Former ITV boss Simon Shaps is to succeed Michael Kuhn as Chairman of the Board of the National Film and Television School. In a double appointment, media financier Stephen Louis, founder of Enable Partners, will follow Peter Bazalgette as Deputy Chairman. The new appointments
will take effect from 8 December 2009.
With more than two decades at ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, Simon Shaps has had a varied career across almost all parts of the network, from CEO of Granada's global production business to Director of Television, with overall responsibility for developing and commissioning shows across all genres, from Britain's Got Talent to Benidorm, from Tonight with Trevor MacDonald to Loose Women.
Since stepping down from ITV in 2008, Shaps has been working on a portfolio of media-related businesses, including A Brand Apart, a pioneer in the advertiser-led programming sector. He also chairs innovation company Ignite and has recently announced that he will take over as Chairman of Mercury Media in January 2010.
Incoming Deputy Stephen Louis, who currently chairs the NFTS Finance and General Purposes Committee, has had a long association with the School, having served on the Board of Governors for some ten years, as well as being a Trustee of the NFTS Foundation. After setting up the media finance business at NM Rothschild, he left to co-found Enable Partners, which has investments in multiplex cinemas, online business directories and payroll services.
Kuhn and Bazalgette joined the NFTS Board in 2003 and have served two terms. Under their leadership, the School committed to remaining on its Beaconsfield site, paving the way for the launch of several successful new courses and the construction of a new building which has allowed the School to expand its student intake by a third.
Michael Kuhn said "It has been an honour to serve Nik and the wonderful staff at the School and to have Peter Bazalgette as a partner. Simon and Stephen are the perfect team for the future and I wish them the best."
Peter Bazalgette added "It's good to see young blood replacing the old guard. Simon and Stephen are ideal to deliver on the vital job of training the next generation of media rainmakers."
"Under the leadership of Michael Kuhn and Peter Bazalgette, the NFTS has changed beyond recognition," said NFTS Director Nik Powell. "They stabilised its funding, built its first new teaching building for more than 30 years, modernised its courses and added much-needed new ones. Most importantly, they re-established the NFTS as one of the world's leading film schools producing multi award-winning graduates and work. The industry and School owe them a debt of gratitude. The next great challenge is to respond to the exciting opportunities that will arise in the new digital era and Shaps and Louis are without the doubt the right people to take the School into this future."