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Hoogstra resurfaces with Banijay’s Stephen David

Former History programming honcho Dirk Hoogstra has resurfaced as chief creative officer of Banijay Group-owned US producer Stephen David Entertainment.

DIRK-HOOGSTRA_017FINAt SDE, he will oversee development, packaging and sales of the production slate in the premium content space, responsible for international financing and coproduction.

Hoogstra (pictured) is widely liked within the US creative community thanks to his approach to working with indies.

He commissioned programming for History including the ratings smashes Hatfields and McCoys and The Bible, but left in September following ratings dips this year, with big ticket scripted series Texas Rising failing to register good numbers.

Jana Bennett replaced him as general manager, bringing to an end a two year run at the cable group. Prior to that, he had been with Discovery Communications for eleven years.

“I’ve spent the last few months looking for the right person to take advantage of all the opportunities SDE now has with Banijay, and Dirk definitely is that person, said SDE founder and president Stephen David.

The hire comes soon after Banijay, which is soon to merge with Zodiak Media, acquired SDE for an undisclosed amount.

“Because of Banijay, [and] SDE’s ability to finance, distribute and produce premium shows at any price point, Dirk will be able to work with partners throughout the world packaging great content.”

“Banijay acquired SDE in order to expand and diversify its business operations in the US,” said David Goldberg, Banijay Studios North America’s president.

“SDE is an industry leader in the production of premium content, and the addition of Dirk Hoogstra will undoubtedly expand the companies impressive production slate and growth trajectory.”