WarnerMedia has appointed broadcast executive Annelies Sitvast to the newly created role of head of unscripted production for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Based in Amsterdam, Sitvast will commission unscripted programming for streamer HBO Max, which will begin rolling out in Europe by year’s end, and will report into Antony Root, head of original production for WarnerMedia EMEA. Sitvast will join the company in May.
Most recently, Sitvast was head of Net 5, the Talpa Network-backed Dutch commercial television channel. The exec served as a commissioning editor, overseeing content strategy and brand development, including all original programming, production and scheduling.
Prior to this, she was channel coordinator at Net 5, where she coordinated programming and supervised local productions. Before that, Sitvast spent seven years at SBS Broadcasting B.V. as senior acquisitions executive, where she worked on acquisition strategies and advised on brand positioning, content selections and series/slate development for several Dutch TV channels. Sitvast has a production background, having previously worked as editor for several production companies in the Netherlands.
Commenting on the appointment, Root said, “[Annelies] brings a wealth of experience from the world of unscripted programming. Working with our local teams, she will steer our expansion into unscripted across Europe, which is a key part of our original production strategy as we launch HBO Max across the region.”
Sitvast added, “I could not be more excited to build, launch and grow a European unscripted content offering for HBO Max. WarnerMedia has a rich history of investing in local talent and programming and has been building beloved and iconic brands for near to a century. I could think of no better foundation on which to build an unscripted programming pipeline as the company looks to expand HBO Max’s offering.”
WarnerMedia currently operates HBO streaming platforms and linear channels in 21 countries across the Nordics, Iberia and Central and Eastern Europe.
The company has been investing in high-end local productions in Europe for over 10 years for HBO as well as for TNT-branded channels in Germany and Spain. Recent successes have included the award-winning series “Patria” and “Vamos Juan,” the co-produced documentary “Collective,” which has been nominated for multiple awards, and the critically acclaimed “30 Coins.”
All original television production in Europe at WarnerMedia now sits in the recently formed Original Programming group led by Root.