ITV thinks global with ops hire

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CANNES -- ITV global content head Dawn Airey on Monday unveiled ambitious plans to ramp up the broadcaster's international format business, promoting German production head Stefan Oelze to a new position responsible for setting up and overseeing production operations for ITV across Europe and in emerging markets worldwide.

Oelze, formerly head of ITV subsidiary Granada Germany, will take the London-based post of director of international business development. His appointment is the latest move in ITV's strategic plan to double its content revenue to £1.2 billion by 2012. It follows the recent integration of the company's international and domestic production and distribution businesses under former Sony executive Peter Iacono.

Until now, ITV has had only a limited production presence abroad, with flagship bases in the U.S., Germany and Australia.

Oelze will be replaced at Granada Germany by Jan Kromschroeder, from independent producer Kromschroeder & Pfannenschmidt, in which ITV is to acquire a 50% stake for an undisclosed fee.

At Granada Germany, Oelze was responsible for ratings winners including "Come Dine With Me" on Vox and "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here" for RTL.

Airey said ITV had a strong production presence in the markets where it has set up business. "I see no reason why we should not be incredibly strongly placed in other countries that are already enthusiastic customers of ITV-owned formats," she said.
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