MEET OUR JUDGES
Senior Director of Development
Jon Adler is Director of Development for CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series at CNN Worldwide, based in New York City. In this position, he is responsible for cultivating relationships within the creative community and developing original programming across a variety of CNN platforms. He is responsible for the development (and management/coordination thereof) of show concepts for CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series. Identifying external production companies as series partners, he works with producers to develop content for CNN/HLN from pitch to pilot/presentation to series order.
Head of Creative Unit
Marcel Amruschkewitz heads VOX’s Creative Unit. In this position he is responsible for program development and strategy, as well as international content scouting. In addition, he is active in various development working groups within the RTL Media Group, and is a member of the RTL Group’s Creative Exchange. Following his graduation from the German Sport University Cologne (with a concentration on media and communication), Amruschkewitz began his career as a freelancer for newspapers and online publications. Before VOX, he worked for the INTRO Verlag (11Freunde, INTRO, BOLZEN) and German pubcaster WDR, among other employers.
As Vice President, Development for Discovery Channel, Stephanie Angelides helps guide the network’s strategic planning, content direction and execute programming strategies through the development process. Angelides is based in New York and reports to Denise Contis, Executive Vice President of Production and Development for Discovery.
Angelides joined Discovery from Riot Creative, a Leftfield Entertainment company, where she served as President and produced programming for multiple networks including NatGeo Wild and Snapchat. During her tenure at Leftfield, she also served as the Creative Director of Partnerships for LFE/ITVE and helped to bolster the development slates at companies within the portfolio. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Development for Optomen Productions where she developed more than 200 hours of programming for such cable outlets as Discovery, Investigation Discovery, Destination America, National Geographic as well as expanded into scripted for MTV. She has also served as Senior Vice President of Development at One Potato Two Potato, the company behind Fox’s Hotel Hell, and during her tenure she also developed series for Bravo, Food Network and ITV.
Head of International
Harriet Armston-Clarke is Divisional Head at TVF International, the world’s leading independent distributor of non-scripted content. TVF International’s catalogue encompasses everything from factual entertainment and lifestyle series to exceptional award-winning documentaries, representing some of the most innovative and creative content makers from across the globe.
The TVF International team is energetic and vibrant, with over fifteen languages spoken across Sales and Acquisitions. Both divisions work with their own specific territories to maintain a highly specialised knowledge of the global content market. Alongside the distribution of completed programming, TVF International operates extensively with pre-sales, co-productions and formats.
Sam Barcroft formed Barcroft Media in 2003 to provide editorial content to the international print media. Over the past decade the business has operated at the leading edge of the transition from analogue to digital media, now employing over fifty staff in bureaux in London, New York and New Delhi.
The business aims to become the leading global provider of factual content by creating, licensing, distributing and publishing news depicting ‘the amazing side of life’ across its constituent core businesses;
Barcroft Media - an established editorial content agency that specialises in content creation and distribution. The company licenses and distributes text, photography, TV documentaries and short form video clips to producers, publishers, broadcasters and digital platforms in over 50 countries.
Barcroft Productions creates original linear and digital TV programming for brands and a broad range of UK and international networks including The Outsiders (MTV), Body Bizarre (TLC), Inside The KKK (Channel 4) and Bear Grylls: Man vs. Everest (Discovery).
Barcroft TV - one of YouTube’s most watched factual channels with over 2.4 million subscribers, 2 billion views to date and is a key component of the group’s multi-platform channel offering, serving as an incubation channel for Barcroft Productions.
Barcroft Plus, the fastest growing business within the Barcroft group specialises in integrating brand messaging and authentic editorial stories creating powerful new marketing opportunities for brands.
Channel 4 recently invested in Barcroft Media via its Growth Fund.
Chief Executive Officer
Kate Beal is Chief Executive Officer of Woodcut Media, a member of the Bob & Co businesses and one of the fastest growing Indies in the UK, producing a broad range of factual programming.
In addition to being one of the leading true crime producers in the UK with titles such as Holloway: Women Behind Bars, The Krays: The Prison Years, Murder Casebook and Britain’s Most Evil Killers, to mention a few, Woodcut Media’s rapidly growing catalogue includes specialist factual series Defenders of the Sky, Combat Trains and Combat Ships, as well as factual entertainment shows such as Around the world in 80 Tricks (shot in 4K) and Animal Antics. Woodcut also produces high-end premium docs like The Ivy, and works with talent such as Idris Elba (Cut From A Different Cloth and Mandela, My Dad and Me) and Alfie Allen (Alfie Allen’s Story of Football).
Kate Beal entered the TV industry at just 15 years old, and her impressive list of achievements and expertise spans 22 years.
Her foray into the business began when she joined UK broadcaster ITV as a runner in 1995, and worked her way up the ladder, learning all aspects of the production business. Her talent and ambition took her from researcher, to producer/director, culminating in the shooting of her first ever show as series producer Firefighters for ITV, when she was just 25 years old. Over the years, she worked on a variety of productions, with credits for popular programmes such as The Real London's Burning' (for Channel Five), and ITV’s 'That’s Esther’ and 'Faith and the City' (which is still used within schools today as a top-rated educational tool).
It was in 2005 that she founded KMB Productions Ltd (a niche factual entertainment entity), producing acclaimed series such as Vicars’ Wives for ITV1 and By Royal Appointment for ITV. Then in 2008, entertainment and kids’ specialist Talent Group PLC, approached Ms. Beal to buy her company, and later that year KMB became Talent TV South. With Kate still continuing at the helm, her management and direction saw Talent TV South go from strength to strength, producing hit shows for broadcasters such as Tina Malone: Pregnant at 50 for TLC UK (the highest-rated single doc commission for the channel to date), Fred Dinenage: Murder Casebook a long-running, and very popular series for the Crime and Investigation Network, The Flying Winemakers for UK TV and more. Over the years she also developed strong partnerships with distributors such as DRG, Content Media, Sky Vision, TCB Media Rights and Flame Distribution, who sold the indie’s back catalogue worldwide.
In August 2014, Stitchcombe Productions (owned by Bob & Co) acquired Talent TV South and re-launched as Woodcut Media, allowing Kate Beal (and her husband Matt Blyth) a 20% stake in the new venture.
VP Alternative Programming
Currently, Andie Beckerman is a VP of Alternative Development at Syfy and reports to Heather Olander. Prior to Syfy Andie worked at AMC, where she developed successful shows like The Walking Dead live aftershow Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick and the cult favorite Comic Book Men. Hailing originally from NYC, Andie is a huge fan of movies, music and all things sci-fi.
VP of Current Programming
51 Minds Entertainment
Tricia Biggio is Vice President of Current Programming at 51 Minds. In her role, she oversees series from pre-production through post.
Biggio began her career at 3 Ball Entertainment, where she worked as a Development Assistant before moving into production. After working on in the field and in post for several shows, she joined Lighthearted Entertainment as Director of Development where she helped to develop shows including MTV’s Are You The One and VH1’s Bye Felicia and Dating Naked.
In 2014, Biggio moved to the network side as Senior Director of Development & Production at VH1 and was Executive Producer on several series including Candidly Nicole, Dating Naked, Barely Famous, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, Suave Says, She’s Got Game, Walk of Shame Shuttle, and Twinning.
Agent, Alternative and Factual
Derek Blum is an agent in the Alternative & Factual Programming department at APA, one of the largest diversified talent agencies in the industry with headquarters in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, Atlanta and London. Blum’s primary focus is packaging and selling original content with the agency’s producer and on-screen talent clients.
Since its launch in late-2006, APA’s AFP Department has become an industry leader, representing the creative and business interests of award-winning production companies, producers, directors, writers, presenters and branded personalities across media platforms throughout the world. The department provides their clients and buyers with a premiere level of packaging and staffing services across all genres of alternative and factual programming. Moreover, the agency’s “institutional” approach to client representation continually generates opportunities for its AFP clients in other areas of entertainment (including fictional programming, publishing, podcasting, touring and merchandising).
Prior to joining APA, Blum served as an agent in the unscripted television department at Paradigm and an assistant in the unscripted television department at UTA. A native of Chicago, he attended the Arizona State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Film.
Oliver Bogner started his career as a Disc Jockey and Club Promoter in Los Angeles through his event production company GO Entertainment, which he founded in 2006. In 2009 he launched Bogner Entertainment Television, focused on non-fiction television and sold his first show, Party Prince 90210, to E! Television. Oliver then segued into working as a development producer at Gay Rosenthal Productions and T Group Productions, and an in house executive producer at FremantleMedia North America under a first look deal from 2010 - 2012. He also has worked on and packaged shows with A. Smith & Co., ITV, E One, Tijuana Entertainment, Comcast Studios, Electus, Gurney Productions, Thinkfactory Media, and Intuitive Entertainment.
In 2012, Relativity Television (now Critical Content) brought Oliver in house as an executive producer on an overall deal where he reported to Tom Forman, CEO Relativity Television. From November 2012 - November 2015, Oliver created, executive produced, developed and sold over 34+ new original shows to 18+ different networks, resulting in over $45M worth of new production. Oliver's shows include TLC's My Five Wives, Lifetime's Kim Of Queens, NatGeo's The Boonies, History's The Woodsmen, Discovery's Last Frontiersmen, TLC's Down South Dance, TLC's Dance Kids ATL, Oxygen's Love Scouts, Halogen/Pivot's Drum Heads, Animal Planet's Addicts & Animals and many more.
In November 2015, All3media America brought Oliver and his team at Bogner Entertainment / Bogner Content in house to focus on the creation, development and production of original television shows and digital content, across unscripted and scripted. Oliver oversees a team of 6 full time creative execs, sells projects directly to broadcasters, manages relationships at all levels internally and externally with broadcast partners, works closely with production management to build production models at all price points, deliver shows on time and on budget to broadcasters, hire and manage all show runners / production staff on various shows and run point on creative for all productions.
Since January 2016, Oliver has sold 20 new shows under All3Mmedia America across various networks including - Travel, Food, TLC, Science, Z Living, Freeform, Spike, A&E, Discovery and more.
In the course of his young career Oliver has made a name for himself - he has been profiled by the Los Angeles Times as “Hollywood’s New Junior Partner” in March 2010; named by Forbes Magazine as one of the “Top All Star College Entrepreneurs” in August 2012; recognized by USA Today as an “inspirational college entrepreneur” in February 2013; recognized by Elite Daily as one of “The Most Creative Millennials” in November 2013; described a “Up and Coming Media Mogul” in January 2014 by the OC Register; listed twice in Forbes Magazine on the “Hollywood 30 Under 30 Power List,” in January 2013 and January 2014; and featured in Variety as "Smart. Insightful. Passionate" in March 2016. Oliver attended Chapman University, where he studied Marketing & Narrative Television. Beyond television, Oliver consults for various technology and media companies including Brandable, JobSnap and Spylight.
VP, Development & Programming
James Bolosh is currently Vice President Programming & Development for FYI. In his role, he oversees development and programming for the recently rebranded network, including the hit docuseries franchise “Tiny House Nation,” “Food Porn” and more.
Prior to joining FYI, Bolosh helped launch CNBC’s primetime alternative block of programming and oversaw the Los Angeles development for the network, including the hit business make-over show, The Profit.
Bolosh was previously Vice President of Series Development for MTV Networks, where he developed and managed numerous series for the network including FriendZone.
As Vice President of Programming for HGTV, Bolosh developed and managed the network’s large event and reality series. He also headed the formation of HGTV’s first NYC programming office and developed the top-rated HGTV Design Star, series. During his seven year tenure with the network, Bolosh oversaw many hit series including House Hunters International, The Outdoor Room, Color Splash, Designed to Sell and Cash in the Attic.
Preceding HGTV, Bolosh worked as a Supervising Producer for VH1. There, he created the Driven series of documentaries, profiling such artists as Madonna, Britney Spears and Shania Twain. He also oversaw the long running series Before They Were Rockstars for the network.
Bolosh began his career in television in Nashville where he created the celebrity travel show Hit Trip for CMT.
Bolosh graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Theatre Arts and Communications.
VP of Development and Programming
Sean Boyle is Vice President, Development & Programming for HISTORY, overseeing the development and production of unscripted series and specials for the network. He joined the network in September 2015 and is based in HISTORY’s LA office.
Prior to joining HISTORY, Boyle served as Vice President of Development for Discovery where he was responsible for greenlighting network flagship franchises such as Fast N’ Loud, Street Outlaws, Naked & Afraid and Diesel Brothers. Previously, Boyle was Executive Producer and Senior Director of Production and Development at VH1.
VP, Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming
As vice president of non-fiction and alternative programming for AMC and SundanceTV, Marco Bresaz helps oversee both networks’ original non-fiction programming development and their current portfolio of non-fiction programming. He first joined AMC Networks in 2010 as vice president of original programming and development for SundanceTV, and in 2013, moved to sister network AMC to join its non-fiction and alternative programming team. He once again added SundanceTV to his purview in 2015.
At AMC, Bresaz has developed and overseen production of the network’s non-fiction series that explore authentic worlds and discussion, including AMC’s first docu-drama The Making of The Mob, the first two seasons of which documented the stories of the Mafia in New York and Al Capone and the Chicago Mob; the recently completed The American West, in association with Robert Redford's Sundance Productions, that chronicled the intimate, little-known stories of Western legends such as Jesse James and Billy the Kid; Ride with Norman Reedus, featuring The Walking Dead star as he explores motorcycle culture across the country; and Comic Book Men, the popular series starring Kevin Smith that dives deep into fanboy culture. Bresaz also helps oversee special programming events, such as Imagine: John Lennon 75th Birthday Concert, an all-star musical celebration in honor of what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday.
At SundanceTV, Bresaz has overseen non-fiction series including Behind the Story with The Paley Center; the Emmy®-nominated The Writers’ Room; and the forthcoming four-part true crime documentary event series, Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited, based on the landmark Truman Capote book and produced and directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger. Programs such as these represent a continued commitment by the network toward non-fiction storytelling that reflects and observes the state of intelligent, innovative pop culture today.
Before joining AMC Networks, Bresaz was vice president of development and original programming for TV Land from 2008 to 2010, responsible for hit series such as Hot in Cleveland, She’s Got the Look and High School Reunion. Prior to that, he was director of development and original production at TV Land / Nick at Nite from 2004 to 2008, overseeing Nick at Nite’s Search for the Funniest Mom in America and TV Land Confidential. From 2002 to 2004, Bresaz was executive in charge of production, current series and sports, at Spike TV, and before that, he spent a decade as a production executive for ABC Daytime, supervising Emmy®-winning daytime dramas such as One Life to Live and All my Children.
Bresaz graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in television, radio and film management.
EVP, Content Production & Acquisition
Steve Burns is the Executive Vice President of Global Content for the National Geographic Channel (NGC and NGCI). Burns oversees all aspects of the network’s programming strategy and content, including development, production, acquisitions and scheduling. His career spans more than 30 years in media, including senior executive positions at Discovery Communications and a decade with National Geographic Television. Prior to joining NGC, Burns served as executive vice president and chief science editor at Discovery Networks, responsible for Discovery Channel Quest, a series of expedition specials. Immediately beforehand, as executive vice president of production, he was responsible for nearly 2,000 hours of programming per year across the 10 U.S. Discovery Networks, and had creative and editorial responsibility for long-running entertainment specials and series, animal programming and science productions. From 2003 to 2005, Burns was senior vice president and general manager of The Science Channel, with managerial oversight of all personnel, production, development and finance of the network. He was also the key liaison and forged major partnerships with prestigious scientific organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. From 1983 to 1992, Burns was first a producer/cinematographer, then a supervising producer with National Geographic Television, producing segments of the Emmy award-winning series Explorer.
VP, Programming & Development
As the head of programming and Development for Destination America and American Heroes Channel, Matthew Butler is responsible for cultivating original content for the network and managing their day-to-day program scheduling and ratings performances. At the heart of Butler’s responsibilities is overseeing a program’s shelf life from pitch to premiere. This includes scouting new content offerings, polishing a well-rounded slate of new and returning series and specials, and strategizing each program’s distribution across multiple new-media platforms.
Butler was a member of the executive force that launched some of Discovery Communications’ newest networks, Destination America and American Heroes Channel. Since Destination America’s debut in 2012, he has championed hit series including Monsters & Mysteries in America, Alaska Haunting, Ghost Asylum, and Buying Hawaii. For American Heroes Channel, he championed the network’s top new series GUNSLINGERS. In 2010, Butler’s keen eye for imaginative programming was recognized by Multichannel News by naming him to their “40 under 40” list for industry visionaries, innovators, and power brokers.
In 2011, Butler joined Discovery from Travel Channel, where we spent a decade developing many of the networks’ most popular programming like Man v. Food, Ghost Adventures, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Mysteries at the Museum. Butler has also served stints with PBS, ESPN, and QVC.
Butler holds a Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. In his free time, he enjoys reading, music, and playing ice hockey, as well as spending time with his wife and two kids.
Head of Unscripted Television
Kaplan Stahler Agency
With experiences in production, marketing, and PR, Melissa started into the representation business at Plum Productions, helping to pioneer their branded and short-form entertainment division. She made the move to agency life in 2005, joining the Gersh Agency, and quickly gravitated to “Reality” television. She brought her varied client list to the Kaplan Stahler Alternative department in 2009, and packages shows for broadcast, cable, and emerging networks. In 2015 she became the Head of Unscripted Television with a varied client list of U.S. and international production companies, showrunners, and producers.
VP, Unscripted Development
BBC Worldwide Productions | Adjacent Productions
Jonathan Cane is the Vice President of Development for BBC Worldwide Productions, with specific focus on the domestic cable landscape. In his run as an unscripted development executive, he has delivered the buyers a wide variety of content, resulting in commissions ranging from full series orders to presentation and pilot orders. The array of those commissions is distinctive, with buyers including Fox, MTV, CW, Bravo, TBS, E!, GSN, Discovery, Oxygen, Style, Lifetime, VH1, TLC, We, Red Bull, National Geographic, and A&E. Jonathan attended The University of Chicago, and currently holds a BFA with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Aimee and his two daughters, Jack and Ellorie.
Rob Carey is a leading television executive with a history of creating successful, returnable shows in the US, Canada and UK with popular appeal and high production values. In their first 2 years Curve Media have produced hit shows such as Claimed and Shamed, Life and Debt, Terry and Mason’s Great British Food Trip (BBC), Call The Cleaners, Richard Wilson: On The Road (ITV), Trauma Hour, Weddings: Happily Ever After? (Channel 4), Trauma Doctors, Nailing The Fraudsters (Channel 5), Salvage Hunters (Discovery Networks International), My Extraordinary Pregnancy (TLC).
Before founding Curve Media with business and creative partner Camilla Lewis, Rob was EVP and International Creative Director for Cineflix from 2008 to 2014. He oversaw all development, pitching and production in the US, UK and Canada. His tenure saw the company’s unscripted output grow to over 300 hours with big hits including American Pickers, Property Brothers, Cold Blood, Air Crash Investigation, Property Virgins, Python Hunters, Trauma Doctors and the Emmy-winning Pet School.
Before joining Cineflix in 2007, Rob was Head of Factual Entertainment for At It Productions, and Creative Director, Factual Entertainment and Features for Mentorn Productions. At Mentorn, Rob co-created and Executive Produced Britain’s Worst Driver which grew into the highly successful ‘Worst’ franchise – producing ten series over four years with the format selling in over 25 countries. In 2008 he won the Rose D’Or in Montreaux for another format he created for the BBC - Hider In The House, which has also sold extensively worldwide.
Rob has created and Executive Produced a string of unscripted hits in the UK and north America including Work Out (Bravo US), American Pickers (History), Python Hunters (National Geographic), Human Prey (Animal Planet), Property Brothers (HGTV), Campus PD (G4), Weird or What? (Discovery), Nazi Hunters (History), World’s Greenest Homes (Discovery Planet Green), Dinner Party Wars (Food), The Unsellables (BBC), Animals At Work (BBC), Robostar (BBC).
Managing Director & Co-Founder
Nick works across a wide range of genre and programming including access documentaries British Army Girls (Channel 4), Guarding The Queen (BBC One), A Very British Airline (BBC Two), arts Rebuilding The World Trade Center (Channel 4 -BAFTA and RTS Award winner); history such as The Dambusters Great Escape (Channel 4), Bomber Boys with Ewan McGregor (BBC One), science and technology Supertruckers (Discovery Quest) and Big Machine Autopsy (BBC Two), multi-platform such as Britain from Above (BBC One/Two/Four/ - Emmy Award winning) and event based programmes such as Eddie Izzard Marathon Man (BBC Two/ Three) and Kumbh Mela (Channel 4 - RTS Award winning).
Nick has overall responsibility for Lion USA where recent productions include, Restaurant Redemption and Junk Food Flip (both Cooking Channel), Money from Strangers (MTV), Epic Feuds, Deadly Devotion, Deadliest Decade (Discovery ID), Driven To Love (WE), the multi-Emmy Award winning Cash Cab (Discovery) and America Revealed (PBS).
Nick started his career as a graduate trainee at the BBC. He is chairman of the Indie Training Fund which provides technical and professional training to the TV industry and also a trustee of The Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. Nick keeps bees, has a very small flock of sheep and has recently completed an MBA at The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.
Founder and President
Big Fish Entertainment
Dan Cesareo is founder and president of Big Fish Entertainment, one of the boldest independent producers of unscripted content, overseeing all facets of production and development for the company. Cesareo launched Big Fish in 2006, and has since produced more than 400 hours of programming for such networks as VH1, A&E, Discovery, TLC, WE tv, Esquire, National Geographic, Travel Channel and Smithsonian Channel.
Current shows include groundbreaking docu-series Live PD for A&E, hit franchise Black Ink Crew with editions in New York and Chicago for VH1, Tattoo Girls for TLC and new docu-series Hustle & Soul for WE tv, among other projects in development. Other series and specials from Big Fish include the critically acclaimed Bomb Patrol: Afghanistan for G4,Surviving Marriage for A&E and DC Cupcakes for TLC.
Founder and Partner
Show of Force
Maro Chermayeff is co-partner and executive producer of Emmy and Peabody award-winning production company Show of Force. Along with her co-partner Jeff Dupre, Chermayeff recently produced Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Music, an eight-episode PBS series that explores the extraordinary impact of recorded music on the modern world, and is currently the executive producer, along with co-production partners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions, on an eight-part series for CNN called Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History, which looks at pivotal moments in history through the lens of popular music. Previously, she produced and directed two landmark four-hour documentary series on gender inequality and women and girls, A Path Appears and Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Chermayeff is also Founder and Chair of the MFA Social Documentary Film Department at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City.
Todd Christopher launched his entertainment career as an agent trainee in the William Morris Agency mailroom following graduation from Princeton University in 2000, then moving to the Gersh Agency in 2003. Currently, Todd heads and oversees the Alternative Packaging Department, a division that he created which includes under its purview Unscripted Television, Daytime Television, Late-Night Television and Digital Media Packaging and Consulting. Initiating the division included brokering Drew Carey’s The Price is Right deal and packaging and selling The Talk to CBS. His client list includes Drew Carey (Price is Right), Sara Gilbert (The Talk), Candace Cameron Bure (The View, Fuller House) Keith Olbermann (Countdown, Sports Center, The Closer) Mike Holmes (Home Free, Holmes on Homes), Scott and Deirdre Gurney (Duck Dynasty), Pygmy Wolf Productions (Lionsgate Overall), No Coast Originals (Legendary/Asylum Overall), Phenomenon / Popped Culture (a Marketing and Ideation Company with a TV and Film Overall at Warner Bros.), and various other high profile talent and production companies. Todd holds an M.B.A. from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
SVP Factual Acquisitions
Kate is a seasoned acquisitions professional with experience of working both in the UK and the US. Having worked in film and TV and in production, broadcasting and distribution businesses, she understands all sectors of the content industry. Today she is focused on working with some of the best factual producers in the world, developing great content for DRG’s growing doc slate. Kate started her career in film, with stints at Renaissance Film and the UK Film Council, before joining Sky Movies in an acquisitions role. From there she worked with both Channel Five and Channel Four in the UK, acquiring and managing content before moving to work with independent producers Underground Films and Sprout Pictures. A second stint at Sky, acquiring content for its entertainment channels, was followed by time in Los Angeles, working as director of content acquisitions for Eyeworks. On her return to the UK joined DRG in early 2015.
Executive Producer Development & Promos
Kevin Duncan is Executive Producer, Development and Promos for Leftfield Entertainment. In his role, Kevin is tasked with developing new series and content for a wide array of different media platforms, as well as producing, directing, shooting, and editing presentations and sizzles. Kevin has been instrumental in the development and sale of such series as American Grit (Fox), Cutting It: In The ATL (WETV), America's Most Badass (American Heroes Channel), Pawnography (History Channel), Lachey's: Raising the Bar (A&E), Billy the Kid: New Evidence (Nat Geo), and more. Kevin brings a plethora of experience with him to Leftfield Entertainment, having produced, directed, written, shot, and edited for various shows. He has worked on the network side, the production side, and the agency side of the entertainment business throughout his career. Before joining Leftfield, he served as Vice President of Development at Zodiak New York, where he helped develop such shows as Hardcore Pawn (truTV), All Worked Up (truTV), Celebrity Wifeswap (ABC), Combat Pawn (truTV), and Killer Karaoke (truTV). Prior to leaving Zodiak, Kevin created RISKY LISTING for Esquire Network, as well as co-developed BEYOND DANCE (MTV), and SMOKY MOUNTAIN MONEY (NATGEO). Prior to Zodiak, Kevin worked at truTV in development. Kevin also worked at William Morris Agency in Celebrity Endorsements, and Motion Picture Talent, MTV’S TRL in audience casting, The Late Show with David Letterman in the segment writing department. Kevin graduated cum laude from De Sales University with a Bachelors degree in television/film.
Magilla Entertainment, LLC
Elaine Frontain Bryant
EVP, Head of Programming
Elaine Frontain Bryant is the Senior Vice President of Programming and Development for HISTORY. In this role, she oversees the HISTORY programming team and is responsible for the development, creation and execution of all programming, both non-fiction and scripted, for the network. She is also charged with imaginatively integrating new programming with on-line initiatives, and developing new ways to expand the brand across multiple platforms. She reports to Dirk Hoogstra, Executive Vice President and General Manager, HISTORY and H2.
Prior to joining HISTORY in September 2013, Frontain Bryant served as Senior Vice President of Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming for A&E Network, responsible for such hits as Duck Dynasty and Storage Wars.
Frontain Bryant joined A&E in September of 2005 as Director, Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming and was elevated to Vice President in July 2007. She has served as executive producer on several critically acclaimed and hit real life series including Criss Angel Mindfreak, Paranormal State, Billy the Exterminator, Storage Wars, Shipping Wars, Barter Kings and the record breaking hit Duck Dynasty.
Earlier in her career, Frontain Bryant served as Vice President, Creative Development and Production at Magna Global Entertainment, overseeing the creation and production of original television programming funded by Interpublic Group's Fortune 100 clients. She was an Executive Producer on the original TV movies The Wool Cap and 14 Hours, and the Humanitas Award nominated film, Saving Milly. She was co-executive producer of the first two seasons of the series Blow Out. Prior to joining MAGNA Global Entertainment, Frontain Bryant directed and produced two seasons of the non-scripted series Girls vs Boys and produced more than 15 episodes of the Peabody Award-winning A Walk in Your Shoes.
Frontain Bryant also produced the independent feature film The Farmhouse. Prior to that, she served as director of creative affairs for Fred Berner Films. Films produced during her tenure include Vanya on 42nd Street, A&E's Murder in a Small Town and Pollock. Frontain Bryant also associate-produced the Emmy-nominated prime time special About Us: The Dignity of Children.
Frontain Bryant is a graduate of Texas Christian University and lives in New York with her husband and daughters.
Alternative Television Packaging Agent
Shade Grant is an agent in the Alternative Television Department at ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of motion pictures, television, publishing, music, theater, branded entertainment and digital media. ICM Partners is one of the predominant agencies in the United States and Europe, with its principal offices in Los Angeles, New York and London.
Ms. Grant represents both production companies and producers in the reality television business, brokering deals to package series for broadcast and cable networks. She joined ICM in 2006, participating in the agency’s trainee program. With a background in independent film and the literary side of the television business, Ms. Grant transitioned to the agency’s New York office in 2011, in an expansion of the Alternative Television Department.
Born and raised in England, Ms. Grant is a graduate of Oxford University.
SVP of Sales and Development
Jennifer Harkness has more than 15 years of experience in the film and television industry. Based in Los Angeles, Jennifer is focused on expanding Cream Production’s business in the US, creating production partnerships and supporting Cream’s push into digital and virtual reality with the launch of Cream 360VR. Jennifer joined cream from Jumpwire Media, the social media agency she co-founded. Previously, Jennifer was Head of Development Factual Entertainment for Temple Street Productions, where she spearheaded the development of non-scripted programs including Temple Street’s highly-rated competitive food program Recipe to Riches (Food Network Canada, Global) and the competitive music show Cover Me Canada (CBC). Jennifer has held the positions of Executive Director for the Banff World Television Festival and as a Production Executive for Canada’s Global Television Network.
VP, Acquisitions & Co-Productions
Samuel Harowitz currently serves as the Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, North America for FremantleMedia International (FMI). In this role, Harowitz is responsible for managing the North American Global Content team which is responsible for sourcing, vetting and acquiring intellectual property, programming and co-production opportunities for international development and distribution.
Harowitz is responsible for forging strategic alliances and maintaining partnerships with producers, broadcasters and digital platforms in the U.S. and Canada. He is also focused on partnering closely with FremantleMedia North America’s (FMNA)’s scripted programming team to identify and acquire new television content for development. Harowitz also manages the acquisition of scripted and non-scripted content, from both third party producers and internal divisions such as FMNA, to continue building the FMI program catalogue.
Prior to his current role, Sam held the positions of Manager of Acquisitions and Development and then Director of Acquisitions and Development for FremantleMedia International, where he worked across a number of international titles including Traffickers (Fusion), The Returned (A+E), The Sixties, Seventies, Eighties (CNN), Eye Candy (MTV), Battleground (Hulu), Soundbreaking (PBS), Full Circle (DirecTV), Blue (Hulu), Project Runway (Lifetime), Monday Mornings (TNT) and Billy & Bille (DirecTV).
Before joining FMI, Harowitz was the Coordinator of U.S. Scripted Television at Entertainment One, where he worked on such shows as The Firm (NBC), Hell On Wheels (AMC), Saving Hope (NBC) Rookie Blue (ABC), Call Me Fitz (DirecTV), and Haven (Syfy).
EVP, U.S. Television
Adam has led development at Raw since 2012. During that time he has created, developed, and won series commissions from numerous broadcasters including History, Discovery, ID, TLC, Nat Geo, CNN and Syfy. These include CNN’s Race For The White House, Discovery’s Harley and the Davidsons, Taking Fire and Homestead Rescue, National Geographic’s No Man Left Behind, Investigation Discovery’s Women In Prison and TLC’s Two In A Million.
TCB Media Rights
Heaney launched his own Distribution business, TCB Media Rights in September 2012. Putting the emphasis on the ability for strong pre sales and co creating shows with high revenue potential, he has initially started concentrating on the genres of factual, factual entertainment and formats. Heaney and his 8 strong team are working with some of the most highly regarded production companies in the business, eg Arrow Media, Icon Films, WAG tv, OSF and Channel Seven Productions to name a few.
Strong co production and pre sales relationships in the US, UK, Germany, Italy and Australia has helped these producers realise their programme making plans at a much earlier stage.
In-depth market intelligence and insider knowledge of what the global content market wants, and where and how it wants it appear to be attractive qualities to producers in the development and ideas-creation process.
Heaney had previously been President and MD of Cineflix Rights which he started in 2002, building the business up year on year with double or treble digit growth each year.
Manager, Factual Acquisitions, UK & Europe
eOne Television International
Justina Hemperek is the Manager, Factual Acquisitions UK & Europe for Entertainment One Television International (eOne). She presently handles the division’s robust acquisition efforts across Europe. Prior to joining eOne, Hemperek held a similar role at ITV Studios Global Entertainment and has also spent time at All3Media International and RDF Rights in the UK. In her native Australia she’s worked for Fox World Australia (a subsidiary of Fox International), where she focused research, development & production across both factual and drama projects. It was during her time at Nickelodeon Australia that Hemperek first encountered eOne’s Peppa Pig.
ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4
Bernhard Hendling is Director Development with ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4, Austria’s leading private TV / digital media house, and based in Vienna.
In his role he is in charge of several functions, ranging from format development across multiple genres – show to factual, to news and branded entertainment; to format and content evaluation for acquisition for the group’s channels, linear TV and online.
In 2000, at the age of 22, he started as producer for a somewhat notorious daytime talk show, after which he moved to entertainment, then hard news, then executive producing, until finally, in 2007, to program development.
Vice President, Unscripted Programming
David Hillman currently serves as Vice President, Unscripted Programming, for Lifetime and is responsible for developing, overseeing and launching new primetime non-fiction series for the network. His extensive work includes the Emmy® Award-nominated series, Project Runway, for which he also serves as an executive producer.
Hillman’s roster includes all of the Project Runway franchise projects which includes spinoffs Project Runway: All Stars, Threads, Project Runway: Junior and Project Runway: Fashion Start Up. All Stars, which recently concluded filming its sixth season, features talented and memorable past contestants from the hit series who return to compete once again on the runway. Project Runway Junior, debuting its second season in winter 2016, features teen talent from across the country, competing head-to-head in complex design challenges. Project Runway: Fashion Startup follows enterprenuers that pitch their products to a panel of fashion and beauty experts with hopes of earning an investment.
In addition, Hillman oversees all of Lifetime’s Beyond the Headlines docus, which showcase new interviews and footage profiling the people and events featured in some of the networks’ tent-pole premieres. Top Beyond the Headlines and behind-the-scene specials include, Beyond the Headlines: Catching the Craig’s List Killer, Beyond the Headlines: The Amanda Knox Story, Beyond the Headlines: Cleveland Abduction, Whitney Live with Clive Davis, The Bobby Brown Interview, The Real Gabby Douglas, Beyond the Headlines: Manson Girls, and most recently, Beyond the Headlines: Michel’le,
Other series launched by Hillman include 30 Something Grandmas, Olympic Families, Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe, Child Genius and the Billboard’s Women in Music Special. He also oversaw the series The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet, Seriously Funny Kids, with host Heidi Klum, Lisa Williams: Life among the Dead, How to Look Good Naked with Carson Kressley, Gay, Straight or Taken, I Married a Princess and Spotlight 25 with Willow Bay.
Hillman’s extensive television credits include serving as a supervising producer on SOAPnet’s I Wanna Be a Soap Star and Lifetime’s What Should You Do. He was also a producer on the ABC Family reality pilot Bachelor Pad and a senior producer on ABC’s Behind Closed Doors with Joan Lunden for five years. Additionally, Hillman served as a senior producer on Fox’s Guinness World Records, CBS’s Surprise, Surprise, Surprise and TLC’s Minute by Minute: The Oklahoma City Bombing, for which he was honored with a Gold Medal for Best News/Documentary at the New York Film Festival in 2001.
Hillman’s television experience also includes serving as a field director for numerous shows and specials, including Travel Channel’s Jimmy Carter’s Plains Georgia, High End Hawaii, Las Vegas: Off the Strip and Detroit: City of Dreams.
Hillman began his career at the William Morris Agency, followed by stints in development at Cowlip Productions and New World Entertainment. A California native, he is a graduate of UCLA, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science – International Relations. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and their daughter.
Head of Acquisitions
Jimmy Humphrey is Head of Acquisitions at Passion Distribution and is responsible for the continued development and management of the international pipeline, devising and implementing Passion Distribution’s content strategy and establishing relationships with rights owners and broadcasters. Passion Distribution specialises in popular quality programming and formats and works with some of the most talented producers in the UK and also represents many North American broadcasters and production companies.
Jimmy began his career at FremantleMedia in 2005 working in the market research department to provide detailed analysis on programming and market trends. He then moved into the Worldwide Entertainment team at FremantleMedia, where he was responsible for acquiring formats for the 20+ production companies in the Group.
Following this, during a 3 year tenure at Banijay International, Jimmy was responsible for acquiring programmes and formats to feed the international pipeline, securing the rights to shows such as celebrity travel series Billy Connolly’s Tracks Across America (ITV), crime series 999: Killer on the Line (A&E) and medical ob-doc Outback ER (ABC), as well as brokering and managing exclusive first look and output deals with 3rd party production companies. He also managed Banijay’s sales in North America, Scandinavia and Australia & New Zealand.
Head of Development
VP, Production and Development
Kristen Kelly serves as Vice President, Development & Production at VH1 where she is responsible for developing unscripted projects as well as overseeing current series for the network. Kristen began her career at VH1 overseeing The Surreal Life, Flavor Of Love, Rock of Love and many more. Most recently she has served as Executive Producer on several series including Dating Naked, Barely Famous, Candidly Nicole, Twinning, She’s Got Game and five seasons of T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle. Kristen attended Loyola Marymount University and received her B.A. Television Production.
Head of Premium Programming and Development
Justin Killion is currently the the General Manager of Premium Content for Complex Networks. Prior to Complex Networks, he held posts as an executive producer for ITV Studios as well as Senior Vice President and Head of Development for Original Productions. Killion started his career at the Endeavor Agency before becoming a literary manager at Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment where he worked to develop and sell feature films, scripted series, digital series, and non-scripted programming before transitioning to producing.
SVP, Co-Productions & North American Acquisitions
Anthony has worked in international sales, acquisitions and distribution for over 12 years – With experience garnered from the distribution, production and broadcast sectors.
Prior to Cineflix Rights, Anthony was Head Of Co-productions at UK terrestrial Five, VP of Sales, Acquisitions and Co-productions at National Geographic Television International and also ran the Fugitive Consultancy specializing in helping production companies negotiate pre-sale and co-production financing for programming in all genres.
Samuel Kissous is President of Paris and London based independent TV production company Pernel Media. The business creates and produces original factual and entertainment series, as well as formats for the global content market.
Recent original Pernel Media productions, for which Samuel is Executive Producer, include epic docu-drama ‘The Real War of Thrones; A History of Europe’ and science series 'Extreme Earth’ for France 5, ’20 Years on Death Row’ for 13éme Rue, ‘Immigration – Tearing my Family Apart’ for Channel 5 in the U.K., and 'Sinful Sweets' for the Cooking Channel in the US.
Pernel Media has created and adapted programmes across a wide range of genres including factual entertainment, game show, entertainment, specialist factual and scripted for most French broadcasters. These include local adaptations of international formats ‘Dinner Date’, ‘Cash Cab’, ‘Most Identical’, ‘Great British Menu’ and ‘Wheeler Dealers’.
Before founding Pernel Media in 2009, Samuel spent 5 years as commissioning editor at M6 networks in Paris where he was tasked with handling French adaptations of world-renowned international formats including ‘Come dine with me’, ‘Wife swap’, ‘Jamie's Kitchen’, ‘Farmer wants a wife’, ‘...Next top model’ and ‘Popstars’. Prior to M6 Samuel worked as a freelance producer in Los Angeles and Paris for a number of broadcasters and producers, covering a variety of topics and productions.
Creative Artists Agency
Half Yard Productions
Michele Kurtz oversees Half Yard’s development slate, heading up a team of talented producers with a knack for finding compelling characters in remarkable worlds. Development projects she has overseen include The Last Alaskans, Diggers and Big Time RV.
In her 10 years at Half Yard, Michele previously held positions as development director and producer. She made the move to TV 10 years ago after cutting her teeth in storytelling as a print journalist, reporting and writing for several newspapers, including The Boston Globe, The Austin American-Statesman and The Raleigh News & Observer.
SVP, Unscripted Development & Production
As an Emmy-nominated television executive, Timothy Kuryak has developed, produced and overseen thousands of hours of programming for both broadcast and cable networks here in the United States and abroad.
Currently, Timothy serves as the SVP of Production & Development for UPtv, where he oversees all unscripted development and current programming, including the network’s #1 hit, Bringing Up Bates and new audience favorite Growing Up McGhee.
Prior to joining UP, Timothy served as SVP of Development for LionTV (an All3Media Company), was Vice President of Production and Development at TLC, where he oversaw over 25 series a year, including Who Do You Think You Are? (Emmy nomination), Little People, Big World, What Not to Wear, Say Yes to the Dress (the network’s longest running series), My 600-lb Life, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Welcome to Myrtle Manor and pop culture hits, Virgin Diaries and Extreme Cougar Wives. Timothy was part of the original start up teams instrumental in the launches of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Planet Green and ReelzChannel.
In the international television marketplace as Vice President of Production for FOX World, he oversaw 40 different productions around the world, including such hits as Beauty & the Geek, Joe Millionaire, The Simple Life and The Ex Wives Club, in territories from the UK to Vietnam.
Timothy is a graduate of Brown University, and a member of the Producers' Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Director, International Sales
Betsy LeBlanc, Director, PBS International has more than 20 years of broadcast sales and marketing experience. LeBlanc helped to launch the division as WGBH International in 1997 has played an instrumental role in the successful growth of the company, which includes the representation of such notable filmmakers as Stanley Nelson, Alex Gibney, Michael Kirk, Robert Stone, and Ken Burns.
Throughout her years with the division, LeBlanc handled both marketing and sales responsibilities until assuming her current mantle which combines the strengths of those complementary roles. In her senior management position she is responsible for the direction and implementation of sales and marketing strategies for the division as well as the day to day management of sales to the United States, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
Prior to WGBH, LeBlanc spent many years in marketing, station support, production and public relations a tThe Christian Science Monitor’s radio division,Monitor Radio;several prominent Boston public relations firms; Monitor Television and CBS News.
VP, Acquisitions & Sales
VP Acquisitions & Sales, North America, for Banijay Rights, overseeing all finished programme and format sales and co-productions into North America, as well as acquiring content from North American producers for distribution worldwide. Previous roles have included Acquisitions roles at Virgin Media and A&E channels in the UK.
Blue Ant Media
As VP, Production for Blue Ant Media, Sam brings over 25 years of production expertise to the media company’s specialty television channels including Cottage Life, T+E, Makeful and Smithsonian Canada. In her role, Sam oversees commissioning, in-house production and digital content for original series such as Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure, Post My Party and The Weapon Hunter and she has written, produced and directed many series and one-offs. Her former roles include Director of Programming for Discovery Canada and Animal Planet, in addition to SVP of Factual for Cineflix Productions where she executive produced series such as May Day, Final 24, Mega Moves and Urban Legends. Sam also held leadership roles at History Television as Acting Head of Factual Content and RTR Media as VP and Executive Producer for RTR Media.
Global Content Strategy Manager
INSIGHT TV (by TERN)
As Global Content Strategy Manager Arun is overlooking the direction of what kind of original content is needed for INSIGHT TV. “We get hundreds of ideas per day and we have a strategy to select the ones we have to commission to support the brand promise of INSIGHT TV”. Together with a great team of executive producers we select the best, innovative format ideas on trending topics and turn them into phenomenal stories to be aired on INSIGHT TV and put on our SVOD service INSIGHT UHD.
ABOUT INSIGHT TV
Insight TV bring you the next generation of television broadcasting. INSIGHT TV is a unique and inspiring 4K-UHD TV channel created for viewer who is young at heart and want to watch real trending content told through phenomenal non-scripted stories. Accessible, wherever and whenever the viewer wants via our SVOD service INSIGHT UHD. . INSIGHT TV is committed to
pushing the boundaries of linear and non-linear broadcasting and brings first-class programs to viewers globally, all in Ultra HD. INSIGHT TVcommissions and broadcasts over 200 hours of brand new, original 4K-Ultra HD content per year.
Arun joined INSIGHT TV (which is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands( right from the beginning 2 years ago since the channel was still about to be developed and launched. He started out with the team to launch the first global complete 4K-Ultra HD channel in the world. Not only broadcasting linear in the UK, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Switserland and India but also helps creating the SVOD service of the 4K-UHD channel.
Arun is an experienced but young media professional with positions in previous companies like All3Media and Zodiak-Banijay.
Commissions included : King of the Hammers: Ultra4Sagas, Around The World In 80 Tricks, Dracula; Escape The Castle, Extraordinary Humans, Power & …, MTB Heroes and more to come.
Daniel Markell serves as Senior Vice President, Development at Sirens Media, handling development at the company and managing transitioning projects from development to production.
In his role, he has had a hand in developing such series as The Letter (Freeform), Twirl Life (TLC), and Cheap Eats (Cooking Channel), as well as series for Food Network, Animal Planet, and A&E. Daniel began his career as a casting associate on the hit ABC show Wife Swap and went on to direct and produce other unscripted series for cable and broadcast networks.
Laura Marshall is Managing Director of Icon Films, the company she co-founded with Creative Director Harry Marshall.
As Managing Director of Icon Films, she is responsible for the overall strategy of the company, personnel development and drives its marketing. Laura also Executive Produces much of Icon Films’ production, including “River Monsters”.
Icon Films is an internationally established production company creating a broad range of unscripted content. Energetic, ambitious and constantly evolving, Icon Films makes programmes that range from Animal Planet’s highest rating series “River Monsters”, to National Geographic’s survival show, “Primal Survivor”. Their ground breaking wildlife docs include “Savage Kingdom” and “Yeti: Man, Myth or Beast?”
Geno McDermott is CEO at Blackfin.
Based in downtown Manhattan, Blackfin was founded in 2014 and has become known throughout the industry for their cinematic yet gritty aesthetic and storytelling capabilities. Currently, they have 12 active development deals with a wide range of networks, showcasing their ability to produce quality content for any and all sensibilities.
Prior to founding Blackfin, McDermott made a name for himself traveling cross-country in search of American subcultures and telling authentic stories. He served as creator and executive producer of Cold River Cash for Animal Planet produced by Left/Right, and had overall deals with History as well as Zodiak New York where he created, developed and sold straight-to-series Smoky Mountain Money for NatGeo.
Blackfin is a partnership between McDermott, Joanne Inglott and Alex Conway.
Director, Development & Production
CMT/Viacom Media Networks
John Miller-Monzon is a veteran producer and creative executive for film & tv, and currently the director of development for Viacom’s CMT network where he develops and exec produces unscripted series & long-form documentaries.
After launching his freelance producing career with Comedy Central's cult sitcom, Strangers With Candy, Miller-Monzon’s first notable non-fiction projects were two Emmy-nominated documentary miniseries, A Decade Under the Influence and Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey.
Additional feature & television documentary credits include Oscar winner The Cove, Indie Spirit Award winner Crazy Love, Peabody Award winner Black Magic, Imagen Award winner Viva Baseball! and Emmy winner Mission Blue. Also PGA Award nominee A Place at the Table and the popular Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.
Miller-Monzon’s recent credits for CMT include the docu-series Gainesville, docudrama miniseries NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed and the acclaimed feature documentaries The Bandit and Chicken People. Also the upcoming If I Leave Here Tomorrow: a film about Lynyrd Skynyrd, from Stephen Kijak and Passion Pictures.
Prior to joining the Viacom family in spring 2014 and re-booting the development side of his career, Miller-Monzon served as a development consultant and creative executive for Independent Film Channel and IFC TV. He's a member of the PGA and The Television Academy.
EVP, Head of Programming
OWN Oprah Winfrey Network
Tara Montgomery serves as executive vice president, head of Programming for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Prior to her work for OWN, Montgomery served as executive producer of OWN’s popular flagship series “Super Soul Sunday,” the Emmy award-winning series that features conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, visionaries and spiritual leaders exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, spirituality, conscious living and what it means to be alive in today’s world.
Montgomery also served as executive producer for “Oprah’s Next Chapter”, a weekly, primetime series that ran on the network and featured some of the most highly-rated and important conversations including Oprah’s exclusive interviews with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina, Lance Armstrong, David Letterman and Joel Osteen.
Prior to this position, she was supervising producer of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, the number one daytime talk show for 25 seasons. During her 16-year tenure, she produced some of the show’s most high profile interviews and highly rated large scale productions (Oprah’s After Oscar Party, Oprah & Whitney Houston, Oprah & Barack Obama, Oprah’s Australian Adventure).
Prior to joining Harpo, she was an associate producer for “Evening Magazine” at KING TV in Seattle, and a News Intern for ABC News “Nightline” and “Prime Time Live.”
Montgomery resides in Los Angeles with her husband and five children.
Head of Factual, US
Chris has over 20 years experience in media creation, development and production. After cutting successful music videos, movies, dramas and documentaries he shaped the first seasons of international television blockbusters like Top Gear, Locked Up Abroad and Gold Rush. Now oversees the development and production of original US programming at October Films in New York.
Michael Murphy is General Manager at Beyond Distribution, the international arm of Beyond International, one of Australia’s leading production and distribution companies.
A non-executive director at Beyond Entertainment since 2004, he joined Beyond Distribution as General Manager in 2013 and leads the international distribution team, with offices in Sydney, London and Dublin.
Michael has amassed over 30 years experience in international television and film content and business development, including work on co-production finance, digital content, broadcasting, acquisition and distribution.
Prior to Beyond, Michael founded Channel 6 in Ireland, which was acquired by TV3 and rebranded 3e, Prior to this he was Director of Digital Television at national telco operator, Eircom Group plc and Director of Programmes at TV3, Ireland.
Director of Original Content, Scripted and Factual
Rachel Nelson is Director of Original Content, Scripted and Factual, at Corus Entertainment. In this role, Rachel leads a multi-platform strategy of the company’s scripted drama and factual programming in both production and development. Rachel manages a team overseeing 150 hours of content for several of the company’s national cable channels including History, Showcase, W, as well as the main conventional network Global Television. With deep relationships in television and digital content, Rachel has left an indelible mark on dozens of award-winning, top-rated shows in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.
Rachel’s current scripted production roster includes the second season of the smash hit Private Eyes, with Jason Priestley, Ransom, an international co-production with CBS and TF1, Travelers starring Eric McCormack in concert with Netflix, the long-running international hit Vikings with History US as well as the much anticipated six-part series Mary Kills People,in partnership with Lifetime.
Also managing the strategy for original programs in the unscripted space, Rachel continues to bring strong multi-season hit shows such as Ice Road Truckers with History US and the popular series, Yukon Gold, to Corus’ top-rated cable channel, History.
With two decades of experience in the Media industry, Rachel has also held the position of Director, Original Scripted Content, at Shaw Media. As Executive in Charge of Production for the prime time series,Rookie Blue,she brought in top ratings for Global and ABC. After six successful seasons Rookie Blue is, to date, the longest running Canadian show with a U.S. network partner.
Prior to that, Rachel was a Production Executive at CanWest (Global Television). She drove the success of Traders, one of Canada’s first major scripted series, and the critically acclaimed Durham County, among a long list of both scripted and unscripted series for Global and several of CanWest’s cable channels.
With a passion for content, Rachel not only oversees key creative decisions on a range of hit content, but also brokers complex international coproduction partnerships. Rachel is a regular speaker on international panels and also lends her time to mentor the next generation of creators and content executives at the Canadian Film Centre, Ryerson University and the National Screen Institute.
In addition to being a long-time broadcast executive, Rachel spent several years in the independent production sector. She has experience both in production on the studio floor as well as in development, working closely with creators overseeing concepts to bring to market.
Rachel has spent her career bringing series to life but she is most proud of the three real people she has developed. Her favourite moments are spent with her family enjoying food, travel, art and…watching television.
EVP of Programming and Development
3 Ball Entertainment
DJ Nurre serves as executive vice president, programming and development at 3 Ball Entertainment where he heads up all development for the production company, focusing on the creation of IP for broadcast, cable, digital and OTT, and managing 3 Ball’s growing casting and development team.
A seasoned showrunner, Nurre has championed some of 3 Ball’s highest-rated and longest-running series, including mega-hit Bar Rescue (more than 150 episodes have been commissioned to date), spin-off Back to the Bar and Catch a Contractor for Spike; My Cat From Hell for Animal Planet; LA Hair for WE tv; Adventure Capitalists for CNBC; and Hallmark Channel’s top-rated Kitten Bowl specials.
His other credits as a producer and finishing editor include The Biggest Loser, MasterChef, Beauty and The Geek, Breaking Bonaduce and For Love Or Money.
Nurre joined 3 Ball (then called 3 Ball Productions) as an editor in 2004, rising through the ranks over 12 years to become a high-level showrunner on myriad series, while also serving as an executive in the company’s development and current programming departments.
Prior to his current role, Nurre was senior vice president of development and current.
He is a graduate of the USC School of Cinema - Television.
VP, Alternative Entertainment
Fox Broadcasting Company
Alex Piper is currently the VP, Alternative Entertainment at FOX. Prior to joining FOX, Piper served as Senior Vice President, Alternative Television for Asylum Entertainment, where he helped develop, launch and oversee Asylum’s unscripted slate. In this role, he executive-produced numerous series, including “Being Mike Tyson” for FOX Sports 1, “The Locator” for WE tv, and “Addicted” for TLC. Piper also served as Supervising Producer on the Peabody Award-winning medical docu-series “Hopkins” for ABC News and was a producer for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, receiving six Emmy Awards for Olympic and other sports events coverage.
SVP, Programming & Production
As Head of Original Programming for TV One, D’Angela Proctor consistently demonstrates a winning formula: vision with the ability to execute. Proctor provides strategic and creative direction for TV One’s original programming and oversees the development and current production of all originals, including daily news and entertainment, specials, reality, scripted comedies and dramas, and original movies.
Upon joining TV One, Proctor launched the country’s first and only daily news and entertainment program dedicated to the Black audience, NewsOne Now, featuring Roland S. Martin. NewsOne Now closed out 2016 with all quarters up year-over-year, resulting in a record-setting year for the show among P25-54. Proctor also ushered the Network into the production of original movies, including the premiere of 22 original movies in less than 3 years. Of note, Proctor’s passion project and critically acclaimed Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, was the Network’s best original movie premiere.
Proctor’s contributions to cable television via her role at TV One have not gone unnoticed. For three years straight, Proctor has been honored by Cablefax Magazine as one of the most influential minorities in cable and in 2015, she was honored by Multichannel News in conjunction with Women in Cable Television as a Woman to Watch.
VP, Cooking Channel and Food Network
Jennifer Quainton is Vice President of Cooking Channel and Food Network. In her current role, Quainton oversees both development and scheduling strategy for Cooking Channel, as well as daytime programming for both networks.
A member of the Food Network and Cooking Channel team since 2000, Quainton has overseen key day-part scheduling for the brands, managed VOD strategy for both networks, negotiated acquisitions and managed all financial and legal matters for programming. She was part of the executive team that launched Cooking Channel in 2009, and shepherded such series as Carnival Eats, Dinner at Tiffani’s, Sugar Showdown and Food: Fact or Fiction, helping to drive the success and continued growth of the network.
Quainton’s career achievements and leadership in the cable industry earned her designation to Women in Cable Telecommunications’ 2010 Rising Leaders Program. She is a graduate of Denison University in Columbus, Ohio.
VP of Unscripted Programming
Turner Entertainment Networks, TNT & TBS
Jenny Ramirez is VP of unscripted programming for TBS and TNT, where she is responsible for creative oversight of the unscripted development process and taking projects from concept to series across all platforms. She also collaborates with companies, producers, directors and talent to develop new content.
Ramirez joined Turner from Irwin Entertainment, where she served as both senior VP of development and co-executive producer. During her time at Irwin, she produced New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly, Must See TV: An All-Star Tribute to James Burrows and the Red Nose Day charity special. She also helped develop E! Entertainment’s Famously Single.
Ramirez previously served as vice president of development and production for CORE Media Group. She acted as an in-house development showrunner and developed and sold such series as Euros of Hollywood for Bravo, Sing It On to Pop TV and Prison Wives Club and Preach to Lifetime.
Prior to CORE Media Group, Ramirez worked in FremantleMedia’s non-scripted development department. For six years, she learned about the international marketplace, adapting formats for the U.S. and developing projects for TBS, Fox, NBC, A&E, MTV and Syfy.
Neil Regan is currently a vice president of programming for Travel Channel at Scripps Networks Interactive, reporting directly to senior vice president Courtney White. He manages the development and production of series and specials for Travel Channel.
Regan joined Travel Channel in January 2016 after a three-year stint as senior vice president, current programming and development for Zodiak New York, where he developed and oversaw series and pilots for HGTV, NBC, Discovery, National Geographic Channel, Food Network, E!, Esquire and Pop, Scripps said. He previously worked as a showrunner for such production companies as Left/Right, RDF (now Zodiak), Sharp Entertainment, True Entertainment and Atlas Media where he developed a reputation for overcoming complex creative and logistical challenges. His producing credits include ABC-TV’s Wife Swap, HGTV’s Hawaii Life and Hidden Potential, Food Network’s The Next Food Network Star, Doorknock Dinners and Follow That Food and Discovery Channel’s Punkin’ Chunkin’.
Scott Reich is the Senior Vice President, Programming for Fullscreen. Based in Los Angeles, Reich oversees the development and execution of Fullscreen programming including the development of scripted and unscripted projects and content acquisition for the company’s subscription video on demand service. Since joining the company in July 2016, Reich has greenlit over twenty new series including critically acclaimed Magic Funhouse, talk formats such as Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett and unscripted series including Shan Boody Is Your Perfect Date and Shades of Shay starring Shay Mitchell. Prior to Fullscreen, Reich served as Vice President of Programming and Original Content at Vevo where he was responsible for building and guiding Vevo’s original programming slate, including all live performances and tent-pole events. Previously, Reich held various executive programming positions at Fuse, Concert.tv and VH1. Reich reports to Fullscreen General Manager Martin Keely and graduated from Boston University.
VP, Original Programming & Development
As Vice President, Development, Oxygen Media, Benny Reuven is charged with continuing to develop lifestyle programming that speaks to the passions and interests of the network’s young, multicultural female audience. Based in Los Angeles, Reuven reports to Cori Abraham, Senior Vice President of Development & International, Oxygen Media.
Reuven joined Oxygen Media from Wilshire Studios where he served as Vice President, Development and Programming. Prior to joining Wilshire Studios, Reuven founded 3RB Entertainment where he led the development team as well as all facets of production. He previously launched a US office for UK based Love Productions developing original content and adaptations for many different formats. Additionally, Reuven spent two years at OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network as a programming and development executive playing an integral role in the network’s launch. With over twelve years of producing experience, Reuven has developed and produced content for many broadcast and major cable networks including Chef Wanted, Farmer Wants a Wife, Kid Nation, Miami Ink, Trading Spouses and Kidnapped By The Kids.
Jane Root is a leading creative executive who has transformed major networks on both sides of the Atlantic. She has built a reputation for innovation, determination and delivery in both television and digital.
In 2008, Root set up her own TV production company Nutopia. With offices in London and Washington DC, Nutopia creates ground-breaking, factually inspired shows on a global scale. Since its launch it has created international formats, won awards, achieved record-breaking ratings and created a pioneering new genre of television – the ‘megadoc’. The first of which was the Emmy Award winning America: The Story of US series for History US, described as ‘a ground-breaking initiative of epic proportions.’ It was introduced by President Barack Obama and became the most watched show in History Channel history. Recent projects include Finding Jesus. Faith, Fact, Forgery (CNN), The 90’s: The Last Great Decade (National Geographic) and How We Got To Now (PBS).
Promoted to President in 2007, Jane Root re-positioned the Discovery Channel, finding a fresh voice for the 20 year old network. This led to record ratings, and the launch of global hits like Deadliest Catch, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Stormchasers, Cash Cab and Planet Earth.
Jane moved to America from the UK in 2004, where as Controller of BBC2, she ran Britain’s 3rd largest network for 5 years. She was described in the UK press as ‘one of the BBC’s most successful channel controllers’. Her controllership was defined by the creation of a series of popular and mould breaking programs, including the original British series of The Office, Top Gear and Who Do You Think You Are?
Prior to this, for 10 years Jane was Joint Managing Director of Wall to Wall Television, best known in the US for PBS’s Texas Ranger House series.
Betsy Sanner Ayala
VP Original Programming and Production
HGTV, DIY Network & Great American Country
Betsy Ayala recently joined the Scripps Networks Interactive home category team as Vice President of Programming. In her new role, Ayala manages the development and production of series and specials for HGTV, DIY Network and Great American Country. She will be based in Knoxville, Tenn., reporting to John Feld, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
Ayala has more than 15 years of television and digital programming experience, managing teams in everything from live daily shows and events to docu-soaps. Most recently, Ayala was Vice President of Programming and Production at PTA Networks, a digital streaming television travel network serving content for platforms such as Roku, Comcast Xfinity and Amazon Fire. Ayala also served as Executive Producer and Head of New Development for Moxie Pictures, home of multi-season successes like Animal Planet’s Ice Cold Gold and FYI’s Arranged, which she created. Her previous television experience also includes developing and producing programming for luxury lifestyle network Plum TV, as well as the
NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, NBC Sports and ESPN.
Ayala holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University in broadcast journalism and received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.
Jason Sarlanis joined TLC in December 2016 as Senior Vice President, Development. Based out of the Los Angeles office, Sarlanis oversees development teams on both coasts and reports directly to Howard Lee, EVP Development and Production, TLC.
Sarlanis joined the network from ABC where he was charged with leading development and current primetime programming as Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, developing new series such as To Tell the Truth and Battlebots. Additionally, his role included spearheading Disney ABC Television Group’s Alternative Department in the international format marketplace.
Prior to ABC, Sarlanis served as Vice President, Original Programming and Series Development at E! Entertainment Television where he provided creative oversight of series including The Soup, Fashion Police and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Before joining ABC, Sarlanis also served as Senior Vice President at Ryan Seacrest Productions.
Sarlanis graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Film & Television.
Executive in Charge of Development, Unscripted Content
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
In her role in CBC’s Unscripted Content group, Jessica oversees development of formats and original content in the genres of factual entertainment, arts, doc series, and digital originals. She is responsible for finding and creating new formats and working with the independent production community in Canada to bring their ideas to life.
Since joining the Unscripted team in 2011, Jessica has helped launch many popular and award-winning programs series as Still Standing, Hello Goodbye, Keeping Canada Alive, This Is High School, and Interrupt This Program, which was nominated for a 2016 International Emmy.
Hit + Run Creative
Based in ITV Studios America's New York office, Rob Shaftel oversees the prod co's East Coast non-scripted development slate. Since joining ITV Studios America in 2013 Shaftel has created, sold and Executive Produced numerous series including Animal Planet's justice adventure series Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters. Previously the Vice President of Development at Leftfield Pictures, Shaftel oversaw the development of more than 20 series for top cable networks, including hit series American Restoration and Counting Cars on History Channel. He also developed Leftfield’s first broadcast network show, Ball Boys, for ABC as well as Pawn Stars spinoff Cajun Pawn Stars for History, Science Channel’s Oddities franchise, Food Network’s Health Inspectors, National Geographic Channel’s Bid & Destroy and Bravo’s Fashion Hunters, amongst others. Prior to Leftfield, Shaftel was a development executive at The Discovery Channel and Spike.
SVP, Head of Alternative Programming, Digital Media, Licensing & Branding
Abrams Artists Agency
Alec Shankman started his career in Hollywood in 2003 upon joining the West coast office of Abrams Artists Agency where he launched the agency’s renowned Alternative Programming & Digital Media Department. He ran the successful division for 6 years, representing the stars of many popular TV shows such as SyFy's Ghost Hunters, Discovery's Deadliest Catch, VH1's The Pick Up Artist and ABC's Dancing With The Stars. Alec also represented TV producers & packaged a variety of TV shows & web series.
In 2009 Alec became the CEO of GotCast.com, which was the Internet’s premier interactive casting site & social network for talent. Under his supervision, GotCast innovated the talent sourcing business, casting over 750,000 entertainment projects. He also launched MediaBlastr, GotCast's popular social media-based contest platform. MediaBlastr powered hugely successful campaigns sponsored by top brands like Mercedes-Benz, Sony Playstation, L'Oreal, Dove, Charles Schwab, & Garnier Fructis. In 2010, GotCast was honored by the Los Angeles Business Journal for Innovation & Vision.
In 2012, Alec accepted the position of Co-Head of Alternative Programming & Digital Media for The Kaplan Stahler Agency in Beverly Hills where he represented TV personalities from top shows like A&E's Duck Dynasty, Discovery's Gold Rush, Lifetime's Dance Moms, Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Spike TV's Tattoo Nightmares, Nat Geo's Wicked Tuna, History Channel's Swamp People, EXTRA, etc. Alec also reps digital companies like TheLuxurySpot.com & MrKate.com.
In 2014 Alec and his clients moved back to AAA where he reclaimed his role as Head of Alternative Programming & Digital Media & his business continues to quickly grow & expand representing producers, production companies and talent.
Alec's 1st book, ‘Moving to Los Angeles: The ABC’s of Making Your Hollywood Dreams Come True,’ was published in 2010. His 2nd book 'Moving to Los Angeles: The ABC's of Getting an Agent,' was published in 2012.
NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation
Seiichi Shinno is a senior producer of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Global Content Development Division. After graduating from Kobe University (international economics), he entered the NHK and directed and produced numerous number of news programs, non-fiction programs and documentaries. In 2013, he received Monthly Galaxy Award with a documentary “Another Piano Lesson- Left Handed Pianist” in Japan domestically. In 2014, he received Peabody-Award in the United States with a co-produced documentary titled “Brakeless”(NHK, BBC,IKON,DR and ITVS)This documentary was highly evaluated for the depth of depiction about the danger of “efficiency-oriented” society in dealing with a commuter train clash accident in Japan 2005.(the documentary was aired in PBS Network in the United States). Currently he is in charge of coordinating and producing re-versioning of NHK documentary for the world market.
Head of Current Programming, Digital/TV/Film
Matt Sims currently serves as Head of Current Programming for Maker Studios. Matt joined Maker in April 2015 as Head of Development, and in March 2016 was charged with overseeing all current series as well as series development. He is across all digital as well as linear programming, including scripted, unscripted and digital features.
Soon after joining Maker last year as Head of Development, Matt launched the first Maker television slate, a robust lineup of both scripted and unscripted content geared towards the traditional television market, stemming from indigenous Maker content and talent partnerships. Within this newly created arm of Maker, Sims identified and secured partnerships with top production companies, selling multiple series both on the unscripted and scripted sides to linear networks and high level studios. He also participated in a game changing partnership, selling one of the first Maker short-form scripted shows, Hope and Randy, to TruTV as part of their weekly Late Night Snack series- a linear half-hour amalgam of short form content. On the digital side, he was involved with the launching of Maker Spark, a first of it’s kind content incubation and piloting initiative out of which 40 digital pilots were produced from Maker internal IP and involving top Maker influencers.
Matt now oversees all of Maker’s current programming, shepherding both digital and traditional content from inception to delivery across Maker’s four verticals, with a focus both on translating internal IP into series as well as acquiring third party ideas. Matt works closely with Maker’s sales and distribution arm to secure third party distribution for Maker content on such platforms as Verizon Go90, YouTube Red, Sling, Facebook and others, as well as positioning series specifically for Maker owned and operated channels. He also is working closely with multiple arms of the Walt Disney Company, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform and others to create strategic partnerships across all platforms and forms of content.
Before joining Maker, Matt served as SVP - Unscripted Development for Ryan Seacrest Productions, overseeing unscripted development for the company. While there he developed and sold the groundbreaking transgender themed Becoming Us, which premiered to high acclaim last summer on ABC Family, as well as other docuseries, large formats and awards shows. Prior to Seacrest, Sims was the Director of Development at TLC, where he acquired and developed numerous shows including the multi-season Cheer Perfection and the hit wedding format Something Borrowed Something New. Over his career, Matt also has been a freelance producer for Authentic Entertainment, producing the hit show Toddlers & Tiaras, along with developing the ratings juggernaut Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, among others.
President & CEO
Colleen Needles Steward is always on the hunt for the next brilliant idea and has discovered that the ones scribbled on the back of cocktail napkins are usually the best. With more than 30 years of television experience, she spearheads the company’s new show development and oversees the production of hundreds of hours of programming.
In 1996, Steward founded Tremendous! Entertainment so she could provide unprecedented access to fascinating places and people around the world. The company has been breaking new ground ever since with award-winning programs like Daytime Emmy Award winner Rock the Park (ABC), two-time James Beard award winner Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel), Bizarre Foods Delicious Destinations (Travel Channel), Naturally, Danny Seo (NBC), Ghost Asylum (Destination America), For Peete's Sake (OWN), Angels Among Us (TLC), The Happiness Advantage (PBS), Off Pitch (VH1) and Young Marvels (Ovation).
Steward began her career in television news at WCCO-TV, a CBS owned and operated station, and quickly became an award-winning news anchor covering local, national and world news from Europe, Africa, New Guinea, Central and South America and from behind the news desk.
Steward holds a Master Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University and a BA in Economics and Financial Economics from the University of Iowa. She divides her time between Minneapolis, MN, Los Angeles, where she oversee Tremendous! Entertainment’s headquarters and production and post-facilities and the company’s newest office in New York.
VP Pay and OTT Services
As Vice-President, Business and Channel Strategy, Bell Media, Justin Stockman oversees strategy and management of CraveTV and The Movie Network, including HBO Canada. Justin will continue to be responsible for channel-driven digital content, including Much Digital Studios, and the execution of program priorities and new channel and business strategies for the company’s conventional, specialty, and pay services.
Prior to this, Stockman worked as Vice-President, Specialty Channels, where he oversaw all brands and day-to-day activities affecting Entertainment Specialty Channels Much, MTV, M3, E!, Bravo, Space, The Comedy Network, and their complimentary digital networks, as well as Pay channels TMN and HBO Canada.
Stockman was previously Executive Director, Marketing, Specialty Channels, where he oversaw all brand-positioning, consumer and trade marketing, social media marketing, and social media communities for Bell Media’s Specialty properties.
Stockman has worked at Much for more than a decade in various capacities including creative services and production as creative director, supervising producer, producer, writer, editor, and web designer.
Justin graduated in 1996 from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Specialized Honours in Visual Arts Studio. In 2009 he earned his MBA through a joint program at Cornell University in New York and Queen’s University in Kingston.
Manager, Series Development & Original Programming
Universal City - CA - 91608As Manager of Programming & Development at E! Entertainment, Jackie Sunshine is responsible for the development of original series as well as sharpening the E! brand through strategic creative input. She also contributes to current on air series, collaborates with talent and producers, and builds key relationships within the entertainment industry on behalf of the network. Sunshine joined the global cable network in February 2012 as a member of the Talent Development & Casting team. Prior to E!, Sunshine was a Page in the NBC West Coast Page Program, where she spent several months in Alternative Programming at NBC.
Pop (formerly TVGN)
As Pop’s VP of Development, Surovell handles both development and current series, playing an instrumental role in the network's diverse lineup of scripted and unscripted original programming:
NIGHTCAP, HOLLYWOOD DARLINGS, RETURN OF THE MAC, ROCK THIS BOAT: NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK and SING IT ON to name a few. Prior to Pop, she served as the Executive Director of Development at Shed Media US where she helped develop, sell and produce several shows, such as: BASKETBALL WIVES, DOGS IN THE CITY, HOLLYWOOD EXES, & THE MARRIAGE REF.
Senior Director, Development
National Geographic Channels
Igal Svet is Senior Director, Development at National Geographic Partners. Based in New York City, Svet is responsible for the development of premium content in the forms of original series, specials and feature documentaries. Over the past year the National Geographic premiered sweeping original programs such as Mars, The Story of God with Morgan Freeman and the feature documentary Before The Flood. Previously, Svet served as Vice President, Development at 2C Media, the Miami-based production company behind Travel Channel’s Airport 24/7: Miami. No stranger to production, Svet served as Producer on several hit cable network series including History Channel’s Top Gear and truTV’s Full Throttle Saloon. Prior, Svet played an integral role at BBC Worldwide and Reveille LLC in Los Angeles, where he developed, packaged and sold non-fiction projects for the global entertainment companies. Svet graduated magna cum laude from Boston University.
Amanda Taylor is the CEO and co-founder of DanceOn, the number one digital media company and network celebrating music and dance in pop culture. Amanda founded DanceOn along with Madonna, Guy Oseary and Allen DeBevoise. Through multi-platform storytelling and diverse, influencer-driven programming, DanceOn reaches engaged, global audiences seeking on-demand music content.
Her leadership has driven the network to 5B+ views, 30M+ subscribers and 75M+ fans and followers across multiple platforms. Amanda’s vision has made DanceOn responsible for much of the world’s pop culture connection to dance, and has empowered creators – musicians and artists – in the digital era.
Prior to founding DanceOn, Amanda worked in artist management for such talents as Debbie Allen and Ben Vereen and creatives such as Francesca Zambello, Sergio Trujillo, Lynne Taylor-Corbett and many others. She worked in various capacities (Marketing, General Management, Associate Producing) for Richard Frankel Productions (producers of Stomp, Hairspray, The Producers). Amanda graduated magna cum laude from Elon University with a degree in Music Theatre.
Director, Programming & Development
Danny Tipping, Director of Programming and Development, has accumulated over 18 years of experience working for broadcasters including Channel 4 and Discovery. He has overseen the production of more than 400 hours of international programming and heads the production division of Sky Vision. As Director of Programming and Development, he manages Sky Vision’s production unit and oversees projects from development through to delivery. As well as managing broadcaster relationships and securing commissions and co-productions in the UK, Danny manages the company’s ever expanding slate of international co-productions. Sky Vision produce original factual programming for an array of international broadcasters including; Sky 1, National Geographic Channels, History, PBS, Animal Planet, Crime and Investigation, UKTV, Discovery ID, SBS and Smithsonian Channel.
EVP, Programming & Development
Director, Original Programming
Keith Wooten is a Los Angeles native, but he left the city for 15 years to attend college and get his start in the entertainment business. While a freshman in college at Clark Atlanta University he began interning in the music business and eventually landed an assistant position in the Video Production and Marketing Departments at LaFace Records, a record label owned by LA Reid and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds.
After working at LaFace for several years, he reluctantly decided to leave the company when the owners sold it to Arista Records in 2000. He then moved into film and music video production, assisting one of the owners of the indie film company, Strange Fruit Films. After two years at Strange Fruit he realized that film production was not his passion, and the marketing of music was what he truly wanted to do.
In January 2002, he took a leap of faith and moved to New York City, three months after 9/11, to pursue his career aspirations. As fate would have it, Keith ended up regaining his marketing position, working for LA Reid at Arista Records. From 2002 to 2010, Keith managed to grow from Marketing Assistant to Director, and worked at some of the most renowned record labels such as Jive/Zomba, Virgin/Capitol, Def Jam, and Bad Boy Records. Over the course of his music career he has managed the marketing of albums for recording artists such as Usher, Outkast, TLC, Pink, Ciara, and Janet Jackson.
After experiencing the effects of the music industry’s downward spiral due to piracy, Keith decided to leave the music business and segue into television, his other true passion. However, this transition would not be so simple. He literally had to start over from the bottom as an assistant in Original Programming. Never afraid of an achievable challenge, Keith used his ability to think creatively, foster teamwork and maximize interdepartmental efficiency in order to become the “go to guy” for all of the creative and developmental answers within the Original Programming department. After five years of working Original Programming, Keith currently holds the title of Director of Development.
Since 2013, Keith has worked in four areas of Original Programming – Development and Current Programming, as well as Scripted and Reality/Alternative Programming. Some of the shows he has overseen include SUNDAY BEST, the #1 TV Gospel series for the past seven years; CHASING DESTINY, starring Kelly Rowland, NELLYVILLE, starring Grammy award-winning rapper, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and family man, Nelly; IT’S A MANN’S WORLD, starring gospel’s favorite couple, David and Tamela Mann, and APOLLO LIVE, the legendary theater’s amateur talent completion. On the development front, Keith also created the title for BET’s hit drama, BEING MARY JANE, starring Gabrielle Union, and he has a number of shows in development, some of which will be revealed very soon.
Head of Domestic Alternative Television
Paradigm Talent Agency
Sean Zeid is an agent at Paradigm Talent Agency. Sean moved to Paradigm in 2015 to head their domestic alternative television department. He spent the seven years prior leading the reality department at Kaplan Stahler Agency and before that was at Endeavor. Voted to Variety’s “Reality Impact List” last year, his clients also include Painless Productions (Discovery’s Dead Files), Bat Bridge Entertainment (CNN’s High Profits) and producers Kyra Thompson (The Voice), Leslie Garvin (Shark Tank), and Andrea Richter (Ink Master and Ink Master: Redemption).