German animation production-distribution entity RTV Family Entertainment has taken over full strategic and operational management at the Australian animation studio Energee Entertainment.

The Travers family, founders of the studio, have resigned from all operations and board seats but will continue to hold a minority interest of 32% for the time being.

Commenting on the move, RTV stated that it would enable it "to fully exploit the synergies anticipated at time of acquisition [February 2000]. Once the studio is running at full capacity, the comparatively lower Australian wages should enable us to generate a significant production margin".

As part of the changes, RTV is bringing animation and drama producer Philip Bowman onboard as CEO in order "to establish better relationships with Australian broadcasters and to increasingly access Australian film funding".

In a separate development, RTV has announced that it is to close its production unit Waterfront, which was founded last year to produce adult programming on a work-for-hire basis for German broadcasters. "Due to the current market environment and due to the reluctance of German broadcasters to outsource adult programming, the market entry proved to be more difficult than anticipated", an official statement observed.