Fremantle creates co-pro outfit

FME's Stern to run operation

LONDON — FremantleMedia is setting up a new co-production unit and has promoted Tony Stern, commercial director of FremantleMedia Enterprises, to head of co-productions.

The appointment of Stern marks a change in the strategic direction of Fremantle International Distribution, which will see greater emphasis on co-production and pre-sales as a means of covering any deficit required to fund a project, and brings together more closely the processes of development and production finance.

While continuing to work with indie producers, FID will also look to source new product from Fremantle’s production division, which comprises operations in 39 territories, with over 260 programs in production worldwide.

Commenting on the new co-pro outfit, Stern said: “The dramatic changes that have been occurring in the television market dictate that increasingly, broadcasters and producers need to look to alternatives to the fully-funded commission to generate quality programs.”

Stern will continue as commercial director of FME, which spans FID and L&M operations. FID distributes 19,000 hours of programming to 150 countries worldwide, including output from Fremantle production companies such as Grundy, Thames Television, UFA and ACI.

Stern reports to Catherine Mackay, CEO of FME, but will work closely with David Ellender, managing director of FID.

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