Jo Porter named Playmaker Media MD

Jo Porter.

After nearly nine years as head of scripted at Fremantle Australia, Jo Porter is moving on to lead Playmaker Media.

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced her appointment as managing director today, starting in 2021.

Porter succeeds Playmaker founders David Maher and David Taylor, who announced their departure from company in July to return to independent production.

At Fremantle, Porter executive produced hits such as Foxtel’s Wentworth, which has sold to 171 countries worldwide and Picnic at Hanging Rock, which opened at Berlinale and sold to 160 territories, including Amazon for the US and the BBC for the UK. She also oversaw the production of Mary: Making of a Princess, Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You, Hoges and Wonderland.

Prior to joining Fremantle, Porter worked as a producer at the Seven Network, with credits that included Packed to the Rafters, Always Greener and All Saints. 

Of her new role, Porter said: “I have really enjoyed my past nine years at Fremantle, working with a great group of people, and I am very proud of the projects that were brought to life and those I am leaving in the starting blocks. I am hugely excited at this unique opportunity to take this next step in my career. With the backing of Wayne [Garvie] and the Sony Pictures Television team we have fantastic scope to attract brilliant talent to create and build a new wave of distinctive productions out of Australia to share with the world.”

SPT president of international production Wayne Garvie said: “We are so excited to have Jo lead a new era at Playmaker. She is not only one of Australia’s most admired producers, with a terrific track record, but a great person with great relationships. I can’t wait to see what her and the Australian creative community will come up with for audiences both at home and internationally.”

Maher and Taylor founded Playmaker Media in 2009, selling it to Sony Pictures Television in 2014. The company credits include The Commons, recently sold to Sundance Now, Bloom, Reckoning, The Code, Love Child, Slide, House Husbands and the Mandarin-language version of Chosen, for China’s largest streaming service, iQiyi.

Playmaker is currently in production on midwife drama Amazing Grace for the Nine Network, starring Sigrid Thornton, Kate Jenkinson, Catherine Van Davies, Alexandra Jensen and Kat Hoyos.

Maher and Taylor will continue to co-develop and co-produce a number of new projects with SPT.