John Caldon, Founder of Flame Distribution, Dies at 73

John Caldon, founder of Flame Media (parent company of Australian TV distributor Flame Distribution), has died. He was 73.

Flame said that Caldon died of cancer on Tuesday (Feb. 16, 2021). “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of inspirational John Caldon, chairman and CEO of Flame Media,” the company said in a statement.

Born in the U.K. and identifying as a Yorkshireman, Caldon emigrated to Australia in 1973. Since establishing Flame in 2010, he and his life and business partner Lyndey Milan, an award-winning Australian food/drink TV personality, split their time between the two countries.

Caldon was late to television and before that a long-time entrepreneur. Prior to founding Flame, he was a founder and deputy CEO of Macquarie Bank, a partner in Price Waterhouse, and chairman of Australian Rail Track Corporation.

He was a Cambridge Classics graduate and made his television debut as architectural advisor on “Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece,” in 2010. He foresaw Flame as an integrated, global TV group with production, distribution and an advisory division.

“John was a gift to factual content creators everywhere — a master of the business world who inspired and supported new ideas with generosity, kindness, insight and respect. He was a joyful gentleman, tireless and even tempered, capable and visionary. And with Flame, he was just getting started. John’s passing comes far too soon for all of us who knew him,” said Colette Beaudry, MD of SeaLight Pictures.

The best-known part of the Flame group is Flame Distribution, a TV production and distribution company specializing in high-end factual and documentary content. Its catalog consists of 4,000 hours of programming.

The group also includes Flame Productions in Australia, Wildflame Productions in the U.K., Flame Media GmbH in Germany, and Flame Corporate which advised the media industry on funding, government assistance, mergers and acquisitions.

Other group components include: Flame Stock, a stock footage clipping and sales business; the Flame Co-production Alliance, which fosters international co-productions between producers who worked with Flame and an in-house production development team; and multi-functional sound-controlled facility Flame Studio Sydney.

“John was a truly unique person. A ‘Renaissance Man’ with a deep and broad intellect that he deftly combined with a generous and warm soul. His passing is a loss to all that knew him,” said Brad Danks, CEO of OUTtv Network and OMG Media Group.

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