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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BREAKING. M-Net appoints Jan du Plessis as director: movies, Victor Eckard as director: general entertainment, closes content division.


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I can break the news: M-Net is appointing Jan du Plessis as director: movies and Victor Eckard as director: general entertainment from 1 August at the South African pay-TV broadcaster shutters its internal group content services division.

The appointments are the latest top executive shuffle continuing this year and which started with the appointment of Yolisa Phahle as M-Net's new CEO for South Africa in March and the shocking exit of the veteran Pierre Cloete in June who oversaw the M-Net, M-Net Series and M-Net Movies channels.

While veteran Jan du Plessis joined M-Net in 1994 from Sterk-Kinekor where he headed up the acquisition's division, Victor Eckard's appointment will raise eyebrows in South Africa's TV industry - he only joined M-Net in 2006.

Victor Eckard joined M-Net in 2006 as a radio DJ at Tuks FM and became a presenter for JIP on the cancelled MK channel, after which be became a content executive for the MK channel, and later the head of strategy and business development.

Now Victor Eckard will be in charge of a realignment of the set of M-Net Series channels which turn one year old on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform tomorrow (9 July) and which has been underperforming for months according to multiple sources, and which is set to be undergoing a dramatic change within months.

Jan du Plessis who previously was the head of the M-Net channel, was until now the director: group content services at M-Net but that division is being downsized.

As Jan du Plessis takes over M-Net's movies division, existing M-Net staff in the group content services division, which is being closing down, will be moved to both the M-Net Series and M-Net movies divisions within the Randburg-based pay-TV broadcaster.

Meanwhile Glen Marques' portfolio of studio content negotiation on behalf of M-Net was enlarged to also include the portfolio of channel acquisition.

There's been no public announcement on the appointment and division shutdown from M-Net yet.