Peter Salmon is to leave his role as executive chairman at Banijay in the UK next year, with the BBC’s factual chief Patrick Holland replacing him.
Salmon took up his most recent role last year, after the French media group restructured its operations in the UK, following its $2.2bn acquisition of Endemol Shine Group (ESG).
The former BBC Studios exec oversaw creative for Banijay’s 20 unscripted and scripted UK production labels, with Lucinda Hicks running day-to-day operations and reporting into him.
Holland will now take on Salmon’s remit, with Hicks reporting into him. He will, in turn, report to Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti and work with group COO, Peter Langenberg.
The appointment comes a year since Holland became the BBC’s director of factual, arts & classical music, following a restructuring at the UK pubcaster that saw his previous role of controller of BBC Two scrapped.
Prior to that, he had been channel editor at BBC Two, having joined the pubcaster as head of commissioning for documentaries. Before that, he was MD of Fremantle’s UK firm Boundless.
Salmon’s exit, meanwhile, comes five years after he joined ESG, initially as its chief creative officer to replace the outgoing Endemol Shine president Tim Hincks. Prior to that, Salmon had a brief stint at BBCS and also worked at the BBC, Channel 4, Granada TV and The Television Corporation.
Banijay said Salmon’s departure followed “the completion of the UK integration process” following the ESG acquisition. He will officially depart at Easter 2022, when Holland will take charge.
Banijay UK’s restructuring
The rejig comes a week after Banijay revealed it had acquired Natalka Znak’s production company ZnakTV and appointed its founder to become CEO of UK firms Remarkable Entertainment and Initial.
That marked the latest exec change for Banijay’s UK’s unscripted side. Mark Hill, MD of Tipping Point producer RDF West, recently revealed he would be stepping down after 15 years, with his exit following news in September that RDF Television’s MD Jim Allen would be departing.
The company has also appointed new creative chiefs from Banijay stablemate Definitely, who will now oversee RDF labels Fizz and Little Wonder. Fizz creative director Neale Simpson departed earlier this month.
Marco Bassetti, CEO at Banijay, said: “While the [UK] business continues to grow and evolve from here-on-in, the initial integration is complete, and we understand now is an opportune time for him to move on to pastures new. We thank him for all his hard work this past 18 months and we wish him all the best with whatever comes next.”
Salmon added: “Banijay UK is now well and truly established and thriving, and it’s a good time to move on. This phase is very much the culmination of the EndemolShine sale and subsequent consolidation in the UK, and I’m very happy to have led it to this point – the logical time to move on.”
On Holland’s arrival, Bassetti added that “there is huge opportunity to further grow the pipeline of premium programming and build on Banijay UK’s existing track record – we look forward to seeing the local group further soar under his direction.”
Holland added: “I’ve had six wonderful years as a commissioner at the BBC, but the scope and ambition of the new role made the return to production irresistible.”