After pioneering mobile-TV convergence with a range of participatory TV formats including Big Brother, Endemol chief creative officer Peter Bazalgette is quitting the company, possibly to focus on further digital projects. MediaGuardian reported Bazalgette, who had been with the Dutch production company since it bought out his own indie in 1990, “is leaving to pursue a range of interests potentially investigating projects in the digital field“.
The report says he wanted to leave in the summer, which would have followed the return of Endemol co-founder John de Mol, who, with a consortium involving Silivo Berlusoni’s Mediaset and Goldman Sachs, in May bought Endemol back from Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) and its Dutch managers for EUR 3.6 billion. De Mol had preceded Bazalgette as chief creative officer until his departure in 2004. MarketWatch says Bazalgette is not looking for another executive job but “would likely take other non-executive positions at media and digital media companies“.
Holland-based Endemol found success with the Big Brother franchise in the UK in 2000, all but kickstarting modern participation TV, through which viewers interact in votes using SMS and voice calls to influence show content. The company has also made a series of iTV games amongst its digital and mobile productions.