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Endemol Shine North America Unveils New Executive Structure

March 16, 2015 - Endemol Shine North America has finalized its new executive management structure. The new structure is a result of a joint venture that brings together Endemol, Shine and CORE Media and was announced today by Charlie Corwin and Cris Abrego, the Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of the company.

Endemol Shine Group is now the largest independent production and distribution group in the world. In North America alone, Corwin and Abrego’s teams will oversee a diverse programming lineup of more than 1,000 hours of hit series across broadcast, cable, syndication and digital platforms. These include “Big Brother” (CBS), “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior” (Fox), “The Biggest Loser” (NBC), “Hell on Wheels” (AMC), “Kingdom” (DirecTV), “Wipeout” (ABC) and nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey.”

Endemol Shine North America subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment (“Knife Fight,” “Flipping Out”), Original Media (“Ink Master,” “Swamp People”), True Entertainment (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Vanity Fair Confidential”) and 51 Minds Entertainment (“Below Deck,” “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle”).

Also part of the Endemol Shine Group family in North America is CORE Media Group, which has a separate capital structure and incorporates world-class development and production operations including 19 Entertainment (“American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”) and Sharp Entertainment (“Man v. Food” and “Property Wars”).

Endemol Beyond, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning digital networks of 2014, is part of the Endemol Shine Group. As a Premium Channel Network (PCN), Endemol Beyond USA produces exclusive content for traditional and digital stars such as Michelle Phan, Brittany Furlan, Pitbull and many others. Beyond channels are available across more than 20 platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Roku, TiVo, DailyMotion and Amazon Fire TV.

"Endemol Shine combines the creative spirit of independence with the global scale of a major studio. With a wide variety of hit formats and the top international sales operation in the world, our company is fast becoming the destination for innovative talent in scripted, unscripted and digital genres,” said Corwin and Abrego. “We are thrilled to announce the incredible new executive team in North America that will help lead our company into the future."

Ben Samek has been named Chief Operating Officer for Endemol Shine North America. Samek, who was formerly COO for Endemol North America, reports to both Abrego and Corwin.

Eden Gaha will serve as President, Unscripted Television, Endemol Shine USA. Gaha, who was previously President, Unscripted Television, Shine America, will report to Abrego and Corwin.

Rob Smith, who has been Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President, Head of Unscripted Television and will work alongside, and report to, Gaha.

Vivi Zigler, who was previously President, Shine 360° & Digital, Shine America, has been named President, Digital, Brand & Audience Development, Endemol Shine North America and will report to Abrego and Corwin. Will Keenan will remain President, Endemol Beyond USA and report to Zigler.

Carolyn G. Bernstein, Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming at Shine America and Jeremy Gold, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Endemol Studios, will continue in their current roles in the newly merged Endemol Shine Studios. Both Bernstein and Gold will report to Corwin and Abrego.

Philippe Maigret, who played a pivotal role in launching and establishing Endemol Studios and had served as its CEO since August 2011, is stepping down and transitioning into a consultancy role.

John Farrell will serve as General Counsel for Endemol Shine North America. Farrell previously served in the same capacity at Endemol USA. Farrell reports to both Abrego and Corwin.

Paul Jennings, who has been Endemol North America's Chief Financial Officer, will serve in the same capacity for Endemol Shine North America, reporting to both Abrego and Corwin.

Joe Schlosser, who was previously Senior Vice President, Communications at Shine America, has been named Senior Vice President, Communications, Endemol Shine North America, reporting to both Abrego and Corwin.

Denise Rodine, who joined Endemol North America this past year as Vice President, Human Resources, will continue in that role for Endemol Shine North America and report to Samek.

As previously announced, CORE Media Group will continue to retain its own capital structure within the new joint venture, headed by Peter Hurwitz as President.


BEN SAMEK: Ben Samek, an 18-year veteran of the television industry, was named Chief Operating Officer for Endemol USA in January 2014. Samek, a member of the management team that guided the company through the joint venture, manages its relationships with subsidiaries Authentic Entertainment, 51 Minds, Original Media and True Entertainment. He also has oversight of the company’s operations and corporate development activities in North America, including human resources, finance and the commercial franchise team, as well as direct supervision of the company’s premium channel network (PCN) in the U.S.

Prior to his role as COO, Samek served as Chief Operating Officer at Endemol-owned 51 Minds, where he helped grow the company from its boutique beginnings into an industry heavyweight that generated more than $80 million a year in sales.

Samek began his career at MTV, working on the long-running series “FaNatic,” before moving over to reality powerhouse Bunim/Murray Productions, where he produced some of their most memorable content including “Making the Band” (ABC), “Road Rules” (MTV) and “The Extreme Challenge” (MTV). He produced “Cannonball Run” and won an Emmy Award for producing the third season of “The Amazing Race.”

EDEN GAHA: In his previous role at Shine America, Gaha was responsible for oversight of all the company's unscripted and creative development initiatives. Gaha joined Shine America in 2011, where he worked to revamp the company’s unscripted development team and overhaul its current roster of network and cable series. Gaha will continue to serve as an executive producer on a number of series that were under the Shine America banner including “MasterChef” (FOX), “MasterChef Junior” (FOX), “The Biggest Loser” (NBC), “Restaurant Startup” (CNBC) and “Fake Off” (TruTV).
Gaha originally joined Shine America in 2011 from Mark Burnett Productions, where he was the showrunner/EP of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” and also served as a co-executive producer on CBS' “Survivor,” “The Contender” and “Rock Star.” Prior to moving to the United States, Gaha had a successful on-air television career in his native Australia for more than a decade.

VIVI ZIGLER: Zigler originally joined Shine America as President, Shine 360° & Digital, in August 2012. Zigler oversaw all brand partnerships, licensing, digital, research, marketing and live experiences for Shine America. Zigler previously spent 19 years with NBCUniversal in a variety of top roles, including President, NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment. She was responsible for leading the NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment team, as well as the NBCUniversal Consumer Products Group. Zigler also served as Executive Vice President, Current Programs, NBC Entertainment and Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising Services for the NBC Agency.

Zigler has won five Emmy Awards during her career, including the Interactive Emmy in 2008 for the hit NBC series “Heroes” and twice for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” In 2012, Zigler was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company and was on The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power 50 list. In 2004, Zigler was named Marketer of the Year by Ad Age for her successful launch efforts behind Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

CAROLYN G. BERNSTEIN: Bernstein was formerly Executive Vice President, Scripted Television for Shine America, where she had overseen the company’s scripted programming since 2007. She developed and most recently served as an executive producer on the Peabody Award-winning series “The Bridge” (FX) and “Gracepoint” (FOX). Bernstein will also serve as an executive producer on the upcoming thriller “Utopia” (HBO) from director David Fincher and writer Gillian Flynn. 

Prior to joining Shine America, Bernstein was the Executive Vice President of Drama Development (1999-2006) and Senior Vice President of Alternative Programming (1999-2001) at The WB Television Network. While at The WB, she developed successful and long-running dramatic series as “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill” and “Supernatural.” She was also responsible for The WB’s first non-fiction hit series “Popstars.”  Bernstein also worked as Vice President of Drama Development at Columbia TriStar Television from 1995-1999, where she developed the hit drama “Dawson's Creek.”

JEREMY GOLD: Gold was formerly Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs for Endemol Studios, where he has overseen a broad slate of series and active development in the U.S. including “Hell on Wheels” (AMC) and “Kingdom” (DirecTV), which was recently given a second season, 20-episode renewal. Gold also served as the studio executive overseeing all aspects of development and production on “Low Winter Sun” (AMC) and “Red Widow” (ABC).

Prior to joining Endemol in 2008, Gold served as Senior Vice President, Comedy at FOX, where he oversaw all comedies for the network. Before joining FOX, he was Vice President, Comedy Development at 20th Century Fox Television, where he developed numerous series including Emmy Award-winning “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Arrested Development.” He also served as Director of Primetime Casting for ABC, where he was part of the Emmy Award-winning casting team on "NYPD Blue." He previously was Vice President of Talent and Development for Robert Morton's ABC-based Panamort Television, where he developed and produced several projects including John Leguizamo's “Freak” for HBO and the comedy series “Over the Top” for ABC.  Gold began his career as an actor and theatrical producer.

JOHN FARRELL: Farrell joined Endemol USA in 2011 as General Counsel, overseeing all aspects of legal and business affairs. Prior to joining Endemol USA, Farrell was a partner at the transactional entertainment law firm Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, where he represented Endemol USA and other clients for more than ten years.  Before that, Farrell practiced as an attorney in the entertainment department of the law firm O'Melveny & Myers. 

He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1996.  From 1994 to 1995, Farrell served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable William Matthew Byrne, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles). He earned his J.D. and his B.A. (in English) from Yale, in 1994 and 1990, respectively. 

PAUL JENNINGS: Jennings joined Endemol USA as Chief Financial Officer in 2012, overseeing the financial and human resources operations for the studio and all of its subsidiaries. Prior to joining Endemol USA, Jennings served as the Senior Vice President of Finance for Lifetime Entertainment Services, the parent company of Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women.
Jennings held that position for 10 years and during that time also served as the Chairman for the Retirement and Benefits Committee and the Chairperson for the Audit Committee. Before assuming the top financial position at Lifetime, Jennings was Vice President of Strategic Planning at Lifetime.

ROB SMITH: For the past 11 years, Rob Smith helped build Endemol USA into one of the most successful producers of reality television in the country, overseeing some of the most popular shows in reality television history. Most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, Smith oversaw the company’s robust development and production slate, current programming and the studio’s broad portfolio of hit shows, including daytime syndicated series “Steve Harvey” (NBCU) and hit primetime series “Wipeout” (ABC).

In his prior position as Executive Vice President, Programming for Endemol USA, Smith was responsible for successes such as the hit game show “Deal or No Deal,” (NBC), “Wipeout” (ABC), as well as the two-time Emmy Award-winning series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which is currently in syndication after airing for nine seasons on ABC. Prior to joining Endemol USA in 2002, he worked at Telepictures, serving as a supervising producer for the syndicated news magazine “EXTRA.”

JOE SCHLOSSER: Schlosser was named Senior Vice President, Communications at Shine America in May 2012. Previously, he oversaw corporate branding, trade and consumer media relations, programming publicity, events and all talent relations for Shine America, serving as the company’s chief press officer.

Prior to joining Shine America, Schlosser spent 10 years working at NBCUniversal in various communications roles, including his last for the company as Senior Vice President, NBC Entertainment Television Publicity. Prior to working in communications, Schlosser was the Los Angeles Bureau Chief for television trade publication Broadcasting & Cable. For the past decade, Schlosser has taught a communications course through UCLA Extension.

DENISE RODINE: Rodine joined Endemol North America last year as Vice President, Human Resources. Prior to joining Endemol, Rodine spent 10 years at NBCUniversal supporting the company’s cable assets (E!, Style and G4), as well as NBC Entertainment, where she supported late night production and programming produced by Universal Television and Universal Cable Productions. She began her career as an HR Manager for the World Headquarters of Hilton Hotels Corporation and as an HR consultant for Sears Corporation. Rodine earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky.

Further information

Joe Schlosser
[email protected]


Endemol Shine North America delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the newly launched global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies in the U.S. that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Subsidiary production companies include Authentic Entertainment, Original Media, True Entertainment and 51 Minds Entertainment. Also part of the Endemol Shine Group family in North America is CORE Media Group, which has a separate capital structure and incorporates world-class development and production operations including 19 Entertainment and Sharp Entertainment.

Endemol Shine Group’s companies in North America are behind hit series including American Idol (FOX), Below Deck (Bravo), Big Brother (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Fake Off (TruTV) Hell on Wheels (AMC), Ink Master (Spike), It Takes a Church (GSN), Kingdom (DirecTV), Knife Fight (Esquire), Man v. Food (Travel), MasterChef (FOX), MasterChef Junior (FOX), Restaurant Startup (CNBC), Swamp People (History), The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo), So You Think You Can Dance (FOX), Steve Harvey (NBCU), T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1), Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge (CMT), Wipeout (ABC) and many more.

Endemol Beyond USA, one of the fastest-growing and award-winning digital networks of 2014, is part of the Endemol Shine Group. As a Premium Channel Network (PCN), Endemol Beyond USA content is available across more than 20 platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Roku, TiVo, DailyMotion and Amazon Fire TV. Endemol beyond is the first premium channel network with hubs in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with plans to expand into Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe. Endemol Beyond USA produces and distributes premium-quality online content starring influential talent such as Pitbull, Michelle Phan, Brittany Furlan, Drea De Matteo and Andy Milonakis across lifestyle, comedy, reality and music-themed digital networks.


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