Millichip, the former managing director of distributor Sky Vision, was tapped as the studio’s chief content officer for the U.K. in July 2020. Now, her remit has expanded to all of the Comcast-backed pay-TV operator’s markets in Europe, including Germany and Italy.
In a memo to staff, Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, who is retiring later this year, said the move is intended to allow the org to “respond quicker to customer demands, identify new, creative opportunities across Group and work even more closely to deliver content to Sky UK, Italia and Deutschland, working to the briefs set out by [Sky UK director of content Zai Bennett], [Sky Italia head Nicola Maccanico] and [Sky Deutschland executive VP content Elke Walthelm].”
Upon launch of Sky Studios in June 2019, Millichip was named chief commercial officer. In July came the content role that saw her overseeing editorial activities at Sky Studios in the U.K., including in-house and indie development. As part of her role, Millichip has also managed Sky Studios’ commercial activities, including international deficit funding and production partnerships.
Launched in 2018, Sky Studios’ remit is to source, develop and produce scripted Sky Originals for Sky’s platforms across Europe, with all projects jointly commissioned by Sky Studios and the originating territory (i.e. Sky UK, Sky Italia or Sky Deutschland).
Prior to Sky Studios, Millichip was well known for her role leading “Britannia” and “Patrick Melrose” distributor Sky Vision, Sky’s former production and sales arm, which was merged into NBCU Global Distribution in October 2019. Millichip and the team grew the business from £8 million ($11 million) in revenues to £250 million ($346 million) in six years, spearheading Sky’s investment into independent production companies and content distribution.
Millichip began her career as a journalist, and since moving into TV, has been a commissioning editor, producer and distributor. She is a trustee of the Royal Television Society and a board member of the Edinburgh TV Festival and several U.K. and U.S. production companies. She is also a Trustee of the environmental educational charity, SEEd.
Read on for the memo from Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios:
Today we are announcing an important step in the evolution of Sky Studios.
When we launched Sky Studios 21 months ago, for the first time ever we brought together all of the content teams across original scripted comedy and drama into one organisation; a Group-wide function that would leverage our scale and harness the creativity of our teams across the UK, Italy and Germany.
Since then, our original scripted slate across the Group has gone from strength-to-strength with break-out hits like I Hate Suzie, Der Pass and Petra delivering content worth paying for. What has been particularly notable is the number of our original programmes that find strong audiences across all three markets, engaging viewers well beyond their originating territory.
Most recently, two of our Italian series – Devils and ZeroZeroZero – have delivered strong viewing to Sky UK, while UK-originated series such as Gangs of London and A Discovery of Witches have travelled well across the Group, alongside international hits from Sky Deutschland, Das Boot and Babylon Berlin.
Though our original content slate will continue to serve our 24m customers with unique, local content made for them in each market, we are today bringing our content teams even closer together with the appointment of Jane Millichip as Chief Content Officer for Sky Studios across the Group.
Last year, Jane took on responsibility for Sky Studios content teams in the UK, in addition to her commercial responsibilities. Effective today, Marcus Ammon and Nils Hartmann, our Sky Studios leadership in Germany and Italy, will report to Jane.
Marcus and Nils are both exceptional talents, deeply respected by the industry and with strong creative instincts; understanding what our customers want and value, both in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, and across the Group. They have each built strong teams as well as bold and creatively ambitious slates. I would personally like to thank both of them for all they have delivered for Sky so far. Though, of course, they both know me well enough to know that I will quickly follow my thanks with ‘full steam ahead!’ I am excited to see them and their content teams thrive in this new structure.
This new organisation will allow us to respond quicker to customer demands, identify new, creative opportunities across Group and work even more closely to deliver content to Sky UK, Italia and Deutschland, working to the briefs set out by Zai, Nicola and Elke.
I couldn’t be more excited about the future pipeline of Sky Originals. The blend of local comedy and drama combined with tentpole Sky Originals that travel across Group is something our customers highly value and expect from Sky.
With this new organisation, we are now set up to continue delivering against this strategy for our customers.