This Woman Knows How to Sell Israeli TV to the World

She sold ‘Fauda’ to Netflix, and a series on autistic friends to Amazon Prime. But after 22 years at the helm, Danna Stern is stepping down from her executive position. She explains how she signed huge international deals, predicts the future of Israeli TV, and breaks down the success of 'Squid Game'

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ON HER WAY OUT: Yes Studios CEO Danna Stern, who sold "Fauda" to Netflix but turned down "Lost."
Yes Studios CEO Danna Stern, who sold "Fauda" to Netflix but turned down "Lost."Credit: Eyal Toueg

In August 2016, the day before she was due to board a plane for a family vacation in Singapore, Danna Stern received a surprise phone call. On the line was Dan Selig, an executive at U.S. cable company HBO, which had an exclusive broadcasting agreement with her Israeli satellite TV company, Yes.

“We’re coming to Israel tomorrow,” he told the then-director of content and acquisitions. “Can we meet for lunch?” A bit panicked, Stern tried to find out what the issue was. He replied briefly that there was a change in the Israeli broadcasting lineup, and “wanted to talk about it and explain.”

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