John de Mol (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Johannes "John" Hendrikus Hubert de Mol (born 24 April 1955) is a Dutch media tycoon. De Mol is one of the men behind production companies Endemol and Talpa.
De Mol, a well known personality in the Netherlands, acquired his fortune producing television programmes. In 1997-1999 he developed the highly popular reality television series Big Brother with his own production company John de Mol Produkties. In 1994 his company merged with Joop van den Ende TV-Producties into Endemol, but it still functioned on its own. He also produced Fear Factor, Love Letters, 1 vs. 100 and Deal or No Deal (Miljoenenjacht) for Endemol. De Mol sold his share of Endemol in 2000 to Telefonica, but continued to serve as creative director until 2004. In 2005, he was among the Forbes magazine list of the 500 richest people in the world.
In May 2007 De Mol returned as one of the main share holders of Endemol together with the Italian company Mediaset of Silvio Berlusconi in a 2.6 billion Euro deal.
Talpa Media Holding
After departing Endemol in 2004, De Mol founded his own television station. The proposed name, Tien (meaning ten in Dutch), was disputed by competitor SBS Broadcasting, owner of the TV10 brand. The channel had to launch under the Talpa brand, latin for mole which translates to mol in Dutch. Later the name dispute was ended, which resulted in the rebranding of Talpa to Tien. The station scored bad ratings, despite scooping the rights of the Eredivisie football league. In 2007 De Mol decided to close down Tien and sold the channel to RTL Nederland, retaining a share in that company. De Mol also sold Radio 538 to RTL Nederland, which he acquired in 2005. Talpa remained the name of the holding company managing De Mol's assets and the production company which continued to produce several programmes for the RTL network, including the highly successful Ik Hou van Holland.
In 2011 Talpa worked together with Finnish media conglomerate Sanoma to buy the Dutch activities of SBS Broadcasting from German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media. As part of that deal De Mol sold his shares in RTL Nederland to the RTL Group, retaining the ownership of Radio 538 and its sister stations Radio 10 Gold and SLAM!FM.
In 2010 a new reality competition series, The Voice of Holland, was launched by De Mol. It was an incredible success in the Netherlands and the formula was sold to several other countries around the globe. The Voice (of America) launched on April 27, 2011on NBC and with de Mol and Mark Burnett as Executive Producers. In the Voice, the singing auditions are 'blind': the jury is turned with their back to the competitors. Once 'selected' (by pushing a button), the juror turns towards the competitor. This concept, the creation of de Mol and Dutch singer Roel van Velzen, makes it "all about the voice." After these blind auditions, the coaches will train their 8 competitors through knock-out battles and public voting rounds until there is one competitor left, who will be named as 'The Voice'.
In the original Dutch series the four judges in the jury were: singer Angela Groothuizen, singer Roel van Velzen, singers Nick & Simon (acting as 1 judge) and singer Jeroen van der Boom. First winner in the Netherland: Ben Saunders, was chosen by all jurors during the blind audition. It took Ben seven words into his song, before three of the four judges selected him, pushed their button and had their chairs turn towards him.
In The Voice (USA), the four judges are singers Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) and country music artist Blake Shelton. The US premiere of The Voice turned out to be the best NBC new series launch in over three years, with 12 million people watching.
De Mol was formerly married to singer and actress Willeke Alberti. The actor Johnny de Mol is their son.
From 1979 to 1982 he was romantically involved with Marga Scheide, member of the girl group Luv'.
Outside of television John de Mol controls a large private equity fund which, at one time, owned significant shares of car manufacturer Spyker Cars and telecommunications company Versatel.
John's sister, televion presenter and actress Linda de Mol, presents, or appears in, some of Endemol's programmes, including the original Dutch version of Deal or No Deal, Miljoenenjacht (Hunt for Millions). She also presented one of Endemol's very first productions, The DJ Kat Show.