ProSiebenSat.1 Buys Dating Service eHarmony; Sky Italia Hires New Content Chief; UK Union Bectu Hires New Boss – Global Briefs

By Peter White, Andreas Wiseman

German commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 has acquired U.S. online dating service eHarmony. The company, which owns 11 production companies in the States including Married At First Sight producer Kinetic Content and The Circus producer Left/Right, has acquired the dating service via its NuCom Group, which owns German online matchmaking platform Parship Elite Group. eHarmony CEO Grant Langston will continue to manage the business with the PEG management joining the Supervisory Board. Max Conze, CEO ProSiebenSat.1 Media, said, “Creating growth and leveraging synergies are key elements of our strategy. This acquisition is an excellent fit. Bringing these two strong brands together will immediately create a world leading online matchmaking company.” Langston added, “By bringing together our well-known, like-minded companies, we have the resources and shared knowledge to compete and achieve growth together in the online matchmaking market with a laser focus on creating long-lasting, meaningful relationships,” Langston said.

Sky Italia has hired former Warner Bros exec Nicola Maccanico as its new content chief following the departure of Andrea Scrosati to Fremantle. Maccanico becomes Executive Vice President, Content at the Gomorrah broadcaster. He will oversee all entertainment and movie content for the Italian broadcaster and will, for the time being, continue to serve as CEO of Sky Italia’s movie distribution arm Vision Distribution, which he has run since 2017. His appointment comes as the company undergoes a reorganization, which will also see its portfolio of free-to-air channels look to grow their advertising by moving from reporting to the programming division to Sky Media. Sky Italia originals include HBO co-pro The Young Pope, George Clooney’s Hulu co-pro Catch-22 and Zero Zero Zero.

UK media and entertainment union BECTU has appointed Philippa Childs as its new Head. She becomes the first woman to hold the role. Childs, a former national secretary at BECTU’s parent trade union, Prospect, takes up the post following the departure of Gerry Morrissey after more than a decade as General Secretary. Childs will oversee the work of BECTU’s five divisions: BBC; London Production Division; Regional Production Division; Independent Broadcasting, and Arts and Entertainment. The Communications and Digital divisions, which also fall under BECTU’s remit and which Childs previously oversaw, will continue to fall within her wider remit. The union counts more than 30,000 members and staff.

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