James Baker is stepping down as CEO of Red Arrow Studios, the production company behind Netflix’s “Love Is Blind.” Red Arrow’s parent company, German media giant ProSiebenSat.1, announced Baker’s departure Wednesday, saying that his contract, which runs until the end of 2020, will not be renewed.
Baker has been with the company for 10 years and an individual with knowledge of the situation tells TheWrap it was his decision not to renew his contract. He will leave at the end of the year, at which point ProSiebenSat.1 will install an advisory board in his place comprised of chairman of the executive board and CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Rainer Beaujean; member of the board and CEO of SevenOne Entertainment, Wolfgang Link; and chief content officer of SevenOne, Henrik Pabst. The existing Red Arrow Studios management team will report directly to the new advisory board.
Per ProSiebenSat.1, “This new structure underlines ProSiebenSat.1’s strategy to focus on local and live entertainment in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in close cooperation with Red Arrow Studios.”
Baker’s decision to step down comes after Red Arrow Studios International president Bo Stehmeier and head of acquisitions Alex Fraser made their respective exits, and a couple months after ProSiebenSat.1 decided to scrap its plans to sell the production company.
It comes just months after ProSiebenSat.1 pulled the plug on a protracted sale of the production group, which owns 20 companies, including Bosch producer Fabrik Entertainment and Love Is Blind’s Kinetic Content.
“I have greatly enjoyed the last 10 years at Red Arrow Studios, working with talented people and creating exciting content around the world,” Baker said in a statement. “Red Arrow Studios is in the good hands of my senior leadership team, and I wish everyone the very best.”
Beaujean added: “Red Arrow Studios is a successful international content production and distribution company, and therefore an important part of ProSiebenSat.1. Over the last 10 years James has developed and strengthened the operational performance of Red Arrow Studios – including an 18% growth in revenues in 2019 – and he has successfully driven the expansion of our German content ecosystem. We would like to thank him for his contribution to the business and wish him every success for the future.”
More to come…