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Fremantle's Cohen Steps Down as CEO

RTL Group announced the appointment of Cécile Frot-Coutaz as the new CEO of FremantleMedia, effective July 1, 2012. Current CEO Tony Cohen will step down to focus on his non-executive work.

Press release from RTL Group:

Luxembourg / London / Los Angeles – RTL Group announced the appointment of Cécile Frot-Coutaz as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FremantleMedia, to be based in London, effective July 1, 2012. Cécile Frot-Coutaz, currently CEO of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), will succeed Tony Cohen who will step down to focus on his non-executive work.

Guillaume de Posch, Co-CEO of RTL Group together with Anke Schäferkordt, says, “After being with the group for 17 years, Cécile has the vision and leadership that are needed to further grow FremantleMedia. She brings expertise and drive from the largest TV market in the world and combines her creative skills as a producer with a sharp business perspective. I am very happy to welcome her at the helm of RTL Group’s production arm.”

De Posch continues, “I want to thank Tony Cohen for his outstanding achievements. He transformed FremantleMedia from a collection of individual entities into a global content power house. Under his leadership, the company has become the pre-eminent producer of the hit prime-time global entertainment formats in dozens of countries, a top distributor and brand licensor, and a rapidly growing force in online and mobile gaming, branded entertainment and kids. I wish him all the best for the future.”

Tony Cohen says, “FremantleMedia’s extraordinary creative and commercial achievements this last decade have been due to the talent and skill of its leadership team and staff, to our great partnerships with major talent and to our shareholder’s unwavering support. I am grateful to them all and to have been part of the company’s amazing journey.”

As the CEO of FremantleMedia North America, Cécile Frot-Coutaz currently oversees the development, production and business operations of over 600 hours of network, cable and syndicated programming. Under her guidance, FMNA currently produces some of the most innovative and successful event entertainment on television, including the multiple Emmy-nominated musical/reality show American Idol on the Fox network. Other titles produced by FMNA are The X Factor (Fox), America’s Got Talent (NBC), Family Feud (syndicated), The Price Is Right (CBS), and the scripted series The Wedding Band (TBS).

Born and raised in France, Frot-Coutaz earned her MBA from the prestigious Insead business school in 1994. When Pearson purchased the assets of Grundy Television, Frot-Coutaz was named Corporate Strategy Executive for the newly created Pearson TV. She then spearheaded the subsequent acquisition and integration of All-American Fremantle into the Pearson Television Group. After a short stint in San Francisco creating online and interactive strategies for Pearson Television, Frot-Coutaz joined the North American headquarters of the newly rebranded FremantleMedia in Los Angeles, where she served as Executive Vice President, Commercial and Operations until her promotion to COO of Production in 2002, and CEO in 2005. Her successor will be named in due course.