Talpa poaches FremantleMedia exec in int’l restructure

John de Mol’s Talpa Media has re-hired FremantleMedia’s Diana Buddingh for a newly-restructured international division, and poached the managing director of A. Smith & Co. to head its US division.

Diane BuddinghBuddingh will be director of global productions at Talpa Global, which is born out the merger of the programming unit Talpa Content and global licensing and sales unit Talpa International.

Buddingh left FremantleMedia in May, where she has been director, entertainment production since Ocober last year.

She already counts a period at Talpa as its production chief on her CV, alongside roles at Endemol and numerous freelance positions.

FremantleMedia this morning confirmed it is replacing her with executive producer Chris O’Dell, who has been promoted to head of global entertainment production. He will report to director of global entertainment Rob Clark and oversee formats such as X Factor, Idols and Got Talent.

Meanwhile, Talpa International chief Maarten Meijs will lead Talpa Global as managing director, whose management team will also include another new hire, director of marketing and strategy Kim Dingler, plus Buddingh and financial head André Adema.

The company will oversee Talpa’s joint venture production businesses Talpa UK, Talpa Italia and Talpa Nordics,  and have operations in LA and numerous other territories where affiliated producers are based.

“It’s great to be able to adjust the structure of the organisation according to both the developments within the media industry and the international success of our product” said Meijs.

“Within Talpa’s new global division, the digital branch is responsible for all extensions, stand-alone digital formats and ancillary activities, including gaming and online video. In addition, it’ll work closely with the international sales operation already firmly in place.”

Talpa Holding CEO Pim Schmitz added the new hires and structure meant “Talpa is now ready for a new phase in the existence of this full-service media company”.

Meanwhile in the US, the hire of A Smith & Co. MD Jay Bienstock ends Talpa’s search for a CEO for its Talpa USA division, which is coproduces NBC’s singing contest The Voice and upcoming Fox social experiment format Utopia.

Bienstock – whose credits include CBS’s groundbreaking Survivor, NBC’s The Apprentice, and CBS’s There Goes the Neighborhood and The American Baking Competition – said working with Big Brother creator de Mol would be the “pinnacle” of his career.

His role will see him oversee Talpa’s current slate of programming, focus on new development, and be responsible for growing the company by implementing strategies that generate new revenue streams.

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