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Zodiak poaches Endemol Italia exec in Magnolia reshuffle

Zodiak Media has appointed Endemol Italia’s Leonardo Pasquinelli (below right) as managing director of its Italian prodco Magnolia.

Magnolia italy managementThis follows co-founder Ilaria Dallatana’s decision to step down as Magnolia’s CEO. Dallatana (far left) will remain on Magnolia’s board and as a member of Zodiak’s International Development Board, but company co-founder Francesca Canetta, currently chief content officer, is exiting in the reshuffle.

Pasquinelli joins from Endemol Italia, where he was VP, operations. He will take up his new post in mid-February.

His appointment comes just a week after Zodiak’s sales arm Zodiak Rights replaced incumbent CEO Matthew Frank with former BBC Worldwide distribution boss Steve Macallister. Frank’s brother David was replaced as chief exec of parent company Zodiak by Marc-Antoine d’Halluin toward the end of last year.

Dallatana and Canetta found Magnolia in 2001, initially as an infotainment and entertainment producer but it has since moved into scripted series production. Its shows include original series Il Protagaonista (The Protagonist) and local versions of Survivor (L’Isola dei Famosi), Bake Off Dolci in Forno), Masterchef, Nanny 911 (SOS Tata), What Not to Wear (Ma Come ti Vesti?) and The X Factor.

It launched a Spanish wing, Magnolia Espana, in 2004 and was part of the original Zodiak Entertainment group of producers after being acquired by the De Agostini family in 2008. Two years later, Zodiak Entertainment acquired and merged with UK prodco RDF Media and launched Zodiak Media with the Frank brothers in charge.

New CEO d’Halluin said of Pasquinelli’s hire today: “I am delighted to welcome Leonardo to the company. He joins Magnolia with a great deal of experience in the field in the Italian market, and will no doubt add to the company’s success.  I would like to thank Ilaria and Francesca for their fantastic contribution to the success of Magnolia and look forward to Ilaria’s continued support and involvement at both a Magnolia and Zodiak level.”