Fennessy brothers to depart Endemol Shine as Peter Newman takes over

Mark and Carl Fennessy.

Endemol Shine Australia co-CEOs Mark and Carl Fennessy are departing after leading the company for 10 years, with chief content officer Peter Newman taking over as CEO.

This follows the $US2.2 billion global takeover of Endemol Shine Group by the European production and distribution giant Banijay Group.

Meanwhile, Rory Callaghan continues as CEO of Banijay-owned Screentime, which is yet to be integrated with Endemol Shine. Its slate includes SAS: Who Dares Wins, RBT and Anh’s Brush with Fame.

Business partners for 26 years after founding indie producer Crackerjack, the Fennessys say they are looking forward to taking a long break. No date has yet been revealed for the handover to Newman, who joined Shine in 2012 as creative director and was upped to chief content officer in 2018.

Newman has overseen one of the world’s biggest unscripted production slates including MasterChef Australia, Big Brother, Gogglebox Australia, Australian Survivor, Married at First Sight and LEGO Masters.

“It’s been amazing to work with Mark and Carl over the last eight years and it’s an honour to take up the reins of this impressive, newly combined company,” he said.

“Endemol Shine Australia has always been about supporting and empowering the great people behind the world-class production of our shows. I’m incredibly proud of our workplace culture, our focus on creative excellence and will ensure we continue to do what we do best: working with our broadcast partners to deliver their audiences outstanding content.

“Banijay generates some of the world’s best TV formats and I can’t wait to bring them to life here in Australia.”

Mark and Carl Fennessy, who oversaw the merger of the Endemol and Shine businesses in Australia, said: “Ten years ago we commenced a journey with Elisabeth Murdoch to ‘Inspire, Create and Shine.’ The period since has been like one long day filled with rewarding experiences and great success but the time has come for the next adventure.

“We’re grateful to the broadcasters for their support and we salute our incredible team of talented executives with whom we’ve had the privilege to lead. We look forward to a much-needed break and extend our best wishes to Banijay.”

Peter Newman.

As IF reported, separate to ESA, Mark Fennessy is collaborating with Richard Lowenstein’s Ghost Pictures on a feature documentary on AFL star Dustin Martin and a miniseries based on Billy Thorpe’s first book Sex & Thugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Before joining Shine, Newman was head of production and development at SBS. He began his career in his native London at the BBC, spending eight years with the broadcaster.

Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti said: “The Fennessy brothers have long served as commendable businessmen at the forefront of the country’s creative industry and we wish them all the best with where their artistic journey takes them next.

“We welcome Peter, who is a commercially sound producer and entrepreneur and has all the attributes we look for in our leaders. Having been close to the business’ creative core and key in driving the success of the label’s most recent hits, he is an incredible asset to Banijay as we continue to evolve our creative vision and set our strategy in Australia.”