Endemol Shine UK is closing Princess Productions, after the London-based prodco lost its studio space and following a period of management upheaval.
UK broadcaster Channel 5 also recently put production of one of its key shows, The Wright Stuff, out to tender, dealing the prodco another blow.
Staff were told about the closure this morning and the 20-year-old indie will close at the end of the year. There will be job losses, but many staff were freelancers brought in as shows went into production. Endemol Shine said it will attempt to place staffers in other roles within the group.
Endemol Shine had been reviewing the Princess business since it emerged it was losing its studio space, in Bayswater, London, as part of the redevelopment of the Whiteley’s shopping centre.
Company managing director Emma Hardy announced her resignation in February. Her exit followed that of her previous co-managing director, Conor Baily, late last year.
“This is not a decision we are taking lightly and we have carefully considered all potential options for Princess Productions,” said Richard Johnston, Endemol Shine UK’s CEO, in a statement. “However, taking into account the costs involved in moving the studio shows, the makeup of Princess’s upcoming slate and Channel 5’s recent decision to put The Wright Stuff out to tender we can see no alternative to this difficult commercial decision.”
Princess’ credits include T4, Got to Dance and Stand Up to Cancer. “However our industry is constantly evolving, with entertainment in particular going through a period of change in recent years, and in order to stay ahead of the market we need to regularly review our structure and investment,” Johnston added.
Endemol Shine plans to move production of Princess shows to other prodcos in the group.
“The Princess team currently deliver 13 hours of high quality live television each week, and it is our priority to ensure that these shows, along with the other existing entertainment titles, are not impacted in any way,” said Lucinda Hicks, COO of Endemol Shine UK.
“As such we will be working closely with the individual broadcasters and the incredibly experienced production teams at Princess to ensure a smooth transition.”
Shine Group, which merged with Endemol in 2014, acquired Princess in 2006. The company was founded a decade earlier.