Press release from FremantleMedia North America, April 27, 2015:
Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia North America, today announced he will be stepping down as CEO when his contract with the company concludes this summer. Beers will be replaced by Jennifer Mullin, EVP, Current Programming and Craig Cegielski, EVP, Scripted Programming who will be promoted to Co-CEOs, FremantleMedia North America (FMNA).
Mullin and Cegielski will report directly into Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia, and will also have a seat on the FremantleMedia Operating Board from June this year. Mullin and Cegielski will partner to drive continued creative and strategic growth across all of the company’s key businesses.
Thom Beers said, “It’s been an unbelievable ride and I’ve been fortunate to build an incredibly talented team. We’ve launched shows in syndication and primetime, premiered our first scripted drama, created Buzzr, the company’s first linear channel, and leaped into the digital content business with Tiny Riot! I’m forever thankful to Cecile for her collaborative style, brilliant leadership and friendship. I couldn’t be more energized about FMNA’s future and I’m proud to pass the baton to two of my favorite powerhouses, Jennifer Mullin and Craig Cegielski.”
Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO, FremantleMedia, said, “Thom has made great strides for the US business. His extensive expertise, creativity, enthusiasm and innovative approach have opened new roads for the company, while building on its foundation. Jennifer and Craig are perfect successors to Thom. They are passionate, driven experts who will lead the business through the next exciting phase and continue to grow the accomplishments Thom made during his tenure. I can’t thank Thom enough for all that he has done for the company and I’m delighted to welcome Jennifer and Craig as they transition to lead the business.”
Jennifer Mullin said, “It’s been wonderful to see FMNA grow and innovate over the past 10 years. I’m so proud of our team, what’s been achieved and what’s ahead. Thom has been a terrific fearless leader and incredibly supportive for the past three years. I thank Cecile for this opportunity and her commitment to drive excellence for the business globally. I feel honored to take the reins at FMNA and partner with the brilliant Craig Cegielski. I couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead.”
Craig Cegielski said, “I joined FremantleMedia to lead the scripted business in bold and dynamic programming, defining FMNA’s voice in the community. Over the past two years we’ve launched one series on air and sold over a dozen projects into development, while partnering with some of the greatest talent in the industry. I couldn’t thank Thom enough for his enthusiasm and support; and to Cecile for her ongoing commitment to our ambitions. I have a huge amount of respect for the incredibly talented Jennifer Mullin and I’m looking forward to us taking this company to new heights together.”
Mullin, formerly EVP, Current Programming, FMNA, has been at the helm of FMNA’s unscripted programming for nearly ten years, overseeing the company’s extensive slate. During this time, she has significantly grown FMNA’s presence in the game show and reality competition genres. Overseeing the game show franchises, The Price Is Right, Family Feud and Let’s Make A Deal, Mullin and her team have taken each of the series to record-breaking ratings highs across daytime and syndication. Building FMNA’s syndication pipeline, Mullin led the launch of the company’s newest entry, Celebrity Name Game. The fast-paced and funny game show was a success out of the gate, coming in as the second highest-rated new syndicated program in 2014 and subsequently renewed for a second season. The inaugural season also garnered an Emmy® for Craig Ferguson as Outstanding Game Show Host at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Mullin has a long history in network primetime, overseeing titles such as Million Dollar Password, American Inventor and Hole in Wall. In 2013 Mullin launched the first-of-its-kind reality competition, The Great Christmas Light Fight. The show was a success for ABC, landing the network’s best December performance in its time slot for the last five years. The format has now become a staple on ABC, with a third season coming later this year. Mullin is also bringing Celebrity Family Feud to ABC this summer, a primetime celebrity version of one of television’s most popular and enduring game show formats, Family Feud.
Prior to joining FMNA in 2005, Mullin worked as an Exec Producer at companies such as Telepictures and Universal. She was the Supervising Producer on the FOX series Married By America. She also was the Supervising Producer on the syndicated series Rendez-View and Real TV for Paramount Domestic TV. In addition, she served as the Executive in Charge of Production for the long-running syndicated hit, A Current Affair.
Veteran television executive Craig Cegielski joined FMNA in June 2013 as Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming. Cegielski’s appointment launched the company’s scripted drive, and since joining, he has seen over a dozen projects into development. This includes FMNA’s first scripted series, The Returned, which launched on A&E in the US and on Netflix globally. The series opened as A&E’s most-watched and highest-rated new scripted series premiere since 2013.
In addition to partnering Carlton Cuse (Lost) and Raelle Tucker (True Blood) on The Returned, Cegielski and his team continue to bring a pedigree to FMNA that has lured top scripted and literary talent to the company. FMNA is working with Neil Gaiman, author of the acclaimed urban fantasy novel, American Gods, and top showrunners, Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (Heroes), to adapt the novel for STARZ. Cegielski has also partnered Richard Price (The Wire) and Scott Frank (Out of Sight) to adapt the acclaimed novel, The Twenty Year Death, by Ariel S. Winter.
Cegielski came to FMNA from Open Circle Entertainment, an independent television company, which he founded with producing partner Susan Gross. Previously, he was President of GK-tv, a division of Graham King’s GK Films. Recent productions included Camelot, for Starz and Continuum, for Shaw in Canada and Syfy in the US and UK. Prior to that, Cegielski was Executive Vice President, Programming & Sales for Lionsgate International Television. At Lionsgate, Cegielski was responsible for oversight of all international distribution and acquisitions, sales and marketing for the group’s comprehensive slate of programming, including Weeds, Mad Men and Crash.