Red Arrow Studios CEO James Baker to leave at end of 2020

James Baker

Red Arrow Studios (RAS) CEO James Baker is to step down at the end of the year after almost a decade with the ProSiebenSat.1-owned company.

The German outfit said that Baker, whose contract will not be renewed past 2020, will be replaced by an advisory board comprising of ProSiebenSat.1’s chairman Rainer Beaujean, CEO at SevenOne Entertainment Wolfgang Link, and Henrik Pabst, chief content officer at SevenOne Entertainment.

The existing RAS management team will report directly to the new advisory board, with the rejig “underlining ProSiebenSat.1’s strategy to focus on local and live entertainment in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in close cooperation with Red Arrow Studios.”

Baker is the latest senior exec to depart the company in recent months. Red Arrow Studios International’s president Bo Stehmeier is joining ZDF Enterprises-owned Off The Fence, while acquisitions exec Alex Fraser is also departing.

Love Is Blind

Earlier this month, Red Arrow appointed former A+E Networks exec Joel Denton as acting president of the German company’s distribution business, with the reshuffle coming two months owner ProSiebenSat.1 decided to pull the sale of Red Arrow.

The German company had triggered a strategic review of Red Arrow in September, prompting All3Media to become a leading contender to acquire the firm but the Liberty Global and Discovery-backed company pulled out of the running, with the company’s valuation of around $300m deemed to be too steep.

ProSieben, whose former CEO Max Conze left in late March, then ended its strategic review process as revealed by TBI, performing an about-turn on strategy and focusing on using Red Arrow to grow its live entertainment outout.

Beaujean said: “Over the last 10 years James has developed and strengthened the operational performance of Red Arrow Studios – including an 18% growth in revenues in 2019 – and he has successfully driven the expansion of our German content ecosystem. We would like to thank him for his contribution to the business and wish him every success for the future.”

Baker added: “I have greatly enjoyed the last 10 years at Red Arrow Studios, working with talented people and creating exciting content around the world. Red Arrow Studios is in the good hands of my senior leadership team, and I wish everyone the very best.”

Red Arrow’s production companies include 11 US-based firms such as 44 Blue Productions, Kinetic Content and Dorsey Pictures, while it is also home to businesses in Denmark, Israel and the UK.

Other outfits include Kinetic Content, the prodco behind Netflix hit Love Is Blind, Deep State producer Endor Productions, The Circus firm Left/Right and Old People’s Home For Four-Year-Olds’ CPL Productions. The Taste prodco Redseven Entertainment and multichannel network Studio71 also fall within the Red Arrow umbrella.

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