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Bob & Co makes Strong addition

London-based production and investment company Bob & Co is reshuffling its senior management team, appointing the head of Agatha Christie Ltd (ACL) as CEO, and has revealed plans to launch a literary investment arm..

Hilary Strong

Hilary Strong will work across Bob & Co’s activities and focus on developing the company’s existing production slate, including TV drama, factual programming, films, theatre and digital shows.

She will oversee the company’s investments in a new literary estates business and takes on the CEO remit from Bob Benton, who founded Bob & Co in 2010.

Benton, president of Bob & Co, will retain responsibility for the company’s theatre and media funds, while deputy chairman and former Lion Television founder Jeremy Mills is moving into a creative role with responsibility for unscripted programming.

He will report to Strong, who will be responsible for strategy across all parts of the group, working with Benton.

“With over 20 years in the industry, Hilary Strong has an impeccable business pedigree and the ability to straddle both the commercial and creative space effectively in a global market,” Benton said.

“Our joint ambition is to make Bob & Co the go to media production and investment group, where the best talent can create the most engaging and entertaining content across all our businesses areas.”

Strong, who worked for UK prodcos including Hat Trick and Chorion before ACL, added: “In addition to the current production and finance business, we will be investing in a new rights ownership business, which will be acquiring literary estates. This will be supported by, and will feed into, our existing production businesses across all platforms.”

Bob & Co’s portfolio includes drama-focused Duchess Street Productions, headed by Donna Wiffen, former head of worldwide drama at FremantleMedia; film prodco SUMS Media; and factual-skewing duo Woodcut Media and Spark TV, the latter focused on fact ent.

Licensing and merchandising support is provided internally by Larkshead Media, a media service company focusing on children’s content. The company also operates The Cultural Capital Fund, which invests in media content projects across television and film.

ACL, which worked on the BBC’s Christie recent adaptation The Witness for the Prosecution, is headed by James Prichard, Christie’s great grandson, as chairman and CEO.

The company is 64% owned by US-based RLJ Entertainment, operator of US SVoD service Acorn TV, with Christie’s family holding the remaining 36%.

Earlier this year RLJE secured the support of cablenet AMC Networks to increase its investment in content over the next five years.


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