The MultiChoice Group and M-Net Channels bid farewell to Jan du Plessis, the current Channel Director: M-Net Channels, who is retiring after 28 years with the company. The company has decided to consolidate the Premium management teams under the leadership of the current Director for kykNET Channels, Waldimar Pelser.
“The new leadership structure supports our vision to give the best Premium offering to our subscribers on the M-Net channels. We have seen a complimentary nature in viewership for the kykNET and M-Net Channels, and this new structure offers us the opportunity to better curate and promote our strong bouquet of channels,” says Georginah Machiridza, Executive Head: General Entertainment Channels.
“It is with great admiration and heartfelt respect that we bid farewell to Jan du Plessis while we welcome and support Waldimar in his new role. Since his appointment as Director of kykNET channels, his collaborative management approach has showcased a strong drive to take our Premium proposition into the future.”
Jan du Plessis joined M-Net in 1994 and has played an integral role in growing the M-Net brand and channels in various capacities over the past 28 years. This included the launch of the kykNET channels as Director in 1999. He was also part of the teams that secured the rights to many international brands leading to, among others, successful homegrown versions of shows such as Big Brother and Idols SA.
Du Plessis was appointed Director of M-Net Channels in 2016, where he was responsible for channels including M-Net 101, M-Net City, and the various M-Net Movies offerings. During his time as curator of the M-Net movies slate, he introduced an innovative new funding model into the South African film and television landscape. This resulted in the development and mentoring of many young film and television makers who went on to become major players in the industry.
“This has been an incredible and unforgettable ride. As someone deeply passionate about film and television, being part of the M-Net family has allowed me to work closely with many film and television makers over the years – a dream career for a film lover such as myself,” says du Plessis.
“I am grateful for everything I have been part of. When I started at M-Net in 1994, it was to secure and expose our local viewers to the best international content and titles. As my roles changed, we at M-Net were able to hone and develop the local industry leading to our bold co-productions where we are exposing the international market to our world-class local talent and stories. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than working on one of the best local brands in South Africa, M-Net,” he concludes.
Stepping in as the new Director of Premium Channels is current kykNET Channels Director, Waldimar Pelser, who will now head up both M-Net and kykNET channels.
Waldimar joined MultiChoice as Channel Director: kykNET Channels on 1 February 2022, after 20 years in the media industry. He worked as a journalist and news manager for Media24 in Johannesburg, Lagos, and Cape Town, having studied law and journalism at Stellenbosch. He completed an MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford University, with a focus on African history and politics.
In a short space of time, Waldimar has also implemented strategic changes to the kykNET schedules, increasing primetime viewership ratings.
M-Net Channels leadership changes are effective as of 31 March 2023 when du Plessis retires, and Pelser takes on the new role. Du Plessis will be assisting in the transition to new leadership.
Georginah Machiridza, Executive Head: General Entertainment Channels for the Multichoice Group, says: “Jan is someone whose guidance and perspective many of us have had the pleasure of experiencing over the years. I have deep admiration and respect for him, and he has achieved much more than we could fit into a few words. His passion for local productions has played a key role in game-changing strategic decisions he has taken during his tenure.
“We wish Waldimar the best in his new role, and we will support him as he embarks on this new journey. We look forward to his direction at M-Net,” she concludes.