It’s a done deal. I’ve learned that FremantleMedia this week will announce the long-rumored appointment of Thom Beers as CEO of FremantleMedia North America. The prolific producer will succeed longtime FMNA CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz who on July 1st assumed her new position as CEO of the entire FremantleMedia company, which is owned by RTL. Beers is already in the FMNA fold after the company acquired 75% in his Original Prods. in 2009 for a reported $50 million. He also held a CEO title for 13 years, since launching his Original Prods in 1999. He remained Original CEO after the company’s acquisition by FMNA.
There have been a slew of rumored candidates for the FMNA CEO job since Frot-Coutaz’s promotion was announced in April. The list included outside contenders as well as a strong internal candidate, COO Donna Redier Linsk.
Beers has produced more than 1,400 hours of original programming, including some of basic cable’s top unscripted shows. Original’s portfolio includes unscripted cable series The Deadliest Catch, Storage Wars, Storage Wars: Texas, Bering Sea Gold, Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Wild Justice and Black Gold. In an interesting footnote, Beers in June signed with CAA, while his previous agency, WME, handles FMNA. FMNA does not have a formal agency representation but has been with Mark Itkin for over a decade, first at WMA and then at WME.