Building tomorrow’s dreams today at Primedia Studios
“The future doesn’t come toward you; you have to go fetch it.” The philosophy and purpose in this Zulu proverb are reflected in the business ethos and growth strategy of the Primedia Group.
In the two years that he has been at the helm, Primedia Group’s CEO, Jonathan Procter, has been energetically scripting the future of the group rather than simply awaiting for what tomorrow may bring.
Procter has put in place a forward-looking set of business initiatives and innovations, and has encouraged a tenacious and transformational philosophy and purpose across all Primedia entities.
Primedia’s new studio division, Primedia Studios, is an important investment in today for a transformed tomorrow. Primedia Studios is set to boost the Group’s capacity as a leading content and distribution super hub for the African media and entertainment stage.
Among the current starring cast of Primedia Studios is the prolific and highly revered entertainment and media maestro, Jan du Plessis, who has been appointed as President of the division. Head of Projects will be rising broadcasting star, Victoria Ramabulana. Primedia Broadcasting’s CEO and the Group’s Chief Revenue Officer, Lindile Xoko, will add his golden touch to this new initiative.
During Jan du Plessis’s thirty years in the industry, he ran networks and services across Sub-Saharan Africa. He also spearheaded the commissioning and development of local versions of top international hit shows such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, My Kitchen Rules, The Voice and Idols. He was instrumental in the production of close to 70 highly rated films, which were flighted on the South African pay television channel and its sister channels.
Du Plessis will oversee strategy around licensing, creation, development and distribution of entertainment shows and content. Ramabulana will play a leading role in ensuring that the appetite of South African audiences is well sated through a generous offering of the world’s most prized and popular productions.
Anele Mdoda weighed-in on Jan’s appointment, saying, ‘Jan has been someone whom we have worked with closely for years. He cast me on The Voice and we have always had such robust conversations around content and formats. From a Rose and Oaks perspective, this is a huge acquisition as Jan comes with a wealth of knowledge and worldwide respect from networks and production homes. He is the perfect person to steer a Primedia Studios’ vision of how we create and sell content.’
Primedia Group Chair, Tandi Nzimande, also expressed enthusiasm about the appointment of Jan Du Plessis and Victoria Ramabulana, saying, ‘Both are superb appointments. Du Plessis has a depth of experience in the television and movie business that is unparalleled. Jan will harness the power and reach of the Primedia Group to ensure that Primedia Studios is at the heartbeat of premium quality content, production, creation and distribution. This is all about ensuring that Primedia Studios is the home of premium-quality Africa-inspired content that will resonate with audiences in South Africa, the continent and across the globe.’
Jan du Plessis said, ‘We want the real character and stories of Africa to infuse everything we do. So, we will continue to make significant investments in the best of the best talent, entertainment content, infrastructure and intellectual know-how to bring these stories to life to captivate audiences the world over.’
For the Primedia Group, future proofing goes beyond shaping and developing a new commercial paradigm. It is equally about transforming the levers of the industry to ensure that African talent and productions, which were systemically excluded and suppressed, and which have yet to find pride of place in the entertainment and media industry in South Africa’s young democracy, are given the opportunity to shine.
A new-generation dream catcher, Primedia Studios will centre-stage training and transformation. Black talent and productions will be awarded massive support and supersized so that they will be the leading lights and shining stars on the entertainment and media stage of tomorrow.
Primedia Group CEO, Jonathan Procter, said, ‘Jan will lead a robust succession strategy to ensure a generation of African executives rise to management positions at Primedia. He will inspire our company’s next generation of young people as well as our industry’s next generation of leaders. Our investment in Black talent is an essential component of Primedia’s strategy, where our commitment to transformation is non-negotiable. We have purposefully placed it high on our agenda because we know it will benefit not only our own people, but our industry and the continent as a whole.’