Avi Nir: A Journey through the World of Television and Communication
Avi Nir, born in 1961, is a prominent Israeli television executive and communications expert. Since 2002, he has served as the CEO of Keshet Broadcasting, which operates Israel's Channel 12, the international distribution arm Keshet International, and the digital platform Mako.
Beyond his executive role, he's also recognized as the actual producer of the Emmy-winning American series "Homeland," based on the Israeli series "Prisoners of War" ("Hatufim"). Additionally, he has produced acclaimed series like "The Conductor," "The A Word," and "Suspicion."
Nir was born in Jerusalem to Ruth and Aryeh Nir. At a young age, his family moved to Petah Tikva, where he grew up before his conscription into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He pursued a bachelor's degree in Film and Television Studies, completing it in 1986, and a second-degree in Business Administration, completing it in 1992, both at Tel Aviv University. Nir published various academic articles and received the "Sigal" Award for excellence in marketing research. In 1993, he co-authored the book "Advertising on Television: The Medium, the Message, the Money" with Ayelet Rahav.
Between 1993 and 1997, Nir also served as a lecturer in television industries at the academic track of the College of Management Academic Studies, teaching business administration students at Tel Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University simultaneously.
Parallel to his academic career, Nir began working at Keshet Broadcasting in 1993, initially as the head of planning and advertising. Avi Nir is married and has two daughters.
Career in Communication
Avi Nir joined Keshet Broadcasting in 1993 and was appointed the company's Vice President of Marketing in 1995, a role he held for four years. In 1999, he became Deputy CEO and head of content at the company. In 2002, Nir was appointed as the CEO of Keshet Broadcasting, a position he still holds today. Under his leadership, Keshet expanded its operations internationally beyond Israel's borders, focusing on sales, joint development, and co-production of programs for the global market.
Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Keshet, has expanded its presence and production activities globally, with production hubs in the UK, Germany, Hong Kong, and the United States. As of September 2019, Keshet was operating in the United States, working with international streaming platforms like Netflix and Apple, cable networks like HBO, and broadcast networks like ABC and NBC.
In 2011, the American series "Homeland," based on the Israeli series "Prisoners of War," premiered. This marked the beginning of Keshet's international expansion. The company produced successful international formats and series for commercial distribution, such as the talent show "Rising Star," which was the first show on television to incorporate real-time audience voting through an integrated app, and was sold to more than 25 countries after its Israeli premiere in October 2013.
In 2014, Nir conceived the idea for the archaeological adventure series "DIG" to be set in Israel. His inspiration for the show came from visiting archaeological sites in the city of David, Jerusalem.
Avi Nir has also served as the actual producer for several American television series, including "Traffic Light" (a remake of the Israeli series "Ramat Aviv Gimel"), "Your Family or Mine" (a remake of the Israeli series "Savri Maranan"), "Tyrant," "Allegiance" (based on the Israeli series "Ta Gordin"), "The Brave," "Wisdom of the Crowd," "Baker and the Beauty" (a remake of the Israeli series "Beauty and the Baker"), "Lincoln," and "Our Boys" ("HaNe'arim"). "Our Boys" was produced in collaboration with HBO and Keshet, and it won multiple awards at the Israeli Academy of Television Awards and was nominated for a Peabody Award.
In 2007, Avi Nir founded Keshet's digital arm and the online portal "Mako."
In 2009, Keshet, under Nir's leadership, completed the acquisition of the former Israeli music channel, Channel 24.
Nir is also the founder of INTV, an annual international television conference dedicated to innovation in television. The conference has been held in Jerusalem since 2012 and brings together key figures from the global content, entertainment, innovation, and international television industries.
Over the years, INTV has featured prominent industry leaders, including Richard Plepler (former HBO president), Bob Greenblatt (former NBC president), Jeff Zucker (CNN president), Dana Walden (FOX president), Cindy Holland (former Netflix VP), Amy Entelis (CNN VP), David Rhodes (CBS NEWS president), Harris Diamond (CEO of McCann Worldgroup), Ari Emanuel (Hollywood talent agent), Yo-Yo Ma, Max Mutchnick (creator of "Will & Grace"), Tami Sagher (writer for "Girls"), Gil Goldschein (producer of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"), and many others.
The conference has also hosted prominent political figures, including former President Shimon Peres and former President Reuven Rivlin. Additionally, it has featured global premieres of Israeli international series such as "DIG" and "Autonomies."
Awards and Recognitions
In 2008, Avi Nir was honored as the "Marketing Personality of the Year" by the Israeli Marketing Association. In 2009, he received the "Television Personality of the Decade" award at the Rosh Pina TV Festival. In 2012 and 2013, he received Golden Globe and Emmy Awards for his production of the American series "Homeland," which he produced in practice.
In 2014, Nir delivered the keynote speech at MIPTV's "Focus on Israel" conference in Cannes, France. In the same year, Keshet, under Nir's leadership, received the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce award for "breaking the cultural barrier and shattering the glass ceiling for the sale of Israeli television programs and projects to the international market in general and the American market in particular."
In 2018, Nir opened the Israeli Television Week at the Culture Museum in Marseille, France, and received the TBI Content Innovation Award and the MIPCOM Content Innovation Award. In 2019, he delivered the opening speech at the American NATPE Television Conference titled "The Man with the Slingshot" and received the Visionary Award from the Israeli Film Festival in Los Angeles. In 2021, he was selected for the fifth consecutive year as one of the "500 Most Influential People in Global Entertainment" by Variety magazine.
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