Henson ankles post as head of family firm

Exec to pursue helmer, producer ambitions

HOLLYWOOD — Brian Henson, helming son of the late Jim Henson, is ankling as chairman of the namesake family-entertainment company his father founded.

No successor will be named as there is no board at the Jim Henson Co., which is owned by German media group EM.TV. And in any event, EM.TV currently has the L.A.-based company on the sales block.

Brian Henson will continue to serve as exec producer on “Farscape,” a Henson-produced series on the Sci Fi Channel. He also will serve as consultant on future Muppets projects and will maintain professional space in the company’s L.A. and London offices.

“Many of you know that my greatest passions have been for film directing and television producing,” Henson said in a letter to employees. “I have come to the conclusion that in order for me to truly realize my ambitions as a director and producer, I must be able to focus 100% on my efforts there.”

In a statement, Henson CEO Charles Rivkin noted he and Brian Henson have been partners in the company for more than 10 years.

“As one of the most talented and creative individuals in our industry (Henson) has helped position the Jim Henson Co. as a leading family entertainment brand,” Rivkin said.

Blue-chip investment firm Allen & Co. has been conducting a search for Henson buyers for more than a year, and there have been recent indications the process finally may be wrapping up (Daily Variety, May 22.) But the only actual bid received to date is believed to be from Rivkin, who’s understood to have made a management-led buyout offer involving an unknown financial backer.