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Talpa USA names co-CEOs

Talpa Media USA has appointed two co-CEOs to replace Jay Bienstock and has revealed a plan to produce its North American shows through the US division of parent company ITV America.

Talpa founder John de Mol

Executive producers Stijn Bakkers and Tim van Rongen, who both worked on Talpa’s singing format The Voice, will head up Talpa Media USA, based in LA. ITV completed a US$530m deal to buy Talpa in 2015.

Bakkers served as Talpa Media USA’s chief creative officer from 2011 until mid-2014 and was an executive producer on NBC and the BBC’s versions of The Voice. He previously headed De Mol’s international production unit and operated his own banner, Five Six Seven.

Van Rongen most recently served as senior VP at Syco Entertainment and prior to that was executive producer at Talpa, where he worked on both The Voice and The Voice Kids in the UK, Germany, France and Italy. He also executive produced The Voice in China.

The pair’s remit covers the creation and expansion of Talpa’s global format portfolio in the US, working with David Eilenberg, president of ITV Entertainment, Adam Sher, chief commercial officer at ITV America, and David George, president at ITV America.

Bienstock, who has served as CEO of Talpa Media USA since 2014, is in discussions to set up an overall deal that will allow him to focus on a variety of Talpa shows that have recently sold in the US and are in development or starting production.

Meanwhile, the production partnership will see Talpa’s North American shows being produced through ITV America’s infrastructure. The Voice will continue to be produced for NBC by Talpa, MGM and Warner Horizon.

Talpa founder John de Mol said the arrangement “enables us to use their highly proficient infrastructure and resources.”

He added: “With Stijn and Tim at the helm of our US operation, we are well positioned to further increase our development and production across broadcast, non-linear, cable and digital platforms – whether it’s longform, shortform or premium global content that we are known for, like The Voice.”

De Mol said the partnership would provide “a great strategic setup to facilitate the rapidly growing US market with fresh Talpa formats.”

ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery added that the deal would help the companies “create and deliver breakthrough content to audiences across any and every platform where they want to experience and connect with it.”

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