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Endemol Shine North America Shutters Digital Studio, Lays Off Staff

Variety logo Variety 6/15/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Production company Endemol Shine North America has shut down its digital studio division — Endemol Beyond USA — and laid off the group’s five employees, including president Bonnie Pan.

In a statement, the company said, “We constantly review our approach to ensure that we are at the forefront of market trends and producing the very best creative content for both our brand and platform partners. Moving forward, all digital programming initiatives in the U.S. will be run organically within the core infrastructure of Endemol Shine North America and its subsidiary production companies.”

The news of the shutdown was first reported by VideoInk. The company launched the division as Endemol Beyond USA in 2013, tapping former Maker Studios exec Will Keenan to run it. Pan was hired in March 2016 — previously executive VP of programming at Disney’s Maker — to take over the reins of group, which was later rebranded Endemol Shine Beyond USA.

But in recent months, Endemol Shine North America evidently came to the conclusion that having a dedicated division focused on digital platforms didn’t make sense organizationally.

Among its recent projects, Endemol Shine Beyond USA developed and produced “The Keys of Christmas” special featuring Mariah Carey for YouTube Red as well as original series “Capturing Everest” for Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated, billed as the first-ever top-to-bottom climb of Mt. Everest in virtual reality.

In addition, Endemol Shine North America’s unscripted team along with Ryan Seacrest Productions recently sold music-competition series “Best. Cover. Ever.” to YouTube. “Best.Cover.Ever,” part of the video giant’s ad-supported originals slate detailed last month, show is slated to feature appearances by Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Backstreet Boys, Jason Derulo and Charlie Puth.

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