Damian Keogh is departing as MD of UK prodco Lookout Point to launch a new Endeavor Content-backed scripted outfit with BBC Studios (BBCS) alum Helen Jackson and drama veteran Simon Vaughan.
The Story Company will work with established and emerging creators/writers to help acquire rights, commission scripts, package projects and manage the sales process on projects.
It will work with other production entities and is also looking to use the backing of Endeavor to take stakes in content businesses, ranging from start-ups to more established producers.
Management & expansion plans
Keogh will lead the company as CEO, with former BBCS (fka BBC Worldwide) content chief Jackson becoming executive chair alongside Lookout’s founder Vaughan, who becomes executive director.
Jonathan Norman, MD at global investment bank GCA Altium, becomes a non-exec director with Endeavor Content’s co-president Chris Rice.
The aim, according to the founders, is to build “a family of creative partnerships into a boutique portfolio” that focuses on creating global projects out of the UK market while also tapping into new storytellers “by taking risks on new and emerging talent”.
Norman served as an advisor to the company from start-up through to its final sale to BBCS, which took full ownership in 2018. Vaughan then stepped down a year later, with Faith Penhale taking control, while former BBC Worldwide and Endemol Shine exec Keogh was MD.
Jackson, meanwhile, spent more than three decades at the BBC and rose to become chief content officer before departing in 2018 following the formation of BBCS.
She was integral in developing shows such as Sherlock, Doctor Foster and Gentleman Jack, while also working on the company’s prodco acquisition strategy.
UK focus for global buyers
Keogh said The Story Company’s focus was “specifically for UK creative talent” and would be a “patient, flexible and ambitious home where our talent partners can thrive,” using Endeavor to “provide the support and resources we need.”
Vaughan continued: “It’s a thrill to be putting the band back together and to fill a gap in the market for independent creatives who want us to help them to get their projects made, as well as for creatives within established media groups who may wish to use our skills. We are that truly independent partner who can bring insight and impetus across the platform landscape.”
Jackson added: “Having experienced the growth of the Indie sector through my time at the BBC, it is exciting to now bring a globally-focused opportunity to the UK sector, whilst remaining a fierce champion of British creativity. We believe that the strength of this team and the impact we can have for our talent partners is second to none.”
Rice and Endeavor co-president Graham Taylor said: “We are excited for Damian, Simon and Helen to contribute their extensive experience discovering and nurturing dynamic, talented creators as they embark on launching The Story Company. This collaboration presents an ideal opportunity to develop premium scripted content from the best of British storytellers.”
Endeavor’s TV slate includes See and Truth Be Told on Apple TV+ and the upcoming Nine Perfect Strangers and Life & Beth for Hulu. It is also producing Severance for Apple TV+ and Tokyo Vice for HBO Max, while handling sales for series such as Killing Eve, Normal People and The Night Manager.