Israel’s Keshet International (KI) has named veteran exec Keren Shahar as its CEO, replacing the departing Alon Shtruzman.
Shahar, who is currently COO and president of distribution at KI, will replace Shtruzman from January next year, having first joined Keshet Media Group in 2004.
She was appointed Keshet Formats manager two years later and in 2008 took on responsibility for Keshet Broadcasting’s acquisitions department, licensing formats such as The Money Drop, Make Me A Baby and MasterChef.
When Shtruzman was named CEO of the then-newly established KI in 2012, Shahar became COO and worked on scripted formats such as Prisoners Of War, which became Homeland for Showtime. She was also behind False Flag and When Heroes Fly, which became Suspicion and Echo 3 for Apple TV+. She also sold unscripted formats such as Boom!, Singletown and Rising Star.
The appointment comes almost two months since Shtruzman revealed he would be leaving KI following a decade-long tenure.
Shahar will take on his remit and will be responsible for all the company’s activities, including its network of production companies and distribution hubs. These include KI in Tel Aviv, Keshet UK, Tresor and Keshet Tresor Fiction in Germany, Keshet Studios in the US, and a majority stake in Greenbird Media, which TBI understands has recently become an acquisition target.
She will be tasked with expanding KI’s international production output further, while also boosting its catalogue of international dramas, factual entertainment shows and formats with a view to also building the distribution side of KI’s business.
Shahar said: “Having the privilege of leading a company like Keshet International is far beyond what I could have imagined when I first started at Keshet 18 years ago. I just wanted to be around the people who “made television”. I’d like to thank Alon for his mentorship and friendship, and for showing me what infinite optimism can achieve.”
Avi Nir, Keshet Media Group’s CEO, added that Shahar would take the comany to “new horizons”. KI’s slate includes A Small Light for Disney+/Nat Geo, The Calling for Peacock, and season 2 of La Brea for NBC.