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Pickard joins new Frank prodco

Nigel Pickard is to reunite with David and Matthew Frank, former CEOs of Zodiak Media and Zodiak Rights respectively, at their new production company Dial Square 86.

Nigel Pickard

Nigel Pickard

Pickard, who stepped down from his role as CEO of Zodiak UK Kids and chair of its children’s prodco The Foundation earlier this year, will begin at Dial Square 86 on November 1.

The TV veteran has a longstanding relationship with the Frank brothers, having joined the pair’s RDF Media Group as director of kids, family entertainment and drama in 2006. Following RDF’s acquisition by Zodiak in 2010 Pickard took up a role as CEO MEAA, Zodiak UK Kids.

Founded by David Frank, Dial Square 86 is a London-based prodco that will create, finance and exploit multiplatform audiovisual content. C21 first revealed news of the prodco in May.

Dial Square 86 said Pickard’s “primary focus is on identifying and/or attracting opportunities among producers, rights owners, talent and other content players in the family entertainment and kids’ space both in the UK and worldwide.”

Charlie Caminada, former executive director of Hit Entertainment and cofounder of Chuggington producer Ludorum, has also been recruited as a director at the new company.

Pickard has worked in television since 1972, developing and producing a wide range of programmes before becoming controller of children’s and family at TVS in 1986.

In 1998, he moved to ITV to be controller of children’s and youth programmes and in 2000 he was appointed controller of BBC children’s, overseeing the launch of two new channels, CBBC and CBeebies.

In 2003, he went back to ITV as director of programmes, where his remit was the scheduling and commissioning of the entire ITV output including The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Doc Martin.

Since Pickard’s departure, Zodiak has hired former CBeebies head Michael Carrington to oversee The Foundation, while ITV Studios Global Entertainment exec Jean Philippe Randisi has been brought in to lead its kids’ division.

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