwide. Warner Bros. is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Eyeworks, another leading Dutch player and has previously made offers to acquire Endemol, which is also headquartered in the Netherlands.