MIPCOM: Endemol Shine Boss Defends Reorganization Saying, "I Was Determined to Do It As Fast As Possible"

Sophie Turner Laing Headshot - P 2012
Courtesy of BSkyB

Sophie Turner Laing Headshot - P 2012

Sophie Turner Laing told her Cannes audience she quickly trimmed staff at the new joint venture to avoid leaving people in "limbo land."

Endemol Shine CEO Sophie Turner Laing on Monday defended her recent integration of reality TV giants Endemol, Shine Group and Core Media to bring better creative diversity and partnership to the group.

"As soon as something starts bubbling up around the world, they get it out around the system as quickly as possible, and there's no barrier of entry of any production company picking up a format and going straight to pitching it," Turner Laing said during a keynote speech at MIPCOM.

She added the new joint venture hit the ground running with a new management structure after she trimmed her staff count to achieve synergies as quickly as possible. "We're a people business. People have hearts. They've done amazing jobs. But in some cases I didn't need two people, I needed one. That was hard," Turner Laing recalled.

"I was really determined to do it as fast as possible. Living in limbo land is no place to be," she added. Now the largest independent production and distribution group in the world, Endemol Shine Group oversees more than 1,000 hours of programming across broadcast, cable, syndication and digital platforms in North American alone.

The company's slate includes scripted and unscripted shows, including Big Brother, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior, The Biggest Loser, Hell on Wheels, Kingdom, Wipeout and Steve Harvey. Turner Laing also told the Cannes market that the death of TV in the face of new digital titans like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu was greatly exaggerated.

If anything, old media needs to build up its confidence in the face of fast-growing competitive threats. "Somehow we always manage to feel under threat when some newcomer comes onto our shores. There's always a perceived new enemy," Turner Laing argued.

The Endemol Shine boss doesn't agree with naysayers. "I genuinely believe in us an industry and that as content creators we have never had it so good," she insisted, before adding: "There's never been a better time to be in the story-telling business."