Banijay promotes creative networks co-leads Townley & Green to chief content officers

L-R: James Townley & Lucas Green

Production and distribution giant Banijay has promoted its creative networks co-leads, James Townley and Lucas Green, to chief content officers.

Townley, who previously served as global head of content development, is now chief content officer, development, while Green, formerly global head of content operations, becomes chief content officer, operations. The pair were both elevated into their previous positions in 2020 to co-lead Banijay’s central content team.

These new promotions take immediate effect, with Townley continuing to lead on unscripted development across the group at-large, while also overseeing third-party format acquisition. He also expands his remit to include documentaries, with his department continuing to manage all group level investment in non-scripted, including the Creative Fund, which supported original travelling formats Blow Up (EndemolShine Nederland ), Love Triangle (Endemol Shine Australia) and Starstruck (Remarkable).

Green, meanwhile, works with Banjiay’s non-scripted labels worldwide to drive production efficiency and creative best practice. Bringing producers together, he and his team “support, scrutinise and champion” existing formats to ensure quality of output and innovative production methods.

His team also provides production consultancy to implement Banijay’s collection of format bibles and oversees the ongoing expansion and brand integrity of formats such as Big BrotherSurvivor, MasterChef, Temptation Island, and their spin-offs. Green further takes responsibility for ESG (environment, social and governance) across the unscripted portfolio.

Both Townley and Green report to CEO Marco Bassetti, who said: Creative reinvestment, efficiency and rights retention are all central to our global strategy, and to date, the pair have been key in championing these elements across the group globally.

“While the market has its challenges, we have a robust operation in place to maintain the high standards of delivery and innovation our buyers have become accustomed to, and ultimately, our leading position in international formats.”

These latest promotions follow recent Banijay leadership changes at both the local and group level, with Newen Group exec Guillaume Thouret hired as managing director for Banijay Studios France earlier this week, while last month saw Banijay UK hire former BBC finance director for BBC content Sarb Nijjer as its new COO.

Former COO of Banijay Studios France, Frédéric Balmary, was meanwhile named as chief business officer for the group in March, while back in December, Helen Greatorex was  promoted to head of format acquisitions, reporting into Townley.

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