Reporting to Sangeeta Desai, FremantleMedia’s chief operating officer and chief executive officer, emerging markets, Cavalcanti will be responsible for the overall management of the company’s day-to-day operations in Brazil and will focus on the development and production of programming for broadcasters across all platforms, working closely with FremantleMedia’s global production, licensing and sales operations.
Cavalcanti boasts an extensive background in TV production, having most recently served as production director at Brazilian media conglom Bandeirantes Group’s free-to-air channel TV Bandeirantes, and cable TV services Bandsports and Bandnews.
Her appointment comes as Brazilian TV quotas requiring cable operators to air 3.5 hours of Brazilian content in primetime every week has fired up independent production.
At the same time, FremantleMedia, part of leading European network RTL Group, is placing a larger emphasis on emerging markets in general, and Latin America in particular.
In January, FremantleMedia COO Sangeeta Desai added the job titles of COO and CEO, emerging markets, in which she was charged with looking at growth opportunities in markets like Latin America and Asia, where the company didn’t have as large a presence as it would like and aims to invest more resources.
In her new position, Cavalcanti will work a two-way street: reversioning opportunities for FremantleMedia properties and third-party shows sold by FremantleMedia in Brazil and generating original formats potentially for the international market.
“Paula is a highly experienced and talented creative with strong relationships in the Brazilian market. I have no doubt that her passion for program making and her creative vision will drive our business forward and build our presence in this important market,” said Desai.
“FremantleMedia has an unparalleled reputation for high-quality content, producing some of the most engaging and iconic brands in the world. It’s an exciting time to join the company, and I look forward to working with the team to create local content and to bring some of FremantleMedia’s leading brands to Brazilian audiences,” Cavalcanti added.
While at TV Bandeirantes, Cavalcanti led the production of all original productions across news, sports and entertainment programming including high-profile hit shows such as “Masterchef Brazil” and “Still Standing.”
Prior to her role at the Bandeirantes Group, Cavalcanti also worked as production director for SBT and Endemol Brazil, where she developed and produced shows including “Deal or No Deal” and “1 x 100” on SBT.
Cavalcanti replaces Daniela Busoli, who left FremantleMedia last month to set up her own company.
FremantleMedia Brazil productions include “Idols” (“Idolos”), “The Apprentice” (“O Aprendiz”) and “Password” (“Mega Senha”), and it has recently been working on the second season of “Hell’s Kitchen” (“Cozinha Sob Pressao”).
John Hopewell contributed to this article.