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Israeli TV powerhouse Keshet Broadcasting on Monday unveiled an expansion of the content division at its Tel Aviv headquarters, adding a new executive and promoting another.
The company, which in recent years has emerged as the country’s most prominent TV exporter and made its brand well known globally, elevated vp programming Ran Telem to the new role of vp content.
He will oversee content creation and development, focusing on new comedy and drama programming with international appeal, and also work with fellow Israeli production companies in an effort to strengthen creation and growth.
Keshet is also bringing on board Hilik Sharir, former vp of Channel 2’s Israeli News Company, who will take on Telem’s former duties as vp programming. Sharir will now be in charge of Keshet’s local content strategy, supervise current affairs and documentary programming and oversee the mapping out of the broadcaster’s programming schedule.
News of the executive moves comes several weeks after Keshet’s board of directors notified Israel’s Minister of Communications Gilad Erdan that the company’s shareholders have decided to apply for an independent license, effective as early as November 2015. The move will see Keshet branch out on its own for the first time to a full seven-day week of TV programming in Israel.
Under its existing setup, Keshet shares Channel 2 with Reshet Broadcasting. Both companies have been on the commercial channel since its inception in 1993 and until 2005 had a third franchiser, Telad, which lost out on the renewal bid nine years ago.
Keshet has flourished internationally over the past several years following the success of Showtime’s Emmy-winning series Homeland, based on the firm’s original format Prisoners of War, and singing competition Rising Star, which has sold to dozens of territories since launching at MIPCOM a year ago.
Keshet International is keeping busy in the U.S. with several shows set to debut in the coming year, including NBC’s midseason espionage drama Allegiance, TBS sitcom Your Family or Mine and USA’s six-part series Dig, penned by Homeland originator Gideon Raff.
The company’s growth is perceived by Israeli media as natural for the company. According to Keshet CEO Avi Nir, “this change was first and foremost recognition that our focus on original content requires the investment of time, attention and resources.”
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