EXCLUSIVE: Former RTL Group CEO Bert Habets has been appointed CEO of global media outfit Antenna Group. He replaces Jonathan Procter, who has returned to his native South Africa to be Group CEO of Primedia Group after a lengthy stint in charge of Antenna.
Habets, who left Fremantle owner RTL in 2019, will oversee the free TV, pay TV, OTT, content, radio, digital, music, publishing and education divisions on all platforms for Antenna, which says it currently reaches a global audience of more than 150M.
Habets replaced Anke Schäferkordt to become Co-CEO of European giant RTL Group in March 2017 alongside Guillaume de Posch, taking on the role solely later that year. He resigned in 2019 citing personal considerations and has since been a founding partner of the Dutch Museum for Electronic Museum Culture and sat on Dubai entertainment business OSN’s board.
Antenna Chairman Theodore Kyriakou praised Habets’ “vast operational experience and strategic mindset .”
“He will significantly contribute to our growth plans as we continue to embrace new technologies and new markets,” added Kyriakou.
Habets said he had been attracted by the “ambition to grow and lead the ongoing transformation in the media industry.”
Headquartered in the Netherlands and with offices in London, New York and Athens, Antenna, which launched with one TV station in Greece in 1989, now operates a wealth of free-to-air and pay-TV channels, along with its various other business units and investments in the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. Its advisory board includes former UKTV CEO Darren Childs and Aristocrat Digital CEO Mike Lang.
Last month, Sony Pictures Television sold its entire network portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe to the group, covering 22 pay-TV channels and two OTT services in 12 territories.