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Ran Telem Exits Keshet, Assaf Blecher Tapped as VP of Development

Ran Telem, Keshet Broadcasting’s longtime VP of programming and content, is exiting the Israeli media powerhouse after more than a decade with the company. With his exit, Assaf Blecher, who has been based in L.A. for 10 years while serving as managing director of Keshet DCP — Keshet International’s joint venture with DC Media — has been tapped as VP of development and content.

Telem served with Keshet for 15 years and was VP of programming and content for the past eight years. Under his tenure, Keshet brought to life some of the company’s biggest hits, including “Homeland” and its Israeli predecessor “Prisoners of War,” and expanded its global arm with outposts in the U.K., Australia and China.

Keshet hasn’t commented publicly on Telem’s exit but pundits in the Israeli media speculate that after a decade and a half at the company’s helm, exhaustion played a role. The departure is clearly amicable: Keshet threw the exec a star-studded farewell party earlier in the week. Telem told Variety on Thursday that his decision to step away from Keshet was a “mutual feeling” before saying that he wished Blecher the best of luck.

“It’s an incredible place he is stepping into,” Telem said of the role, adding that he is still deciding where he is heading next, but hopes to find a job “where I can bring everything I learned at Keshet and take it to the world.”

Blecher, who was born and raised in Israel, is a longtime Keshet exec. He has served as both VP for development and programming for TV and digital for Dick Clark Productions, and managing director of Keshet DCP, where he managed programming and development for the past two years. Some of hits include “Boom!,” which launched in Israel and then aired on Fox in 2015, as well as the fourth-wall-busting talent show “Rising Star,” which was wildly popular in Israel before its more tepid debut on ABC on 2014.

Like Telem, Blecher will report directly to Keshet CEO Avi Nir. He will be tasked with developing non-scripted game, entertainment and reality content for both Israel’s Channel 2 — the nation’s leading commercial channel — as well as for international clients.

Nir touted Blecher’s international resume in making the announcement of the shuffle.

“Assaf’s experience in the U.S. and U.K., combined with his Israeli background, will be invaluable to us as we continue Keshet and Keshet International’s momentum in creating new, groundbreaking shows, both locally and internationally,” Nir said Thursday.

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