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Newen Studios Promotes Bibiane Godfroid as Chairwoman; Appoints Romain Bessi

Newen Studios (“Versailles”), the Paris-based media company owned by French network group TF1, has promoted its content chief Bibiane Godfroid to the position of chairwoman.

The appointment of Godfroid follows the clearance from the Competition Authority allowing TF1 to acquire the residual 30% stake in Newen Studios and become its full owner.

Godfroid, a well-seasoned TV executive who joined Newen in 2005 as deputy CEO of content, will succeed to the company’s founder Fabrice Larue who is stepping down to pursue new projects.

Upon becoming chairwoman, Godfroid has tapped Romain Bessi, a former top-ranking executive at Studiocanal, to head international activities, distribution, animation along with financial and legal matters.

Bessi comes with a strong track record. While at Studiocanal, where he was CFO and head of TV series, Bessi played a key role in spearheading the expansion of Studiocanal’s TV business across Europe, especially in the U.K. with the acquisition of stakes in Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company Sunny March TV and Urban Myth Films, and in Spain with Bambu Producciones (“Refugees”).

Besides hiring Bessi, Godfroid also created an executive committee will be composed of Guillaume de Menthon, Telfrance’s president, and Guillaume Thouret, Capa’s executive Director ; Anna Pugacewicz, head of administrative and financial matters ; Jérôme Pédron, head of legal and business affairs and Gabrielle Badoy, human resources director; and Bessi.

Gilles Pélisson, chairman and CEO of TF1 group, said Larue and his team and “built one of the jewels of French audiovisual production.”

“Over the years, the successive buyouts of Telfrance, Capa, 17Juin, Blue Spirit Productions and Tuvalu Media have enabled Newen to assemble a unique coalition of talents across the whole spectrum of production and the web.”

“I have total confidence in Bibiane Godfroid, whose track record and professional qualities will be a source of great strength to the Newen group,” added Pélisson.

Prior to joining Newen, Godfroid was head of programming at M6 and also worked as chairman and CEO of FremantleMedia France.

Newen regroups several companies specializing in scripted and non-scripted, notably Capa whose credits include “Versailles” and “Braquo;” as well as Blue Spirit Productions, the animation banner behind “My Life as a Zucchini” and “Tuvalu,” the Dutch company which produced the formats “The First Years” and “My New Home,” among others.

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