Endemol Southern Star ups Callaghan


SYDNEY -- Australian format firm Endemol Southern Star has promoted Rory Callaghan to managing director following the resignation of Kris Noble, the company said Thursday.

Formerly managing director of Granada Productions Australia, Callaghan has been with Southern Star for 18 months.

ESS, a joint venture of Endemol and Australian independent production and distribution company the Southern Star Group, produced "Big Brother," 'Deal or No Deal," "1 v 100" and, as of next year, a revival of the "Gladiators" franchise here.

Callaghan is assuming overall responsibility for all of the production activities of Endemol Southern Star as well as retaining his production role at Southern Star's factual and drama division, Southern Star Entertainment.

Noble, a 37-year veteran of the Australian TV industry and the executive producer of "Big Brother" for four years, said his stepping aside was a "lifestyle decision" but that he will remain with Southern Star as a consultant working on the company's drama development and production.

Callaghan's appointment comes as ESS and "Big Brother" broadcaster Network Ten negotiate terms for an eighth season of the reality show next year.

Said Southern Star CEO Hugh Marks: "We all support Kris in his decision to step back and wish him well in the next evolution of his career with us here at Southern Star. I'm thrilled it's not the end, just a new beginning".

"Rory's passion, energy and creativity make him one of the best executives in the television business and I look forward to many more successful years working together," he added.