eOne merges Canuck factual prodcos

Factual-headerDavid PapernyEntertainment One is combining its Canadian factual prodcos Paperny and Force Four, resulting in the exits of senior execs from both sides.

Both prodcos will be positioned under the Entertainment One Television banner following the process, which will take place in coming months, according to Ontario-headquartered eOne.

Paperny Entertainment’s long-serving executive VP, Cal Shumiatcher, will lead the combined business after overseeing the merging process, with Force Four Entertainment chief creative officer John Ritchie also taking on a leadership post.

However, to “ensure a smooth transition for both businesses”, Paperny president and founder David Paperny (pictured) will exit on July 31, with Force Four COO Gillian Lowrey leaving on April 1. Paperny EVP Audrey Mehler will leave eOne in “coming days” as well.

eOne says the restructure will “optimally position” its Canadian unscripted television unit “for future growth”, and that the unified business would “complement eOne’s current scripted activities as well as it’s US-based alternative programming efforts”.

Following the merger, the Canadian unscripted division will still have offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and a satellite office in New York.

eOne acquired Timber Kings producer Paperny for C$27 million (US$20.2 million) in July 2014 and Vancouver-based Force Four, which is behind The Cupcake Girls and Murder She Solved and US-Canuck drama Seed, a month later.