A new base in the UK headed by seasoned International Executive, Ed Sayer
New Division launches first UK factual partnership with Endemol Shine Group’s Workerbee
VANCOUVER / June 5, 2019– Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV:TBRD) (“Thunderbird” or the “Company”), a global multiplatform entertainment company, is pleased to announce the launch of a worldwide production venture that will be based in the United Kingdom. The Company’s new division aims to establish partnerships with production companies to develop Thunderbird’s intellectual property (IP) and grow in key international territories.
Leading this new division is Ed Sayer, a seasoned industry executive who most recently served as Head of Original Commissioning at Discovery International. As executive vice-president, Sayer will be in charge of expanding Thunderbird’s global production capacity, focusing especially on factual content and leveraging partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions.
“I am thrilled to join Thunderbird, and am committed to a new dynamic way of working in production with all of the incredible talent out there,” says Sayer. “The international production scene, including the UK, is undergoing massive creative renewal, and every region has its own nuances, which is something to be embraced. Rather than building traditional startups in every territory, we’ve decided to launch a division that collaborates with talent, both in terms of companies and individuals, in a new and refreshing way – as a facilitator and partner.”
Sayer will report to Mark Miller, President of Thunderbird and founder of its factual division, Great Pacific Media, and work closely with Matthew Berkowitz, Thunderbird’s Los Angeles-based Chief Creative Officer, who leads its global kids and family division, as well as its global scripted division.
“International production is going to be a big part of Thunderbird’s future, and by establishing this key division, we are demonstrating our commitment to partnering with the very best producers in key genres,” says Miller. “We look forward to creating a mixture of IP and funding opportunities, and working with the incredible production talent that already exists in different markets around the globe.”
Berkowitz adds, “Having a base in the UK will create additional opportunities in every step of the production process, from IP to editorial expertise, making it a win-win scenario for everyone involved. Ed Sayer is a world class producer with an incredible list of accomplishments throughout his career, and our Thunderbird team looks forward to working with him as we expand our capacity to develop global content, both factual and scripted, that aims to connect with audiences around the world.”
As part of its official launch, Thunderbird is excited to announce its first UK factual partnership with Endemol Shine Group’s Workerbee. Under the terms of the deal, Workerbee will be a co-producer on the ground in the UK, pitching and producing Thunderbird projects for UK platforms. The partnership, aptly referred to as ‘Thunderbee,’ will focus on creating new origination, as well as expanding Thunderbird’s existing factual IP in the UK.
Rick Murray, Managing Director of Workerbee, says, “We are delighted to be working with Thunderbird in this way. Our track record of making popular, often long running, factual programming and experience in producing shows in the documentary, car and lifestyle space, makes us natural partners for Thunderbird. We can’t wait to work together on some fantastic formats.”
Additional announcements will follow in the coming weeks and months, as Thunderbird rolls out its new division globally.
About Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group is a Vancouver-based global multiplatform entertainment company with offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto, Ottawa and London. Thunderbird creates award-winning scripted, unscripted and animated programming for the world’s leading digital platforms, as well as Canadian and international broadcasters. Thunderbird’s vision is to produce high quality, socially responsible content that makes the world a better place. The company develops, produces and distributes animated, factual and scripted content through its various divisions, including Atomic Cartoons, Great Pacific Television, and Thunderbird Productions,
Workerbee, part of the Endemol Shine Group, is a leading independent production company based in Manchester. One of the fastest growing TV businesses outside London, Workerbee produces across a range of genres from music to true crime; cars to social affairs. Recent output includes I’m Not Driving That (CBBC), Second Chance Dresses (TLC), Inside Bentley (Channel 4), Written in Blood (CBS Reality), Ali A’s Superchargers (CBBC), Scrapyard Supercar (UKTV), Goblin Works Garage (Discovery) and Armed and Deadly: Police UK (C5).
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