Raising the glass ceiling in Spain, Laura Fernández Espeso has been promoted to the position of chief executive at The Mediapro Studio, where she will direct the management and strategy of TMS productions and production houses in and outside Spain.
Co-head of TV of The Mediapro Studio since its launch in March 2019, Fernandez Espeso was appointed corporate director in October 2019. Her new promotion makes her the highest-ranking female TV executive at a major player on Spain’s vibrant and ever more globalized TV and movie scene.
Part of the Mediapro Group since it absorbed Globomedia, Spain’s top prime-time producer — where Fernandez Espeso worked as head of international development — she can expect to accelerate The Mediapro Studio’s drive into international production, both with global streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, with which TMS produced Emmy-winning soccer doc series “Six Dreams” and now “Fernando Alonso 2” as well as with big U.S. players such as ViacomCBS Intl. Studios (“Club 57,” the Rose d’Or winning “Victoria Small”) and Turner Latin America (“Las Bravas”).
Fernandez Espeso’s core strategy adheres to what was set during the TMS launch: “Creating and producing; forging big franchises; retaining IP and distribution,” as she has expressed it. Here, one case study has been Antarctic-set thriller “The Head,” produced with Hulu Japan and HBO Asia and starring “Money Heist’s” Alvaro Morte and Japanese idol Tomoisha Yamashita.
“We retained IP, shot in English, and are now rolling the series out across the globe, not to a platform, but via our distribution operation territory-by-territory which, when a series clicks, makes for super success,” Fernández Espeso said at September’s San Sebastian Film Festival.
With Fernández Espeso as corporate director, TMS has also scaled up in movie production, co-producing Woody Allen’s “Rifkin’s Festival,” producing “Official Competition,” with Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, and producing labor-relations themed “The Good Boss,” starring Javier Bardem. Crucially, Fernandez Espeso’s appointment comes as multiple TMS titles have been able to resume production in Spain, with “Official Competition” and now “The Good Boss” now moving into post-production.
Since its launch, The Mediapro Studio has completed or is producing 200 titles in fiction and non-fiction. Its shows represent 25% of Spanish primetime, it said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Laura has been a prime mover behind the creation of The Mediapro Studio, now the biggest content producer in Spain and one of those with the greatest international reach. Her leadership capacity and experience have been key for it as they will be for its exansion and consolidation at a global level,” said Tatxo Benet, Mediapro Group’s managing partner.
“It is a satisfaction to be at the head of this project and a team that has made The Mediapro Studio possible,” Fernández Espeso added.
She went on: “Large challenges await us with the projects we have in progress and new productions with big talents over all the world.”