European production and distribution group Newen Studios has appointed Pierre Branco — the former country manager of Warner Bros Discovery for France, Benelux and Africa — as CEO.
Branco will begin his position at Newen Studios starting in April, succeeding Romain Bessi, who has decided to step down after a six-year tenure during which he led the company’s expansion.
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Newen Studios is owned by TF1 Group, France’s leading commercial network, and has a footprint in 11 countries. The banner regroups 50 labels and has so far produced more than 4,000 hours of content, as well as distributed 12,000 hours of programs across its catalog.
Under the executive reshuffle, Rodolphe Belmer, TF1’s chairman and CEO, will be appointed chairman of Newen Studios.
Under his role at Newen Studios, Branco will work with the banner’s French and international partners, ranging from traditional broadcasters to media platforms in France and abroad. Over the next six months, Bessi will continue to work with Belmer at TF1 group to support the ongoing developments.
“I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Romain Bessi for building a studio of European standing, in a particularly tough competitive environment,” Belmer said. “The proliferation of content providers, the rise of streaming and competition between global players are creating new opportunities for exacting and innovative production and distribution companies.”
Belmer also praised Branco for his “business acumen and strategic capabilities,” as well as his “brilliant career at one of the leading U.S. studios.” “
Pierre has acquired unrivaled knowledge of the global content, broadcasting, production and distribution market,” Belmer continued.
During his 17-year career at Warner, Branco played a key role in delivering the group’s international strategy across TV, digital and streaming. Under his helm, WBD France also launched successful French cinema releases, including “Simone, le voyage du siècle,” which was one of the highest-grossing French films at the box office in 2022.
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