The Voice creator leaving as ITVS distribution divides into three distinct units with Talpa phased out

John de Mol is leaving Talpa Media, which is being subsumed into a restructuring of ITV Studios’ (ITVS) international distribution business.

ITVS is rejigging its global sales arm into three distinct units as Maria Kyriacou exits for Viacom, with Talpa Media - the business that The Voice and Big Brother creator de Mol sold to ITV in 2015 - ceasing to exist as a result.

John de Mol (c) William Rutten

Source: William Rutten

John de Mol

“ITV Studios can confirm that John de Mol has chosen not to exercise his option to extend the earn-out period for a further three years as part of the Talpa Media acquisition and has decided to focus on the further development of his company Talpa Network as of 2020,” said an ITV spokeswoman. “He will continue to provide management services to Talpa Media until the end of April next year.”

ITVS will continue to work with de Mol through an existing first-look formats agreement.

Meanwhile, from January 2020, ITVS International will comprise three divisions: ITVS Creative Network, ITVS Global Entertainment (ITVSGE) and ITVS Global Distribution (ITVSGD), while several international production units will be restructured or rebranded.

ITVS chief operating officer David McGraynor is expanding his role to include oversight of all ITVS’ commercial operations, following the departure of ITVS president of international Kyriacou, who is joining Viacom International Media Networks as UK, northern Europe and eastern Europe chief. Meanwhile, Sharjeel Suleman become ITVS chief finance officer.

New divisions

ITVS Creative Network will focus on increasing the creative output of ITVS’s 36 unscripted format labels, prioritising development of format ideas with global potential.

Mike Beale, managing director of ITVS global creative network and the Nordics, will lead this unit, which will include the recently acquired Armoza Formats.

ITVS Global Entertainment will oversee unscripted format sales, and will represent the catalogues of The Voice creator Talpa Media, Armoza, Twofour Rights and ITVS’ existing unscripted formats catalogue.

Maarten Meijs, Talpa Media chief operating officer, will lead the new unit from the Netherlands. Talpa, which ITV acquired in 2015 for an initial £355m, will cease to operate as a standalone brand.

ITVS said there are “no confirmed conclusions” over the future of Twofour sales arm Twofour Rights.

“Plans are still being developed around the proposed operating model,” the spokeswoman added. “As soon as we have a clear view we’ll discuss the future proposed operating model with staff. There will be no change to roles as a result of this reorganisation activity before January 2020.”

Meanwhile, Ruth Berry, currently managing director of ITVSGE, segues into the role of head of ITVS Global Distribution, the international sales arm, focusing on drama and finished tape versions of all other ITVS shows. The division will continue to work in the high-end drama financing and co-production space.

Berry and Meijs will report into McGraynor.

Production consolidation

Dutch firms Talpa Netherlands (Talpa Content, Talpa Productions and Fictie), Mas Media and Vorst Media will be integrated into ITV Studios Netherlands, under the stewardship of chief executive Karin de Groot and COO Edwin van der Veen.

Additionally, Talpa Middle East and Talpa Germany will now come under the ITVS banner. ITVS Middle East will continue to be led by Ziad Kebbi, while Karsten Roeder leads the German wing.

“This reorganisation allows us to capitalise on the opportunity of a growing content marketplace, and to drive more value from our award-winning content,” said Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITVS.

“The centres of excellence strengthen ITV Studios potential to provide channel and platform partners with talked-about hit returning programmes as well as building brands and franchises, in an increasingly competitive global market.”

The announcement of the changes come ahead of this month’s Mipcom event in Cannes, France.

Global Entertainment will represent the catalogues of Talpa Media, Armoza Formats, Twofour and the existing ITV Studios unscripted format catalogue.


At this stage, plans are still being developed around the proposed operating model and there are no confirmed conclusions. As soon as we have a clear view we’ll discuss the future proposed operating model with staff. There will be no change to roles as a result of this reorganisation activity before January 2020.