Banijay Group Signs David Goldberg to Launch U.S. Division

8:34 AM PST 04/05/2014 by Rhonda Richford
Christopher Patey
David Goldberg

Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti made the surprise announcement during a keynote speech at MIP Formats.

CANNES -- Paris-based international non-scripted powerhouse producer Banijay Group has signed former Endemol North America CEO David Goldberg to launch Banijay Studios North America.

Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti made the surprise announcement during a keynote speech at MIP Formats, part of the weekend factual and format run-up to MIPTV. Bassetti said the deal was finalized Friday.

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"We are very pleased to have David join us, and excited at the prospect of working with him and his team in the coming months as they develop new formats which we will roll out globally through our growing production capabilities," Bassetti said in a statement issued after the announcement. "David’s expertise, persuasive powers and creative vision will be huge assets to us as we continue to increase our production presence in English speaking markets, a strategic priority for us that will continue to roll out over the coming year.”

The new venture will develop original English-language content for North America and Latin America. Goldberg, who will remain based in Los Angeles, will serve as CEO of Banijay Studios North America as well as president of Banijay Group.

"We are very much focused on investing in the English-speaking market," said Bassetti during the talk in Cannes' Grand Palais. "We want to develop new shows, especially for syndication and network." 

He acknowledged Banijay's other U.S. property, Bunim/Murray, and said they will remain independent and focused on cable programming. 

Goldberg, who tapped by John de Mol in 2000 to launch Endemol USA, left his position as chairman/CEO in December 2013. During his tenure, Goldberg was responsible for a broad portfolio of shows, including unscripted hits Big Brother and Wipeout along with Steve Harvey's breakout daytime show. He led the charge to launch a scripted division in 2011, and pushed to acquire companies including 51 Minds (Surreal Life) and Authentic Entertainment (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) that had a foothold in the cable reality space. Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin were tapped to replace him as co-CEOs of Endemol N.A. late last year. 

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“Banijay is a well-capitalized, creative company that has the potential to become one of the most important players in the largest television market in the world," Goldberg said of his new home, adding: "Banijay Studios North America will be a magnet for some of the most creative producers and talent in the content creation business. I look forward to working closely with Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti and the extraordinary team at Banijay Group to expand Banijay’s multi-territory, multiplatform business."

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