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International TV business pioneer and RDF Media founder David Frank dies aged 63

Television industry veteran David Frank, founder of RDF Media and former CEO of Zodiak Media Group, has died aged 63.

David Frank

Frank, who died suddenly over the weekend, was instrumental in placing the UK TV business at the forefront of international formats whilst helping to lay the foundations for the country’s now world-beating indie production sector.

He founded RDF Media in 1993 and, with his brother Matthew, grew the company into one of the UK’s leading TV producers with a long list of domestic and international hits including Faking It, Wife Swap and The Secret Millionaire.

Success in the US soon followed and the Frank brothers eventually sold RDF Media to De Agostini for £150m (US$203.64m) in 2010, when it became part of Zodiak Media, with David named CEO.

This established one of the world’s first ‘superindies,’ encompassing a transatlantic group of production companies alongside a growing scripted and unscripted distribution arm that is now part of Banijay Group.

David left Zodiak at the end of 2013 and joined Matthew in setting up Dial Square 86, named after his beloved Arsenal football team, and TRX, which set out to revolutionise the global TV distribution business by taking it online.

More recently, the pair set up London-based distributor Rocket Rights, with David taking the role of chairman while Matthew is CEO. The company has a growing catalogue of scripted and unscripted series.

Matthew told C21 tributes have been pouring in from friends and colleagues within the industry, who he said are “all terribly shocked and saddened by the news.” Arrangements for the funeral have not yet been made.

C21 will publish a full report on David’s life and career in the coming days.


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