Television

Banijay appoints Peter Salmon and Lucinda Hicks as UK chiefs

Endemol Shine UK CEO Richard Johnston is set to step down

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MUMBAI: Endemol Shine UK CEO Richard Johnston, who looked after the merger of Endemol and Shine in 2015, is to step down following the recent acquisition of Endemol Shine Group.

During his time as UK group CEO, he has driven an expansion strategy, overseeing years of consistent growth. Under his leadership, the UK group has seen growth across the board but notably within the scripted business, SVOD revenues and regional production. The business has also achieved industry-leading gender pay and diversity results.

Banijay has appointed BBC Studios former director and Endemol Shine Group executives Peter Salmon and Lucinda Hicks as its UK chiefs. Salmon will lead Banijay UK as executive chairman, with former territory COO, Lucinda Hicks, by his side, taking up the post of CEO.

Moving forwards, Salmon will oversee the company’s burgeoning portfolio of 25 unscripted and scripted production labels that also includes shows like MasterChef, Grantchester, Eat Well for Less, and The Island With Bear Grylls. Hicks will run the business’ day-to-day operations. In their new roles, the pair will work in unison to devise and implement the country’s integration plans in order to combine the entities by the end of 2020.

Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti said, “The UK is now one of our biggest markets, with a plethora of multi-genre labels and an incredible catalogue that has travelled the globe. With this scale we needed robust leadership, which spanned both the creative narrative of the group, as well as the operational one. Already heavily engaged in the country’s business and tapped into much of its network, Peter and Lucinda were in a prime position to take the group through the next stage of its journey. Brimming with IP and some of the best minds in the business, I’ve no doubt Banijay UK, with them at the helm, will continue to be at the epicentre of devising original and innovative brands, which get the world talking. I’ll finish by thanking Richard for his incredible dedication, commendable service and significant hard work in putting the UK group and its labels in such great health.”

Salmon said, “In Lucinda Hicks I also have a terrific partner – bright, hard-working and a lot of fun. Together, we are dedicated to building an inclusive and ambitious operation, where our teams have the support, direction and leadership they need but also the autonomy and freedom necessary to deliver the best ideas on the planet. The future here is very bright and given our producers have really shone throughout lockdown – they’ve been clever, innovative and resilient – I’ve no doubt we can go on to do great things together.”

Hicks, who previously ran Endemol Shine producer Dragonfly was elevated to her role as COO in 2015. She said she was looking forward to working in an environment where there is a good combination of  tremendous talent, entrepreneurialism and IP all under one roof.

She adds, “It has been a pleasure working with Richard over the last few years.  The power of our brands and the appetite for them globally has made ESUK such an exciting place to be, which is now bolstered further with more creative leaders and amazing IP. I look forward to working with Peter to build a combined creative portfolio renowned for its standout, world-class titles, driving innovation and originality and being at the forefront of positive change in the industry.”

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