Mark Deetjen Dies: Fremantle Executive And Buzzr Channel Boss Was 50

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Mark Deetjen, recently promoted to Executive Vice President of Global Channels at Fremantle after helping build its game-show channel Buzzr, has died. He was 50 and passed away January 24.

Deetjen had a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant in 2013 to combat his Type I diabetes, and had survived a heart attack in 2020.

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Deetjen joined Fremantle in 2015 as SVP Programming and Operations at Buzzr, a FAST network dedicated to vintage game shows, eventually being promoted to general manager. He helped expand partnerships with cable operators and Dish, and helped get Buzzr on OTT/FAST platforms. Buzzr is now available in more than 100 broadcast markets including all Top 30 DMAs.

In October, Fremantle promoted Deetjen to EVP.

“It’s an immense loss for all who knew him,” Buzzr posted on its Twitter feed Wednesday. “Mark was a dedicated family man, a supportive, thoughtful leader, and a game show fan who helped build Buzzr from the beginning. We will miss him greatly.”

Deetjen, whose father was longtime Disney lawyer Jose Deetjen, grew up in San Marino, CA, went to USC as an undergrad in the late ’80s-early ’90s and got his master’s in Film & TV producing as a graduate of the USC Peter Stark Production Program. A high-level swimmer, according to a remembrance on on SouthPasadenan.com, at USC he missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials by .001 second.

Deetjen, who was of Cuban descent, was a co-founder of South Pasadena’s D.U.D.E.S. (Dads Uniting Dads in Education & Service), a non-profit organization that aimed to foster better educational and social opportunities for the community. In addition he was a booster and board member of Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Foundation.

He previously worked at Sony Pictures Television International, and Sony Movie Channel/Cine Sony Television.

Deetjen is survived by his wife Lisa; and children Sam and Aubry.

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