Whisper promotes Mark Cole to MD and looks to expand sports team
Whisper, the sports and live event TV production company, has promoted head of television Mark Cole to managing director, with immediate effect.
The move comes at a time of significant expansion for Whisper, which recently announced the creation of parent company The Whisper Group, which oversees Whisper, Whisper Wales (Cardiff), Whisper West (Maidenhead), motion graphics design agency Chapter 3 Graphics (chapter3graphics.com) and non-scripted entertainment specialists East Media (eastmedia.tv).
With Whisper co-founder and CEO Sunil Patel now overseeing and working across all five Whisper Group companies, Cole will manage the day-to-day running of Whisper. Patel will continue to steer the company’s creative vision for all productions.
Additionally, Whisper will shortly appoint a new head of sport, an additional executive producer and technical lead, as it continues to focus on, and grow, its three core specialisms; sports, live events and unscripted.
Cole joined Whisper in 2016 from the BBC, where he was head of football, in charge of Match of the Day, the FA Cup and World Cup Coverage. During 17 years at the BBC he worked across big events including London 2012 Olympics, Open Golf, Cricket World Cup, London Marathon and Wimbledon.
“To appoint someone of Mark’s calibre three years ago, was a real mark in the sand for us and a demonstration of our growing ambitions,” said Patel. “Since then, Mark has been an intrinsic part of our development and has helped secure significant contracts, such as The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Women’s Six Nations, the Rugby World Cup, SailGP and the Women’s Super League, as well as helping evolve our coverage of NFL, Formula One and W Series. I’m delighted he is now managing director and I know he will continue to do a great job.”
Cole said: “Over the last three years it’s been fantastic to work with such a great team who have continued to raise the bar on sport and live events coverage, including our award-winning NFL and F1 programming.
“As managing director, I’m hugely excited about the challenge ahead, including delivering The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and continuing the growth in women’s sport, which has been a big passion for us all.
“We will keep investing in the best production talent, putting creativity at the heart of everything we do and producing entertainment-led content for audiences across the World.”
Founded by Bafta-winning producer Patel, TV broadcaster Jake Humphrey and former F1 driver and current F1 commentator David Coulthard, Whisper is co-owned by Channel 4, which has a minority stake in the business.
This latest announcement comes off the back of a busy weekend for Whisper, producing the penultimate round of W Series in Assen. This followed three days of live broadcasting from Silverstone for the British GP for Channel 4.