TF1’s Newen names Romain Bessi as CEO, Bibiane Godfroid exits

Romain Bessi

TF1 Group-owned Newen Studios has named Romain Bessi as its new CEO, with Bibiane Godfroid set to step down.

Bessi, who has overseen Newen’s rapid global expansion, will take up the role from 31 January and is being tasked with growing the company both in France and internationally.

He will aim “to attract and retain the best talents, and strengthen value-creating synergies between Newen group entities”, the group said.

Bessi’s ascent

Bessi joined Newen as MD in 2018 and took on addition responsibilities in 2019 by heading up TF1 Studio, which was then combined with Newen Studios at the start of 2020.

The group has more than tripled in size since it was acquired by TF1, buying Spain’s iZen Group and Germany’s Flare Films earlier this year, as well as launching Ringside Studio in the UK.

Newen now has a presence in eight countries, with prodcos including Newen France, North America- and UK-based Reel One, De Mensen in Belgium and Tuvalu in the Netherlands.

Godfroid, meanwhile, is exiting following six years with the firm. She joined Newen after TF1 took a 70% stake in the company in 2015 and became CEO when the French broadcast group bought out the rest of the production company in 2018.

Bibiane Godfroid

TF1 – which is merging with fellow French commercial broadcaster M6 – said Godfroid is stepping down to “free up more time” to develop new personal projects.

Gilles Pélisson, chairman & CEO of TF1 Group, said Godfroid’s “vision and talent” had helped fuel Newen’s expansion in France and internationally.

Pélisson added: “At a time of heightened competition, Romain Bessi and all his colleagues can continue to count on the active support of the TF1 Group.”

Godfroid said: “During my six years at Newen Studios I have had the privilege of working with great people, exploring new avenues, and creating new content. I’ve now decided to put my personal goals above my work goals, but I will stay in close touch with the audiovisual industry and its talents.”

Bessi added: “Together we will further develop the Group, with ambition and kindness, while staying true to our authentic European roots and our core mission: create the best stories and bring them to the rest of the world.”

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