Cohen’s media career started in New York in the mid-1980s when he worked with legendary music producer Brian Eno. His music industry days saw him involved in the Live Aid concerts, in the 1980s, before a move to TV at the start of the multi-channel era.
Relocating to London, he had stints at Discovery and BBC Worldwide, and was channel head of Bravo in the U.K. when he was just 22. He also worked at the Sundance Channel with Robert Redford.
Cohen was best-known in TV circles, however, for his time at Fox. He joined the studio in 2002 and was based in its London distribution office, overseeing the Nordics, Netherlands, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Cohen also drove the studio into the scripted format business, making deals for local versions of “Prison Break,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “Bones” in various territories. He left Fox in 2016.
Mark Kaner, president 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, said: “Our friend and colleague Yoni Cohen was a remarkable human being who enriched the lives of everyone he touched. The world is a much poorer place without him in it. Our thoughts and love are with his family.”
John Ranelagh, a well-known face in international TV as a former head of acquisitions at TV2 Norway, worked with Cohen and also paid tribute to him. “A star has gone,” he said. “Yoni was so bright, skilled and generous, respected in business; loved by many friends, and always great fun. He will be missed by all.”
A tribute book will be available to sign at the Twentieth Century Fox stand at Mipcom next week. An informal gathering will be held in the afternoon and evening of Oct. 27 at the Groucho Club in London, where Cohen was a member. He is survived by his daughter, Iris.