In a shift in the management structure of Banijay Americas, Christian Sarabia is departing as president of the company’s unscripted TV division, 51 Minds Entertainment. Julie Pizzi, president of Bunim/Murray Productions, will now additionally oversee 51 Minds and will report to Ben Samek, CEO of Banijay Americas.
What do we know about 51 Minds and Christian Sarabia’s departure?
Christian Sarabia, long-time president of 51 Minds Entertainment and a key figure in the production of Bravo’s hit series Below Deck and VH1’s T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle has announced his exit from the company. The producer was elevated to the role of president in 2014, just a few years after Endemol acquired 51 Minds. (Endemol then went on to sell itself to Banjiay three years ago.) 51 Minds and BMP are among the production firms owned by Banijay Americas, which also owns Endemol Shine North America, Truly Original, and Authentic Entertainment, all of which are significant players in the unscripted TV industry.
Ben Samek issued a statement regarding the management shake-up, saying that he’d like to “thank Christian for everything he’s given to 51 Minds Entertainment, especially across the last decade as its President, and wish him tremendous success as he sets course on his next adventure. Julie Pizzi is one of the most successful and prolific executives in the industry and a powerful storyteller. She has been extraordinarily impactful as President of BMP, and I’m so pleased she’s agreed to add 51 Minds to her oversight.” Sarabia’s own comments on his move to exit the company are given below.
“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 extraordinary team that makes it such 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. When I shared my plans with Ben, his support was resounding. I am grateful to him and to Banijay and am thrilled to see Julie, a brilliant leader and colleague, take the reins of a company that has meant so much to me.”Christian Sarabia