Banijay UK has appointed industry veteran Sandra Smith for the newly-created role of Director of Production, with a focus on the unscripted side of the business. In her new position, Smith will report jointly to Banijay’s CFO, Derek O’Gara, and Director of HR and Operations, Bella Lambourne, and will be part of the senior management team for Banijay’s UK group.
Smith will work alongside label directors of production and heads of production to ensure consistent and best working practices across the group. Furthermore, she will take up head of production duties for some of the group’s smaller labels, including Douglas Road and Definitely. She will also provide support across the company’s production management teams, and work on production procurement, alongside Head of Operations and Projects, Louisa Lockett. She will also be responsible for talent sourcing and working with studios and facilities in the nations and regions as the group expands its operations outside of London.
Smith joins from Banijay UK label Initial, where she has also served as Director of Production since 2016, after joining in 2010 as Head of Production. During his tenure at Initial, the executive was involved in shows such as “Big Brother,” “Wipe Out” and “Soccer Aid”.
“Sandra is a hugely experienced Director of Production with an encyclopedic knowledge of the industry. Working alongside production management teams in the business, she will ensure that our working practices are the best they can be and are consistent across the group,” O’Gara and Lambourne jointly said.
Smith’s appointment will subsequently see Jody Collins promoted to Head of Production for Initial. Currently a production executive at the label, Collins will oversee Initial’s production slate and work closely with Managing Directors Cat Lynch and Katy Manley to shape business strategy.