Monday, March 19, 2012

BREAKING. Pierre Cloete is M-Net's new Director: M-Net Movie Channels from April in newly created executive position.

You're reading it here first.

Pierre Cloete is M-Net's new director for all of M-Net's current (and soon coming, and expanding, genre specific movie channels - read that story here) movie channels.

M-Net just announced that Pierre Cloete is the pay TV broadcaster's new director: M-Net Movie Channels - a newly created job which M-Net advertiser in December. Pierre Cloete is currently the channel head for the M-Net channel (DStv 101) and M-Net HD (DStv 170).

Since Pierre Cloete applied for this new position, he's basically being promoted. He will take up the job on 1 April. I'm told that the position of M-Net channel head will now be vacant; M-Net will be advertising for that position now.

M-Net insiders told me recently the new high-level job has been created in part for the major expansion of new M-Net movie channels coming - the first of which are envisioned for September. This will form part of a major realignment of ''genre''-fication of the existing and to-start movie channels to follow the Sky model in channel clustering in Britain. The position has been created specifically because of the much greater product offering and wider scope for which M-Net will require a specifically responsible executive.

''Pierre Cloete will be spearheading a brand new M-Net business unit, which will focus solely on the acquisition and scheduling of movies for the M-Net family of channels,'' says M-Net in a statement.

''M-Net is delighted to welcome this dynamic television expert to our executive team,'' says Patricia Scholtemeyer, M-Net CEO in the statement. [Note that Patricia Scholtemeyer is the person quoted in the press release; when I wrote about this in December, I said the person in this new position which M-Net is creating is going to be an executive who will be directly answerable to her.]

''He has excelled in the fields of both marketing and channel management and has proven to be a respected leader in our business. We are confident that he will take one of M-Net's bigger properties – our movies – to the next level,'' says Patricia Scholtemeyer.

Pierre Cloete who started his TV career in South Africa as a promo producer for Rapid Blue on the SuperSport account joined SuperSport in 1996. In 2006 he became M-Net's marketing manager for local productions and in 2008 his portfolio increased to include the marketing of M-Net's international programming, as well as M-Net Movies 1 and M-Net Movies 2. From there he became channel head of M-Net and M-Net HD.

''I am honoured to have been part of M-Net's magical history for 15 years and look forward to the next chapter in my career. M-Net viewers love their movies and this new movie division will invest plenty of energy to enhance everyone's viewing experience.''

[Editor's note: I've come to know Pierre Cloete as I've did several M-Net executives over the past years, he always says yes for interviews whether it's official or whether I ask him if I can ask him a few questions and record him when I run into him at a cocktail TV biz party. He always handles all my toughest questions beautifully and will always answer. I saw him as recently as this past Thursday in Johannesburg at the MasterChef South Africa press launch; I think he's very professional, he definitely struck me as an executive who knows his stuff and television long ago; I think it's a great appointment. Congratulations, Pierre Cloete.]