Newen Connect promotes for newly created chief commercial officer role

Leona Connell

TF1-owned French distributor Newen Connect has promoted Leona Connell to the newly created position of chief commercial officer.

In her new role, Connell will focus on international and French markets, broadening her remit to oversee a team of 20 sales representative across cinema and TV, covering all genres and types of content. She will be based between London and Paris.

The role was created following the integration of the TF1 Studio International Distribution Team under the Newen Connect banner in 2022 and will support “the distribution company’s ambition to optimize the value of its film rights,” according to Newen.

Joining the company in 2020, Connell previously served as EVP of distribution, leading the fiction and non-fiction TV sales team in France and internationally and supporting the financing of Newen Connect projects. Connell also developed co-production partnerships and pre-sales.

Prior to Newen Connect, Connell held distribution roles at IMG and Parthenon Entertainment. After serving as director of global sales at Sky Vision for eight years, she joined NBC Universal as SVP of sales before moving to Newen Connect in 2020.

Rodolphe Buet – CEO of Newen Connect said that Connell’s appointment “brings together Newen Connect’s desire to accelerate synergies between the film and TV Group, harmonize its processes and create more value for our talented producers.”

Connell’s promotion follows recent hires at Newen Connect, including former France TV Distribution and NBCUniversal exec Camille Serra last month to develop its sales activity in US, English-speaking Canada, Japan, German-speaking Europe and Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, in November, the company appointed former ITV Studios and BBC Studios exec Josephine Fontaine to head English-language acquisitions in the UK, North America and Australia.

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