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Banijay names Jacob Houlind as Banijay Nordic CEO

Houlind will oversee all operations across its portfolio of 24 companies

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MUMBAI: European production giant Banijay in a recent announcement has named Jacob Houlind as Banijay Nordic CEO. Houlind will oversee all operations across its portfolio of 24 companies, his remit spans Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the UK and US, following the recent expansion of Yellow Bird.

Houlind has been Group CEO and co-owner of Nordisk Film TV since February 2006, selling the company to Banijay in 2009. He later took up the position of Group CEO of Banijay Nordic, as a result of the merger of former Nordisk Film TV in the Nordics and Zodiak Media.

He will be at the forefront of managing the territory’s investment in creativity and content development. Finding, nurturing and developing talent, he will continue to build a home for the best creatives across the Nordics. And, together with Banijay and Banijay Rights, the Nordic division will focus on local and innovative IP with global appeal.

Yellow Bird US a creative hotbed, produces some of the region’s biggest hits including Survivor, The Island, Fort Boyard, MasterChef, All Against 1, Best Singer, Big Brother, Luxury Trap, Biggest Loser, 71 Degrees North, The Wall, Paradise Hotel,All Together Now, Good Morningand Evening Denmark, Good Morning and Evening Norway, Millennium, The Bridge, Wallander and Netflix’s upcoming Young Wallander, Khalifate, Beck, The Restaurant and Sandham Murders.

 Following the completion of Banijay’s US dollar 2.2billion takeover of Endemol Shine in July, the Nordics portfolio now includes Norwegian outfits Mastiff, Nordisk Film & TV, Rubicon and Screen Media. In Sweden, its outlets include Meter, Jarowskij, Filmlance, YellowBird, STO-CPH, Factory and MAG5. Whereas in Finland, the group has Banijay Finland, EndemolShine Finland and Zodiak Finland. The Danish business includes Metronome, Pineapple Entertainment, Banijay Nordic Mobile and Respirator.

The integration process is now in progress and is expected to be complete by the fall. Karin Stjärne will subsequently leave the business on 31 August 2020 having been CEO of Endemol Shine Nordics since 2017. While in the role, she built a successful operation, increased international format sales, secured a number of new titles including Family Food Fight, The Wall, The Heist and Lego Masters, and drove a number of returners such as Biggest Loser and Big Brother. Widening the footprint of MasterChef both in number of episodes, spin-off series and new productions across the Nordics, she also helped Norwegian label Rubicon thrive, supporting the sale of the first original Norwegian drama, Beforeigners, to HBO Nordic.

Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti said,  “Jacob has long been a part of Banijay’s journey. An entrepreneur with a strong creative eye, he is an admirable leader, commercially astute and the best pair of hands to oversee what will be an even more significant region for us moving forwards. With scale, an immense portfolio of IP and some of the best talent in the business, we are excited to see what he and the team have in store for the future. In the meantime, I’d like to thank Karin for her efforts over the years in building up the EndemolShine Nordics portfolio and production offering.”

According to Jacob Houlind Banijay Nordic has long been the home of some of the region’s strongest talent. Houlind is ecstatic to welcome a host of new creative entrepreneurs into the fold. He adds, “Combining the strengths of both groups and continuing a multi-brand strategy with a strong focus on creativity, I hope Banijay Nordic will long-continue to be a renowned home for the best creatives in the region – on and off-screen, and a home for IP that travels the world. A special thanks goes to Karin who has built a strong operation in EndemolShine Nordics and successfully put new and successful scripted, as well as non-scripted titles on the Nordic map.”

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