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Abrego takes Banijay’s reins in Americas

Banijay has promoted Endemol Shine North America CEO Cris Abrego to a new role that gives him responsibility for the production and distribution giant in North America and Latin America.

Cris Abrego

As chairman for the Americas at Banijay and president and CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings, Abrego will now have principal responsibility for the two major territories, reporting to Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti.

Abrego previously served as CEO, Endemol Shine North America and chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, having taken up the positions in 2016.

The former co-founder and CEO of Endemol Shine-owned studio 51 Minds Entertainment, Abrego is one of the leading creators and producers of reality TV in the US and originally joined Endemol Shine North America in 2014 as co-CEO.

Most recently, he led the launch of production labels in both Brazil and Mexico for Endemol Shine, as well as a push into Spanish-language programming in the US and across Latin America.

Banijay said that Abrego, as one of the highest-ranking Latinos in television, has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and he will continue to drive this narrative across his broadened remit.

Abrego’s full portfolio of businesses now includes Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and YellowBird US.

He will also have full oversight of Endemol Shine Latino, the company’s Spanish-language sales and development arm that leads all original programming initiatives across Latin America. This includes Mexico City-based studio Endemol Shine Boomdog and Endemol Shine Brasil in Sao Paulo.

Banijay Studios North America will continue to be run independently by president and CEO David Goldberg.

Meanwhile, Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) chairman and CEO Gil Goldschein will leave the company behind franchises such as Real World, Project Runway and Keeping Up With the Kardashians after 20 years on February 15, 2021.

Gil Goldschein

Goldschein, who was promoted to his current role at the US reality producer in 2015, exits after the Kardashian-Jenner family called time on their long-running hit reality TV show after 20 seasons on US network E!.

The exec is credited by Banijay with turning BMP into a “global powerhouse,” having joined the company two decades ago to start its business and legal affairs department.

Goldschein also led the company into new business areas, including launching BMP Digital, BMP Kids, BMP Latin, BMP Films and Yellowbird US for scripted television. He also negotiated global co-development and production deals with companies in the UK, Scandinavia, Israel, South Korea and Canada.

Bassetti said: “Gil has long led a successful operation for us in BMP. A valuable leader and partner, he has been at the forefront of some of our most prominent brands in the US.

“Forging relationships across borders, he has brought a host of innovative IP to the table from around the world, while continuing to grow the business and its offering, and we wish him all the best with whatever comes next.”

Bassetti said of Abrego’s promotion: “Cris has long been a significant figurehead in the US content ecosystem. Respected, creatively triumphant and a driver of positive change, he has all the qualities to strategically and effectively lead one of our largest territories.

“With nine labels split across North and Latin America, spanning everything from entertainment to scripted, he has oversight of some of the region’s most celebrated IP and we’ve no doubt our pipeline and reputation will only soar under his leadership.”

Abrego added: “I am truly excited about this new role and the opportunity that it allows me and our team to continue building on the tremendous momentum we’ve created at Endemol Shine over the last five years across North America and Latin America. I’m also looking forward to working closely with Marco and our new Banijay colleagues here in the US and around the globe. “

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