Baker has worked at Red Arrow for a decade, but the production group’s owner, German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, said he will step down at the end of the year.
He follows Red Arrow Studios International president Bo Stehmeier and the distribution arm’s acquisitions chief Alex Fraser in heading for the exit door. Joel Denton has been brought in to run the international division in the interim.
It comes just months after ProSiebenSat.1 pulled the plug on a protracted sale of the production group, which owns 20 companies, including Bosch producer Fabrik Entertainment and Love Is Blind’s Kinetic Content.
A source close to Baker said it was his decision not to renew his deal. Deadline understands that Baker is planning to spend some time reinvigorating a chocolate-making business he has in Switzerland, named Jungcow, before making a move into media investment next year.
In a statement, he said: “I have greatly enjoyed the last 10 years at Red Arrow Studios, working with talented people and creating exciting content around the world. Red Arrow Studios is in the good hands of my senior leadership team, and I wish everyone the very best.”
ProSiebenSat.1 said it will install an advisory board in Baker’s place. This will comprise ProSiebenSat.1 Media CFO and executive board chairman Rainer Beaujean; SevenOne Entertainment CEO Wolfgang Link; and Henrik Pabst, chief content officer at SevenOne. The existing Red Arrow management team will report to the new board.
Beaujean said: “Over the last 10 years James has developed and strengthened the operational performance of Red Arrow Studios – including an 18% growth in revenues in 2019 – and he has successfully driven the expansion of our German content ecosystem. We would like to thank him for his contribution to the business and wish him every success for the future.”