Fremantle-owner RTL Group sells Belgian arm for $300m

European broadcaster RTL Group has sold its Belgian division, including three channels and streamer RTL Play, to DPG Media and Groupe Rossel for €250m ($300m). RTL Group assumed full ownership of RTL Belgium in December 2020, having spent 33 years as its majority shareholder, but is now offloading the division as part of a Europe-wide […]

French duo M6 & TF1 unveil merger plans

France’s two leading commercial broadcasters M6 and TF1 have unveiled plans to merge. The pair, which have already partnered on streaming service Salto along with pubcaster France Télévisions, announced that the proposed merger would create a French media group “with the broadest TV, radio, digital, content production and technology offering to the benefit of all […]

Penguin Random House UK hires BBCS exec to drive IP adaptations

Penguin Random House UK – a division of German giant Bertelsmann – has appointed former BBC Studios (BBCS) exec Jenna Brown to a newly created role overseeing rights deals for its IP. Brown becomes head of media rights at the UK publisher, with a remit to find partners to develop Penguin Random House authors’ work into […]

Bertelsmann explores $3.6bn sale of France’s M6 Group

German media conglomerate Bertelsmann is reportedly looking to sell its controlling stake in French broadcast group M6 and has already approached potential buyers including France’s Vivendi and Altice Europe. Bertelsmann is said to be looking for a deal worth around €3bn ($3.6bn) for the M6 Group, which it controls through its subsidiary RTL Group, and […]

Storyglass hires Audible, ITN & Initial alum Steve Carsey as MD

Fremantle-backed podcast-skewing prodco Storyglass has appointed Audible’s Steve Carsey as its MD. Former ITN Productions and Initial exec Carsey will lead the business in its development, production and distribution of podcasts for a global audience, reporting into Storyglass chairman Bob McCourt. Storyglass was initially launched in 2018 as a scripted-focused division of Fremantle’s global drama […]

Bertelsmann moves Fremantle’s Storyglass in with Penguin Random House for podcast push

European content giant Bertelsmann is combining expertise from its UK businesses – including TV producer Fremantle and publishing giant Penguin Random House UK – as part of an expanded push into podcasting. Storyglass, which was launched in 2018 as a scripted-focused division of Fremantle’s global drama department, will now produce projects across all genres, including […]

Habets replacing Schäferkordt as RTL CEO

Anke Schäferkordt is stepping down as co-CEO of RTL Group, with the pan-European broadcaster’s Dutch boss Bert Habets filling her role. Schäferkordt will remain in charge of RTL Deutschland, the group’s largest operation, while RTL Nederland chief Habets will step into the chief exec role, working alongside existing co-CEO Guillaume de Posch, who remains in […]

UK-licensed channels weigh Brexit impact

UK-licensed European channels face a period of uncertainty after last night’s Brexit vote, according to industry sources. Hundreds of networks within the European Union are licensed out of the UK by communications regulator Ofcom. With UK voters opting to leave the EU, the status of these licences, and how the channels will ensure they are […]

Turkish format to debut on RTL in Hungary

A Hungarian broadcaster is working up the first international version of Turkish-produced talent singing format It’s Showtime. RTL2 has commissioned the show after its Bertelsmann stablemate FremantleMedia picked up production rights in 20 territories. FremantleMedia’s UFA Magyarország will produce the show through its recently launched Show and Factual division. FremantleMedia‘s option deal with Istanbul-based format […]

RTL MCN plots BMG music artists push

Multi-channel network BroadbandTV is partnering with Bertelsmann stablemate and music publisher BMG on an initiative to push emerging artists to YouTube and digital audiences. The two firms have created Windfall, which they say is “a model set for the digital age, providing an end-to-end solution to find, develop, and service artists across all platforms”. In […]