Former Nine Entertainment Co CEO Hugh Marks and co-founder and former Endemol Shine Australia CEO Carl Fennessy have launched a new full-service television studio, Dreamchaser.
Dreamchaser is being dubbed the “first full-service production and distribution studio based in Sydney, Australia”, with Marks and Fennessy set to serve as co-CEOs. This marks both Marks’ first permanent role since leaving Nine last year and Fennessy’s first role since leaving Endemol Shine in 2020. Fennessy was reportedly the favorite at the time to succeed Marks at Nine, ultimately losing to Mike Sneesby for the role.
Dreamchaser is backed by Endeavor Content, the global content studio, and will produce creative partnerships across scripted, factual and entertainment genres, focused on “getting global projects out of the Australian market”.
The studio’s plans were first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald in November, although in its early stages all parties declined to comment.
Today, Marks and Fennessy said in a joint statement: “We are seeing an explosion in global demand for premium content from new and traditional television platforms that shows no signs of slowing down. At the same time, Australian creatives are at the forefront of many of the biggest shows in the world. There has never been a greater opportunity for global content to be developed and sold from this market.
“With Endeavor Content’s strategic partnership, Dreamchaser will be a one-stop home for our creative partners to realize all of their ambitions and for content curators to have confidence that Dreamchaser will be the Australian studio where those ambitions can be realized.”
The studio will follow a similar structure to Endeavor Content, which also operates with co-CEOs Chris Rice and Graham Taylor. The pair said: “We are delighted that Hugh and Carl are bringing their combined industry expertise to launch Dreamchaser, tapping into Australia’s thriving creative and production communities.
“With Dreamchaser, Australia strengthens its position as a major global destination for best-in-class content, bringing next-level storytelling of new and established voices from the continent to export there and to the world beyond.”
While the establishment of joint CEOs often raises questions about its functionality, Fennessy has experience as co-CEO, during his stint at Endemol Shine Australia alongside his brother and co-founder, Mark. The couple left in 2020 after The Walt Disney Company’s Endemol Shine was sold to Banijay. The couple also founded Crackerjack.
Endemol Shine currently produces Australian TV shows including Masterchef Australia, Married at First Sight, Australian Survivor, Lego Masters and Big Brother.
Alongside Marks and Fennessy, Sara Horn joins as chief operating officer, Megan Rees-Williams as chief financial officer and Monique Keller as head of development.
Horn joins Endemol Shine, where she was general manager of production and operations. Rees-Williams also joins from Endemol Shine. She has two decades of experience as a chartered accountant, having also previously worked at ITV. Keller joins Dreamcatcher from Fremantle Australia, where she worked as a development manager.
“We are grateful to the incredible and very experienced team who agreed to take this trip with us,” commented the co-CEOs. “Their expertise and proven track record will help fulfill Dreamchaser’s ambition to bring Australian creatives and their stories to the world.”