LONDON — Peter Salmon, the director of the BBC’s inhouse production unit BBC Studios, is leaving to become chief creative officer at TV production-distribution giant Endemol Shine Group, which is co-owned by 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management.
Endemol Shine also announced Tuesday that Emma Moloney, formerly general counsel at News Corp’s newspaper group News UK, will become its general counsel, leading the legal affairs team as well as overseeing the distribution business, working alongside Endemol Shine Intl. CEO Cathy Payne.
Salmon will lead the creative direction of the group’s worldwide network, which has 120 production companies in more than 30 markets and a portfolio of more than 600 titles across genres and platforms, produced in more than 50 languages. The slate includes “Big Brother,” “Black Mirror,” “Broadchurch,” “Deal or No Deal,” “Grantchester,” “Hell on Wheels,” “Humans,” “MasterChef,” “Peaky Blinders,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The Fall,” “The Tunnel,” “The Money Drop” and “Your Face Sounds Familiar.”
Salmon will have oversight of the U.K. business, working with Richard Johnston and Lucinda Hicks, CEO and COO of the U.K. business respectively. Globally, his brief will be “to champion ideas and further accelerate the rollout of content internationally across linear and digital platforms,” with the Creative Networks division, led by Lisa Perrin, also reporting to him.
Salmon has held numerous leadership positions in broadcasting and production at Channel 4, Granada TV, The Television Corporation and the BBC, where he has been controller of its flagship channel BBC One, director of sport and founding director of BBC North. Salmon is currently responsible for managing BBC Studios, the new production division being created within the BBC. He takes up his role as chief creative officer in early summer and will report to Endemol Shine Group CEO, Sophie Turner Laing.
Turner Laing said: “Peter is a true creative champion. His profound understanding of the creative process and respect for talent comes with an avid desire to reach audiences. His experience will be invaluable as we look to the future having successfully united our global business over the last year, and his enthusiasm for the new role is infectious. We look forward to welcoming him to the fold.”
Salmon is co-creator of Sport Relief, the £100 million ($140 million) charity initiative with Comic Relief, where he is a trustee. As controller of BBC One, Salmon commissioned “Waking the Dead,” “Holby City,” “Dinnerladies” and “My Family,” among others. At BBC Sport he won back rights to soccer highlights show “Match of the Day,” and pioneered sport online and the additional channels available through the red button at Wimbledon and the 2004 Athens Olympics.
He was chief creative officer of BBC Vision, overseeing in-house production including “Strictly Come Dancing” (known as “Dancing with the Stars” in the U.S.), “Top Gear,” “Dragon’s Den,” “EastEnders” and “The One Show.” As a program-maker he was on the original “Crimewatch UK” team and became its series producer, produced more than 20 programs at the Natural History Unit, and was executive producer for Wallace and Gromit Oscar-winner “The Wrong Trousers” from Aardman Animations.
His other industry roles have included CEO of independent production group The Television Corporation, controller of factual programs for Channel 4 and director of programs for Granada Television.
Most recently he established and ran BBC North, the 3,000 strong BBC production base near Manchester, and was director of BBC England, before taking his current position as director of BBC Studios in late 2015.
“Peter is a hugely talented TV executive and program-maker. He leaves with our thanks and with an exceptional curriculum vitae of achievement,” BBC director-general Tony Hall said. “I know that this job at Endemol Shine is one that Peter felt he couldn’t turn down. He has been a great servant of the BBC and I am sure he will be hugely successful in his new role.”
Since its formation in late 2014, Endemol Shine has had 733 productions air across 256 channels in 68 territories. These included Sweden’s number one drama “The Bridge,” Channel 4’s highest rating drama in 20 years “Humans,” Sky Atlantic’s most successful ever original drama “Fortitude,” France’s highest performing drama of the year, “L’Emprise,” and the U.K.’s number-one rated gameshow, “Pointless.” The last 12 months have also seen long-running international hits such as “Masterchef” and “Big Brother” ranking number one in key markets including the U.S.
New titles making their mark internationally have included “The Island” and “Hunted,” which have sold to multiple territories, as well as online video hits such as “ICON” and “Legends of Gaming.”