Banijay Nordic today announces a new senior appointment at Norwegian scripted label Rubicon, with Ivar Køhn taking up the role of Chief Executive Officer, joining from public broadcaster NRK.
Køhn has been Head of Drama at NRK since 2013. Under his leadership, the network has fostered a strong portfolio of acclaimed hits, including Rubicon’s original series directed by Izer Aliu, Countrymen,which picked up a Cannes Series award in September, has been nominated for Best Script at this week’s Göteborg Film Festival, and will air in the US on NENT’s Viaplay, through a deal with Banijay Rights. Other recent successes include last year’s International Emmy winner, Atlantic Crossing, as well as high-profile scripted series 22 July, State of Happiness and Mammon 2.
Prior to his time at NRK, Køhn spent six years leading the development and production department at the Norwegian Film Institute, and has previously held posts at the Norwegian Film Fund, Maipo Film and has also written and created his own scripted series.
At Rubicon, Køhn will work with the company’s creative leaders, Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, to further build the company’s pipeline of standout original programmes for the local and international market. He will take up the role on 1st May 2022, and will report to Banijay Nordic’s CEO, Jacob Houlind, and the region’s Head of Scripted, Johannes Jensen.
Norway’s leading drama production company, Rubicon, is behind a slate of freshly-created scripted productions. As well recent success Countrymen, Rubicon is also behind hit HBO Max series Beforeigners, which launched its second series last year across Europe and the US. Standout local talent, Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad, are also behind global success Lillyhammer, and The Councilman, which was also adapted for the Dutch market.
Ivar Køhn comments: “I’ve had a great eight years with a skilled and committed gang in NRK’s drama department, building a brilliant portfolio of hits. I feel very lucky to have been part of a very strong period of growth, at a broadcaster with a conscious and innovative relationship to both drama and publishing. The time now feels right for a change of editor, both for NRK, the industry and myself. There are great opportunities ahead for Norwegian drama, and to be involved in developing this through Rubicon TV will be challenging and super fun. The company is behind high-profile series such as Lilyhammer, Beforeigners and Countrymen, and is part of the worldwide community of producers in Banijay. I’m going to do something I’ve not done before, based on something I’ve been doing for quite some time.”
Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, Creative Directors at Rubicon comment: “Ivar has been one of the key figures in the successful development of Norwegian TV drama in recent years. He is globally recognised for his exceptional instinct in backing original ideas which become international hits. This, coupled with his industry know-how, vision and business sense, puts Rubicon in a fantastic position to further innovate and succeed both at home and abroad. We look forward to creating new, exciting stories together with Ivar.”
Jacob Houlind, CEO at Banijay Nordic says: “Ivar Køhn has a stellar reputation across the scripted industry globally, and especially here in the Nordics. His knowledge of drama in Norway is second to none, and having already worked with Rubicon on several shows, he is the perfect match to lead the team. I’m looking forward to discovering the future stories and projects the new Rubicon team will create for the local and international market.”
Banijay Nordic encompasses the region’s very best scripted labels, behind internationally-recognised drama and comedy. Recent and forthcoming credits from around the region include Yellowbird/Jarowskij film, Ur Spår, which launched in theatres in Sweden last week, Ronja the Robber’s Daughter(Filmlance for Viaplay), A Class Apart (Jarowskij in co-production with Brommamamma, Film I Väst and Nent Group for Viaplay), Bäckström (Yellow Bird for CMore/ TV4), Young Wallander 2 and Playlist(Yellow Bird UK for Netflix), Detective Marie Kallio (Banijay Finland for CMore), and Filmlance’s long-running detective drama Beck (Filmlance for CMore).
Håkon Briseid, who was announced as CEO in September, took the decision to embark on an alternative role prior to officially joining the business.