Fennessys add to Shine in Oz

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Elisabeth Murdoch's Shine Group has hired Mark and Carl Fennessy to head a new production shingle in Australia and New Zealand in 2010, luring the brothers from their senior executive posts at FremantleMedia Australia.

The move follows the establishment of Shine Germany last month and is part of the company's strategy to identify talent in key territories to complement European and U.S. operations.

"Mark and Carl are simply the finest independent producers of their generation in Australia," Murdoch said.

The brothers oversaw Fremantle's growth into one of Australia's largest production groups after the 2003 merger of Grundy Television and production company Crackerjack. FMA has in production such shows as "So You Think You Can Dance," "MasterChef Australia" and "Farmer Wants a Wife."

The new venture will take Murdoch into turf occupied by her brother, Lachlan, who has run private investment company Illyria Ltd. since retiring from father Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Fremantle said the Fennessys will remain at FMA until November. (partialdiff)
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