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Atlantic rejigs distribution after Morris exit

UK producer Atlantic has reorganised its commercial operations in the wake of the departure of commercial director John Morris, TBI has learned.

John-MorrisMorris left Atlantic last October and then spent the remainder of the year on projects outside of the industry.

As 2016 gets underway he told TBI he is focusing on Morris Media Consulting, the business he started after leaving Sparrowhawk in 2008 when it was sold to NBCUniversal.

UK-based indie producer and distributor Atlantic this week announced a raft of sales for several of its series with renowned naturalist and presenter David Attenborough, and it said today that that it will continue to self-distribute as well as work with outside distributors; one of its latest blue chip projects, David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef is shopped internationally by Entertainment One.

“After three successful years building the commercial operations of the company, John has decided to leave Atlantic to pursue new opportunities,” the company said in a statement given to TBI. “Atlantic are continuing to self-distribute and work with third party distributors.”

Atlantic said and that Nathan Peachy and Mimi Gilligan are now dealing with sales enquiries. Gilligan is Atlantic’s head of legal and business affairs, and Peachy has been at Atlantic since last February, joining as director of finance from another UK indie, Zig Zag Productions. He has also been head of finance at Warner Bros-owned prodco Twenty Twenty.

Morris, meanwhile, is a TV industry veteran, having held senior sales and commercial roles at companies including BBC Worldwide, HIT Entertainment, RTL Disney and IMG Media. In the three years he spent consulting post-Sparrowhawk, Morris Media worked with TV firms including Red Kite, Viacom, Cookie Jar and David Hulbert’s Ravensbeck.

During his almost four-year stint at Atlantic he oversaw sales and coproduction, working on various Attenborough series as well as PBS copro Time Scanners, among others.