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ZDFE launches new factual producer with former Nat Geo chief Steve Burns

The international arm of German public broadcaster ZDF has launched a new factual production company, run by former Nat Geo programming chief Steve Burns.

ZDF Enterprises is launching the new company, which will be based in Maryland, USA, in partnership with its subsidiary Gruppe 5 and Studio Hamburg DocLights.

Burns was previously executive vice president, global programming, National Geographic Channels and left the News Corp-backed broadcaster in July 2011. He was previously EVP, production at Discovery Networks and was responsible for the relaunch of the Science Channel in the States.

Burns had previously worked with ZDF Enterprises and Studio Hamburg on series including Armageddon, Mission X, Great Wall of China, Forbidden City and America’s Great National Parks.

“After Geographic, the first calls I got were from Uwe Kersken and Joern Roever, who were long-time partners on some great series at Discovery, Science and National Geographic. We were looking for a way to continue to work together. So, with our combined knowledge of programming, the world markets, commissioners and distributors, it was a natural idea we form a company based in the US,” said Burns.