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Poison Pen Studios hires Left Bank Pictures, Hachette and Heyday execs in London

L-R: Luke Woellhaf, Fern McCauley and Oluchi Ezeh

Poison Pen Studios, Ben Stephenson’s fledgling ITV Studios-backed transatlantic scripted label, has added execs from Left Bank Pictures, Hachette and Heyday TV to its team in London.

London- and LA-based Poison Pen was launched by Stephenson, a former head of drama at the BBC, earlier this month with a focus on high-end premium drama.

Luke Woellhaf has joined as director of development, working alongside creative director and ex-Mammoth Screen executive Preethi Mavahalli and president Stephenson to build its international drama slate.

In his previous role at Left Bank Pictures, Woellhaf developed several projects to green light, including the ITVX thriller Without Sin, which he also assistant produced, before becoming head of development.

Woellhaf began his career working on medical drama Holby City, working his way up from story researcher to story producer before script editing the Netflix series Behind Her Eyes and the Bafta-winning BBC One drama Sitting in Limbo.

Fern McCauley has joined the team as head of IP acquisitions, leading the strategy for sourcing properties across publishing, podcasts and gaming.

Most recently, McCauley was head of media development at Hachette, where she oversaw book, film and TV rights deals as well as IP development across publishing houses Hodder & Stoughton, Headline, John Murray Press, Orion Publishing Group, Little Brown, Quercus, Headline Publishing Group and Octopus Publishing Group.

Meanwhile, Oluchi Ezeh has been appointed development coordinator. Ezeh joins from Heyday TV where she was development assistant, and before that worked in talent at B-Side Management as well as at former talent agency Troika.

Poison Pen said appointments to its US office will be announced soon. Mavahalli said: “Ben and I feel very lucky to have built such a talented, young and inspiring team.”

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