Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with Thom Beers, who was the driving force behind the Primetime Emmy® and Producer’s Guild of America Award-winning “Deadliest Catch.” As CEO of FremantleMedia, Beers manages highly successful television programs including American Idol, The X Factor, and America’s Got Talent.
Thom Beers was named CEO of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) on September 1, 2012. As CEO, Beers is responsible for the company’s overall management and business performance and oversees the development, production and business operations of over 600 hours of network, cable and syndicated programming. These programs include “American Idol” (FOX), “The X Factor” (FOX), “America’s Got Talent” (NBC), “Family Feud” (SYN), “The Price is Right” (CBS), “Let’s Make a Deal” (CBS), “Total Blackout” (Syfy), “Married to Medicine” (Bravo), and “Perfect Score” (The CW).
Prior to joining FMNA, Beers created Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company. As CEO and Executive Producer of Original Productions, he was the driving force behind the Primetime Emmy® and Producer’s Guild of America Award-winning “Deadliest Catch.” His top rated signature series included “Ice Road Truckers,” “Ax Men,” “Monster Garage,” “Black Gold,” “Storage Wars” and “Coal.” Since founding Original Productions in 1997, Beers’ catalogue of more than 40 series is firmly entrenched across cable powerhouses History, Discovery, Spike TV, The National Geographic Channel, truTV and A&E.
Beers’ signature show was the mega hit series “Deadliest Catch,” now in its eighth season. “Deadliest Catch” is Discovery’s highest-rated series and has been honored with eight Primetime Emmy® Awards including Outstanding Reality Program in 2011.
In 2009, he sold a majority stake of his company to FremantleMedia. The deal allowed him to travel the world with his one-of-a kind vision, telling stories about true working class heroes. Beers’ passion for honoring every day heroes and his gift for telling their stories firmly established his non-fiction brand, Original Productions, as television’s number one creator of unscripted programming.
He founded Original Productions in 1997, after eleven years as a production executive and series and special producer for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta and a similar position in Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures. At Turner, he oversaw the award-winning “National Geographic Explorer,” “Network Earth,” “The Jacques Cousteau” specials and “Wild!Life Adventures.” He was also the producer of some of the highest-rated specials in the history of Turner Original Productions, including “Harley Davidson: The American Motorcycle,” “Cats And Dogs” and “The Incredible Life and Times of Robert L. Ripley, Believe It or Not.”
Beers hails from Batavia in upstate New York. He began his career as an actor performing in stage productions along the eastern seaboard and in New York City. Today, Beers is still utilizing his acting skills by delivering the powerful narration for many of Original Productions’ series. He’s a devoted father and husband, an avid car collector and motorcycle enthusiast.