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Electus CEO Ben Silverman and FremantelMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz were among the international television executives feted at MIPTV’s Medaille d’Honneur gala dinner.
The awards were presented to Jane the Virgin executive producer Silverman and X-Factor executive producer Frot-Coutaz along with Brazil’s Globo Comunicacao head of international business Ricardo Scalamandre and Turkey’s Dogan TV Holding CEO Irfan Sahin.
In a video message, X-Factor host Simon Cowell gushingly congratulated Frot-Coutaz. “You’re one of my favorite people that I have ever met. Not just in TV but in business in general, actually in life, let’s go that far,” he said.
Frot-Coutaz thanked Cowell and his American Idol co-producer Simon Fuller in her remarks. She noted that she is from a small village in the French Alps and often didn’t have access to a television growing up.
“There are days I can’t believe I have had this career in this industry and how fortunate I am,” she said.
Silverman, who said he first attended MIPTV with his BBC executive mother when he was 22 years old, said MIPTV has been a huge influence on his life.
“My entire career has been based on the power of the international market. I look across a world that I’m always worried about — I have a new daughter who’s seven weeks old and a son — and I’m constantly worried about the world. The place I feel best about the world is in the hands of Reed Midem and in Cannes and at MIP because I feel anything is possible. I go from meeting to meeting with people who want to kill each other and I think, ‘Just buy my show. It will solve your problems!’” he joked, adding that TV can bridge cultural gaps. “But I truly believe what we do.”
Ryan Seacrest sent a video message for Silverman, saying he “captures the zeitgeist before we even know what the zeitgeist is.” He hoped the award would spur Silverman, who added bright green running shoes to his suit on Wednesday night, to become “a slightly better dresser.”
It’s the third annual Medaille d’Honneur after being introduced in 2013, and is awarded to senior international executives who have made a significant contribution to the world of television and the development of the international TV community.
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