Endemol North America has made two major promotions for its top posts: 51 Minds executive Ben Samek has been appointed chief operating officer for Endemol North America, and Endemol USA executive Rob Smith has taken on an expanded role as executive vice president of creative affairs for Endemol North America.
In his new role, Samek will oversee business development and strategy for Endemol North America, as well as operations for the company, including the recently launched premium multi-channel network, Endemol Beyond USA.
Prior to his role as COO, Ben Samek shepherded the production company 51 Minds from its boutique beginnings through to its sale to Endemol.
In his expanded role, Smith will oversee all creative for unscripted television, including development and current programming.
For the past 11 years, he has helped to build Endemol USA’s slate of reality TV offerings, including “Deal or No Deal,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Wipeout.”
“Ben and I have been collaborating for over fourteen years. He is a talented producer with exceptional instincts for creative and business development and execution and a keen sense of strategic vision for entertainment. He will be a driving force in capturing revenue opportunities and forging creative partnerships on behalf of Endemol North America,” says Cris Abrego, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer, Endemol North America, to whom both Samek and Smith will report. “Over the past decade, Rob Smith has contributed to the success of Endemol USA by shaping and delivering some of network television’s most popular unscripted content. Rob is well liked and respected by creative talent and executives alike. Both Ben and Rob add a critical dimension to Endemol North America and will play a key role in implementing our long-term growth strategy.”