Fennessys on decision to stay: ‘We decided to jump off but then had fresh conversation’

Brothers Mark and Carl Fennessy, joint CEOs of the combined Endemol Shine production company have spoken for the first time about why they announced they were departing and then later changed their minds.

Mark Carl Fennessy

Carl and Mark Fennessy

Speaking at the Screen Forever conference in Melbourne Mark Fennesy said: “There is not any great mystical story about it. We were coming to the conclusion of our contracts at Shine so we had a bunch of discussions with management in UK they were all very amicable.

“We were considering what road we were going to go down and we just didn’t get there… we decided to jump off but then over the next six to eight weeks we were in continual contact with them and we had a fresh conversation and to be honest it was pretty easy and we just kind of got there.”

Mark Fennessy also expressed the frustration of many in the industry with the lack of measurement across device noting that Oztam’s expected announcements, due in the coming weeks, about cross media measurement are probably “overdue”.

“The market is expanding and fragmenting at the same time and that creates a lot of disruption,” said Mark Fennessy. “I think we are definitely in need of an overhaul of our audience measuring mechanisms and I believe that’s coming.

“It has probably been overdue for a while because there is a message going out on a daily basis that less and less people are watching (television) and that’s probably not accurate, they are just watching differently.”

Carl Fennessy added that while measurement was a challenge producers should not shift responsibility to the TV networks.

“Often its too easy for producers to believe that broadcasters ‘won’t take a punt on my show’ but it is a risk/reward business and anyone who thinks that sitting in the commissioning editor’s chair is an easy job is wrong,” said Carl Fennessy.

“We are all trying to find the right formula to get the audience and when a network takes a misstep it can send their business back significantly and reduce investment and their spend on production.”

Nic Christensen


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