Factual label Red Sauce, part of Zinc Media Group, has made two new hires.
Ben Smith joins the label as Executive Producer and Sefunmi Olatunbosun becomes the label’s Senior Development Producer. Red Sauce, launched in September, is Zinc’s home of popular factual, factual entertainment and formats from London and the Regions. Smith will be based in Manchester, with Olatunbosun in London.
Tom Edwards, Creative Director, Red Sauce, says: “We’ve had a fantastic response to the launch of Red Sauce. We want to become a ‘go-to’ destination for popular factual and an emerging force in factual entertainment from both London and the Regions. These appointments are an important step in making this ambition a reality. Our unique position of also being able to bring innovative funding models to the table, through Zinc’s Branded Content Division, means we are already in discussion with a wide range of broadcasters.”
Smith joins Red Sauce from Banijay’s Workerbee, where he was Head of Development, overseeing the creation and pitch of ideas for all of the main UK broadcasters and factual channels worldwide. A freelance Development Producer and Producer, Olatunbosun has worked with some of the industry’s leading indies, developing innovative new formats.
Tom Edwards adds: “Ben and Sefunmi are going to be a very exciting creative force. Ben is a fantastic popular factual programme maker and Exec, but also a key figure behind one of the most successful indie expansions in the Nations and Regions in recent years, developing and selling into the likes of BBC peak, Channel 4 and ITV. His 14 years’ production experience and five years’ senior development experience gives him an exceptional eye for the conception and delivery of great ideas. He’s also experienced in both returning series and working with SVoDs, key target areas. Ben is going to be a terrific complement to Sefunmi, who has worked at some of the UK’s most innovative indies. He has proved his creative flair across factual, fact ent and comedy entertainment, developing first-time formats for new talent like Mo Gilligan and Big Narstie, and selling into the likes of BBC3, E4 and Five.”
As Head of Development at Workerbee, Ben was responsible for managing a large development team, generating new formats and signing new talent. He won series and programme commissions at the BBC, ITV1, Channel 4, National Geographic, Discovery, Channel 5, Netflix and Quibi. Prior to Workerbee, he produced a wide range of shows at Shiver, Shine North, the BBC and True North amongst others, with credits including: Idris Elba: No Limits for Discovery Channel, The Big NHS Singalong: Live for ITV1 and Supercar Megabuild for National Geographic. A former Development Producer at Shiver, Ben headed up the northern development team for Shiver, generating new ideas and winning commissions for ITV1, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Gold.
Olatunbosun has worked in development roles since 2008 for indies including Dragonfly, Expectation and Monkey Kingdom.
Ben Smith says: “Red Sauce is one of the most exciting popular factual propositions in the industry. To have the opportunity to work alongside such a highly-respected programme maker as Tom Edwards is one thing, but to be in at the start of Red Sauce’s journey, play a key role in shaping the label’s future and build a new base in Manchester makes this a particularly exciting opportunity. I’m thrilled to be joining both Red Sauce and Zinc and cannot wait to get started.”
Sefunmi Olatunbosun adds: “Red Sauce has huge potential and I’m delighted to be joining Tom and Ben in the formative stage of what promises to be one of the most dynamic popular factual production outfits in the UK.”
Olatunbosun begins his role immediately, with Smith taking up his role on 23 November. Both report to Tom Edwards, Creative Director, Red Sauce.