EXCLUSIVE: Former Endemol Shine Australia co-founder Carl Fennessy and former Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks have set up a major new Sydney-based production company and secured backing from Endeavor Content.
The duo launched the full-service production and distribution studio Dreamchaser and will serve as co-CEOs.
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It comes after Fennessy, who ran Endemol Shine Australia with his brother Mark in its various forms for ten years, after forming FremantleMedia Australia, left the Chef producer in September 2020 following its acquisition by Banijay. Mark Fennessy recently launched his own Helium production group.
Meanwhile, Marks spent five years as CEO of Nine Entertainment, which owns Nine Network, one of the top three broadcasters in the country, as well as streaming service Stan.
Dreamchaser seeks to partner with established and emerging creators to develop programming slates for local and international broadcasters and streamers. He envisions a number of creative partnerships across the scripted, factual, and entertainment genres.
They have received investment from Endeavor Content, which itself saw Korean CJ ENM acquire an 80% stake in the company earlier this year.
Marks and Fennessy have also assembled their management team. Sara Horn, who was previously managing director of production and operations at Endemol Shine Australia, joins as COO, Megan Rees-Williams, who was also at Endemol Shine Australia, becomes CFO and Monique Keller, who comes from Fremantle Australia, becomes head of development.
“We are seeing an explosion in global demand for premium content from new and traditional television platforms that shows no signs of slowing down. At the same time, Australian creatives are at the forefront of many of the biggest shows in the world. There has never been a greater opportunity for global content to be developed and sold from this market,” Marks and Fennessy said. “With Endeavor Content’s strategic partnership, Dreamchaser will be a one-stop home for our creative partners to realize all of their ambitions and for content curators to have confidence that Dreamchaser will be the Australian studio where those ambitions can be realized.”
“We are delighted that Hugh and Carl are bringing their combined industry expertise to launch Dreamchaser, tapping into Australia’s thriving creative and production communities,” added Endeavor Content co-CEOs Chris Rice and Graham Taylor. “With Dreamchaser, Australia strengthens its position as a major global destination for best-in-class content, bringing next-level storytelling of new and established voices from the continent to export there and to the world beyond.”
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