Bunim/Murray Founder Exits in Leadership Shake-Up

Steve Cohn

Company president Gil Goldschein has been promoted to chairman and CEO following the departure of founder Jonathan Murray.

Real World producers Bunim/Murray Productions is making a change at the top.

Chairman and founder Jonathan Murray has exited the company to focus on producing, with company president Gil Goldschein being promoted to chairman and CEO, BMP announced Tuesday. Murray will remain on board as an executive consultant as he shifts his focus to developing series and documentaries while still overseeing some of the company's longest-running series, which include Project Runway and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

“Innovation is what has made this company strong,” said Murray. “I am confident that Gil is the one person who can ensure the company that Mary-Ellis Bunim and I founded 28 years ago continues to grow and thrive. As for myself, I want to focus more on making television and documentaries and less on managing the company. So I’m thrilled to have worked out a deal that allows me to continue doing this with my talented colleagues at Bunim/Murray and Banijay.”

Goldschein has been with the company for 14 years, during which he launched the company's digital, Latin and documentary divisions as well as opened its New York office. Previously general counsel, he played a key role in expanding BMP by negotiating Banijay Group's acquisition of the company in 2010. He will report to Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti.

Under Goldschein, Jeff Jenkins will expand his role to exec vp development and programming and oversee docuseries and celeb-reality series.

Julie Pizzi, who began her career at BMP, returns as exec vp development and programming, assuming creative and development responsibility for all format series. She will focus on increasing the development of original BMP formats and the production of existing BMP and Banijay formats in the U.S. She is currently co-president at PB&J Television, which will now enter into a production pod deal with BMP. Current exec vp original programming and development Scott Freeman will be transitioning to the newly created role of exec vp international, responsible for maintaining BMP’s relationship with Banijay’s international affiliates as well as international third-party producers and buyers. Freeman will focus on developing formats from those Banijay affiliates and others for the U.S. market. In addition, Freeman will continue as exec producer on The Challenge for MTV and the upcoming Valerie Bertinelli Food Network series. All three executives will report to Goldschein.