Keshet International Announces Keren Shahar As New CEO, Replaces Outgoing Alon Shtruzman

Keren Shahar has been appointed as the new CEO of Keshet International (KI), replacing Alon Shtruzman whose departure after a decade at the company was announced last month.

Shahar, is currently COO and president of distribution at KI, having spent 18 of her 20 years in the entertainment industry at Israeli parent company Keshet Media Group (KMG).

In her new role, Shahar will be responsible for all the company’s activities, including its network of production companies and distribution hubs – 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. 

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She will be tasked with expanding KI’s international production output further, while also boosting its curated catalog of international dramas, factual entertainment shows, and formats with a view to also building the distribution side of KI’s business.

Widely regarded as one of the leading pioneers of the Israeli formats sales market, Shahar first joined KMG in 2004. 

In 2006, she was appointed Keshet Formats Manager, overseeing the sales of Keshet’s formats abroad.  Two years later in 2008, she took on responsibility for Keshet Broadcasting’s Acquisitions department, licensing formats such as The Money Drop, Make Me A Baby, and MasterChef – which has just finished its 10th successful season on Keshet 12 – for adaptation locally in Israel. 

When Shtruzman joined as CEO of the newly established KI in 2012, Shahar was appointed to lead the company’s sales team, and after a brief time, also stepped up to take on the role of COO, becoming Shtruzman’s second in command.

During her 10-year tenure, which also involved her overseeing business and operational aspects across the company’s activities.

Shahar has been responsible for the distribution of many of Keshet’s scripted formats, such as Prisoners of War, which became Showtime’s multi-Emmy-winning Homeland as well as False Flag and When Heroes Fly, which have recently been adapted as Suspicion and Echo 3 for Apple TV+ by Keshet UK and Keshet Studios respectively.

Best-selling non-scripted formats that have come to fruition under her guidance include Boom!, Singletown, Deal With It!, The Hit List and Rising Star.

“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’,” said Shahar.

“I’d like to thank Alon for his mentorship and friendship, and for showing me what infinite optimism can achieve. Thank you also to the Keshet board, and to Avi (NIr) in particular, for all his support and multiple votes of confidence over the years. Last but not least, I want to thank the extremely talented group of people who “make television” at KI. I am looking forward to our next chapter together and seeing what we can achieve in our second decade!”   

KMG CEO Avi Nir emphasized the role Shahar had played in the development of KI since its early days of existence in 2012.

“In just a few weeks from now, Apple TV will launch Echo 3, Keshet Studios’ US adaptation of Keshet’s When Heroes Fly, which is truly one of this year’s most ambitious television productions.  Flashback to 2012 and Keshet International’s inception – standing center frame is Keren Shahar, determined to bring Israeli TV to a world that didn’t know what it was and didn’t know it needed it,” he said.

“Returning to 2022 as we celebrate its 10th birthday, Keshet International is now an internationally recognized name – a global-scale content, production, and distribution company with a history of challenges, successes, and achievements – all with Keren as its deputy CEO.  I’m happy to announce the promotion of Keren to Keshet International’s CEO.”

Shahar will take up her new role in January 2023, operating out of the KI’s Tel Aviv office.

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