Former Syco international chief George Levendis has resurfaced as COO of Turkish broadcaster Acun Medya.
Deadline revealed that Levendis, one of the key executives responsible for the global roll out of the Got Talent and X Factor formats, has left Cowell’s Syco Entertainment last month.
He will become COO of Acun Medya Global, the Turkish broadcaster, which includes two channels in the country including TV8. The company produces local versions of formats including The Great British Bake Off, Dancing with the Stars, Deal or No Deal, The Voice Fear Factor and Got Talent. Acun Medya Global also offices in Holland, Greece, Mexico, Romania and the Dominican Republic with plans for further expansion in 2018.
Levendis was responsible for the international development of these global franchises, including over 50 global versions of Got Talent and X Factor. He worked closely with distributors including FremantleMedia International and the international broadcasters. Prior to joining Syco, Levendis was Managing Director of Greek broadcaster Antenna TV, one of the largest networks in the country. He also appeared as a judge on three seasons of the Greek version of The X Factor, so knew the format well. Before moving into television, like Cowell, he spent twenty years in the music business in roles including Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Sony BMG, where he oversaw campaigns for the likes of Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Foo Fighters.
Levendis said, “I am very excited to be joining Acun Medya Global, an innovative, forward thinking media business with ambitions to expand globally across the television, sports, digital and entertainment business. Turkey is currently the fastest growing exporter of content globally, and Acun Medya is a key part of this trend. The company is made up of smart, media savvy and dynamic executives and I want to thank Acun and CEO Ebru Atasav for this opportunity”.
Acun Medya Global Founder Acun Ilıcalı added, “We are very excited and happy to welcome George to the Acun Medya team. Since we started this company, we always aimed for growth, creativity and innovation, without losing our family spirit. We believe George’s background and global expertise will help us greatly on this path, which will be further enhanced by his ideas and enthusiasm as part of the Acun Medya team.”