Television

FRAPA appoints four format heavyweights to its general board

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MUMBAI: The Management Board of FRAPA has announced the appointment of four new general board members: Mike Beale, ITV Studios’ executive vice-president of global development and formats; Lisette van Diepen, Sony Pictures Television’s vice-president of acquisitions; Grant Ross, Zodiak Media’s executive vice-president of global creative development and format acquisition; and Michael Schmidt, Red Arrow Entertainment Group’s chief creative officer.

UFA Show & Factual CEO Ute Biernat has also been named as a lifetime FRAPA Ambassador in recognition of her 15-year contribution to the Association, which included a seven-year stint as FRAPA chair.

Under Biernat’s tenure, FRAPA underwent a successful rebranding and restructuring programming, launching several new initiatives and expanding its suite of services to reflect the format industry’s rapidly evolving needs.

The expansion of the general board follows last week’s announcement that Phil Gurin, president and CEO of The Gurin Company, and Jan Salling, chief operating officer and managing director of sales and acquisitions for Nordic World, have been named the new co-chairs of FRAPA. The appointment of four high-profile format executives signals Gurin and Salling’s determination to transition FRAPA into a dynamic new era, while intensifying its efforts to build a global community for, and serve as the mouthpiece of, today’s billion-dollar formats industry.

Phil Gurin added: “Mike, Lisette, Grant and Michael bring to FRAPA a depth of experience and a knowledge of the global formats business that will be invaluable to us as we move into the next phase of our development. Not only are all four at the top of their game professionally, but they are also deeply committed to helping us build a fairer, safer, better regulated environment for the creation and trade of formats. Jan and I would also like to thank Ute for her tireless work on behalf of FRAPA. She has been a quiet inspiration to us all and we are delighted she will continue to fly the flag for FRAPA as a lifetime Ambassador.”

Commenting on her appointment as FRAPA Ambassador, Ute Biernat said: “FRAPA is a unique organisation that has played a pivotal role in growing the formats business from a small sideshow to the main event of television into a billion-dollar global industry. I am delighted to have been a part of that journey and will continue to protect and promote our vibrant yet still vulnerable industry in my new role as FRAPA Ambassador.”

Other board changes to have taken place in the recent restructuring include the appointment of Keri Lewis Brown, K7 Media’s managing director, to the FRAPA management board, where she takes over from Biernat. The FRAPA management board now consists of Gurin, Salling, Lewis Brown and FRAPA co-founder David Lyle, whose television career spans 30 years, 20 countries and top executive positions for National Geographic Channels, Fox and FremantleMedia.

Beale, Van Diepen, Ross and Schmidt join existing FRAPA general board members Nicolas Smirnoff, director of Prensario Internacional, and Vivian Yin, chief representative and deputy general manager of Star China International Media.

Biernat is the second FRAPA ambassador to have been appointed by the general board. The honour, which was first conferred on Robert Chua, CEO of The Interactive Channel, is awarded to leading industry figures whose time, knowledge and dedication has resulted in significant progress, projects or initiatives to the benefit of the global business.

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