Friday, May 31, 2024

Former M-Net and Amazon Studios exec Kaye Ann Williams jumps to Primedia Studios as content boss, rejoins Jan du Plessis to oversee SA coprods and series.

by Thinus Ferreira

The former M-Net content executive Kaye Ann Williams - who jumped to Amazon MGM Studios and was part of Amazon's brutal wholesale layoff of its entire South African and African development team - has reunited with her former M-Net boss Jan du Plessis at Primedia Studios.

Kaye Ann Williams has been appointed as vice president for content at Primedia Studios. 

At Primedia Studios the talented and respected Kaye Ann Williams will now develop and oversee its growing slate of South Africa co-productions and format series.

Primedia Studios has a burgeoning slate of co-productions and reality competition format shows like Deal or No Deal SA, Wheel of Fortune SA, MasterChef SA, The Masked Singer SASA's Got Talent, Raid the Cage SA and Ready, Steady, Cook SA it is currently producing for the South African public broadcaster's SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 TV channels, with more in the pipeline.

Kaye Ann Williams was the head of M-Net's local productions and independent films and was at M-Net in Randburg for seven years before she joined Amazon MGM Studios in October 2022 when Amazon went on a head-hunting and hiring spree to bulk up its local content development teams in South Africa and Nigeria.

The South African and Africa content team expansion formed part of Amazon's big aspirations and promises to ramp up its own local African Originals slate.

It's a plan that came crashing down after just two years when Amazon Studios in America decided to drastically cut spending which meant the downsizing and evisceration of its entire Africa content rollout and expansion plan and that saw dozens of people who were appointed for the task lose their jobs and producers with existing development contracts getting cancelled.

Now the highly experienced Kaye Ann Williams has reunited with her former M-Net boss Jan du Plessis at Primedia Studios.

With Primedia Studios already described as "the new M-Net", Jan du Plessis and Kaye Ann Williams - who have years of shorthand rapport between them, together with an extensive diary of contacts and deeply forged industry relationships - are setting about building out its slate of shows with both new and well-proven South African production companies and producers.