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Schmidt to leave Red Arrow

Red Arrow Studios chief creative officer Michael Schmidt is to leave the Germany-based production outfit in June after 15 years at the firm.

Michael Schmidt

The ProSiebenSat.1-owned company has confirmed Schmidt will depart when his contract ends later this year, with Nina Etspueler promoted to group creative director as his replacement.

Etspueler is currently executive VP of creative operations at Red Arrow, working as Schmidt’s deputy.

Following her promotion, she will report to James Baker, who will take over as president and chief operating officer in March in place of another long-serving employee, Jan Frouman, whose impending exit was announced last year.

Based in Munich, Etspueler will oversee the company’s global format and IP development, acquisitions and international roll-out. She will manage partnerships in Germany and around the world within Red Arrow, between Red Arrow and ProSiebenSat.1, and with third-party creators and producers.

Etspueler arrived at ProSiebenSat.1 in 1999, originally working as a talkshow producer before moving into entertainment in 2002. She left the group in 2012 to produce in Berlin, before rejoining in 2014 as senior creative producer for Red Arrow Studios. She was promoted to executive VP of creative operations in 2017, serving as deputy to the chief creative officer and responsible for managing the company’s creative team.

Nina Etspueler

Schmidt joined ProSiebenSat.1 in 2005, assuming a number of senior management roles including head of development, head of comedy and senior VP of entertainment for German free TV operations. He joined the management team that founded Red Arrow Studios in 2009, becoming chief creative officer upon the founding of Red Arrow Studios in January 2010.

Previously a writer, producer and director, Schmidt has worked in the TV industry for 30 years, with roles in both the network and production side including producer at WDR; TV director at entertainment producer Brainpool; creative producer for RTL Television’s entertainment department; executive producer and consultant for Granada Germany; and editorial director at youth entertainment station Viva.

Going forward, he will be chairman of the advisory board of Israeli audience prediction company Vault AI. He will also focus on his and his wife’s advisory company TV-Scout in Cologne and on investing in IP and media ventures via his New York-based outfit Total Schmidt Show.

Baker said: “I would like to thank Michael for his dedication and hard work over the years. He has played an instrumental role in building the Red Arrow business from its start in 2010, and on behalf of all of my colleagues at Red Arrow and ProSiebenSat.1, we wish him all the best for the future.”

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