Wednesday, November 29, 2023

‘Below Deck’ Producer 51 Minds Gets New President

Banijay Americas is undergoing C-suite changes in its unscripted TV business.

Christian Sarabia is stepping down as president of 51 Minds Entertainment, the producer of Bravo’s Below Deck franchise, Netflix’s Marriage or Mortgage and VH1 TI & Tiny: Friends and Family Hustle. Sarabia was promoted to president of 51 Minds in 2014, just a few years after it was acquired by Endemol (Endemol would go on to sell itself to Banijay in 2020).

Julie Pizzi, the president of Bunim/Murray Productions, will add management to 51 Minds, and will continue to report to Banijay Americas CEO Ben Samek.

“I want to thank Christian for everything he has given to 51 Minds Entertainment, especially over the past decade as its President, and wish him success in his next adventure,” Samek said in a statement. “Julie Pizzi is one of the industry’s most successful and prolific executives and a powerful storyteller. Her impact as President of BMP has been tremendous, and I am thrilled that she has agreed to add 51 Minds to her stewardship.

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“51 Minds has been my home for two decades, and the decision to leave was not an easy one. While I will truly miss the incredible team that made this an incredibly creative and vibrant place, I look forward to building something new in my next chapter and continuing to contribute to the pop culture landscape,” said Sarabia added, “When I shared my plans with Ben, his support was overwhelming. I am grateful to him and Banijay and I am happy to see Julie, a seasoned leader and partner, in charge of a you company means a lot to me.

51 Minds and BMP are among several production companies owned by Banijay Americas, which also owns Endemol Shine North America, Truly Original and Authentic Entertainment, all dominant players in the unscripted TV space.

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