Jochen Koestler Appointed Executive Vice President Non-Fiction at LEONINE Studios, Managing Director of i&u TV (EXCLUSIVE)

Jochen Koestler will take up the position of executive vice president non-fiction at German media company LEONINE Studios on Jan. 1, 2024.

Together with CEO Fred Kogel, he will head the group’s non-fiction production division, which includes production banners gebrueder beetz Filmproduktion, hyperbole Medien, i&u TV, Madame Zheng Production and SEO Entertainment.

From January 2025, he will assume sole overall responsibility for LEONINE Studios’ non-fiction production business.

In addition, Koestler will join the management board of Cologne-based i&u TV, one of the leading production companies for information and entertainment programs, on Jan. 1, 2024, where he will be responsible for the entire entertainment division, including the genres show and comedy.

As managing director of i&u TV, Andreas Zaik will remain responsible for the information productions comprising the weekly news magazine “STERN TV” as well as documentaries and will continue to act as chairman of the management board. As chief digital officer of LEONINE Studios and managing director of i&u TV and hyperbole Medien, Christian Meinberger will maintain responsibility for the digital units producing branded entertainment and YouTube formats, among others.

Kogel said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Jochen Koestler, one of Germany’s most accomplished and successful non-fiction producers, to our team. He is one of the few who combines impressive expertise in both entertainment and documentary production. I am convinced that Jochen, who brings a wealth of experience, will successfully keep the i&u TV entertainment production business on our growth path and also position it for further expansion in the future with genres such as reality. He will also support me in a significant capacity in the management of the entire LEONINE non-fiction division in the coming year and will be solely responsible for this division from 2025 onwards.”

Zaik commented: “i&u stands for outstanding information and entertainment programs. We’ve achieved strong growth during the past few years. In the process, the importance of the entertainment sector within our production business has increased above average. Jochen Koestler’s appointment to the management team of i&u TV reflects this development. I’m delighted to have such an experienced and successful producer at my side as a colleague and sparring partner.”

Koestler added: “It’s a great privilege to take on these new tasks and goals and I’m going to embrace this responsibility with great pleasure and passion. I’m very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues and especially with the great team at i&u TV in Cologne. Together, we want to build on great successes with our high-rated shows like ‘Small Vs. Tall’ and ‘They Don’t Know What Will Happen,’ while creating sustainable structures for a scalable entertainment business.”

Koestler joins LEONINE Studios and i&u TV from Constantin Entertainment, where he has been managing director since 2017, and had already worked as a producer for more than 10 years. In addition to building the business with streaming platforms and successful formats such as the Amazon Original “Last One Laughing,” whose first season he co-produced, and the reality series “Germany Shore,” Koestler produced series such as “K11 – Die Neuen Fälle” for Sat.1, “Darf Er Das? – Die Chris Tall Show” for RTL and the series “Der RTL Comedy Grand Prix.”

Furthermore, he established and headed the documentary division at Constantin with successful projects such as the highly acclaimed Amazon Original “Bild.Macht.Deutschland?,” the most successful Sky Original documentary in Germany of all time “Der Anschlag – Angriff Auf Den BVB,” as well as the two high-end documentary series “Jan Ullrich – Der Gejagte” for Prime Video and “Inside Greenpeace – Was Braucht Es, Um Die Welt Zu Retten?” for Sky, both of which premiere this fall.

During his time at Constantin Entertainment, he also served as managing director of the subsidiaries in Serbia, the Czech Republic and Romania, where he was responsible for globally successful formats such as “Kitchen Nightmares” and “Come Dine With Me,” among others.