Broadcast Now – Outline Productions Managing Director Laura Mansfield Appointed Chair of Pact

Former Fremantle Media UK boss Sara Geater has joined All3Media as chief operating officer, forcing her to relinquish her duties as the chair of Pact after only four months.

Geater takes up the All3 position previously held by Jane Turton, who was promoted to chief executive of the Discovery and Liberty Global-owned super-indie earlier this year.

Geater’s appointment means that Outline Productions managing director Laura Mansfield will step up to chair Pact council after being appointed vice-chair in March. The trade body’s constitution dictates that non-qualifying indies like All3 can be Pact members but their execs are unable to sit on the council.

Geater is close friends with Turton and will work with the chief executive to grow All3 in the UK and internationally. The company has been busy since Turton took over, acquiring Call The Midwife producer Neal Street and eyeing further deals.

Geater left Fremantle Media UK last May and has spent time as executive chair of fledgling drama producer Emerald Films, which is run by Carol Ann and Aileen Docherty, whose credits include Trainspotting and Hollyoaks.

During her five-year spell as Fremantle Media UK chief executive, Geater set up labels including Boundless, Retort and Euston Films, while her previous roles have included head of commercial affairs at Channel 4 and director of rights and business affairs at the BBC. She negotiated the first Codes of Practice between the BBC and the indie sector.

She also served as head of film and television at Avalon and head of production at Miramax Films.

Geater said the opportunity to work with Turton and All3’s range of scripted and non-scripted indies was “not to be missed”.

Turton added: “Sara’s experience in television production, talent management, rights and deal-making is going to be a huge asset to the group as we grow the business both in the UK and overseas.”

Geater was vocal during her four-month tenure as Pact chair. Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum in March, she hit back at BBC and C4 proposals to review terms of trade and warned that changes to IP ownership could “cripple” the indie sector.

“Yet again, the UK would be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – losing our global advantage and the revenues and opportunities this has brought to our broadcasting industry,” Geater said.