SYFY EXPANDS UNSCRIPTED PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT
January 10, 2012 by J!-ENT
NEW YORK – January 10, 2012 – Syfy has named Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, Wayne Sampson and Colin Whelan as Vice Presidents, Alternative Programming, it was announced today by Tim Krubsack, SVP, Alternative Programming, to whom they will report. Also added to the programming department are Tori Socha and Andrew Whitney, who join as Directors, Alternative Programming.
In making the announcement, Krubsack said: “On the heels of Syfy’s most watched year in history, we will be launching a record number of unscripted series in 2012. With their diverse experiences, creative sensibilities and stellar accomplishments, these five very gifted executives will play a key role in shaping that programming expansion and the continuing growth of the Syfy brand.”
In their new roles, Lattaker-Johnson, Sampson and Whelan will oversee Syfy’s current slate of hit reality series, including Face Off, Ghost Hunters, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, Haunted Collector, Paranormal Witness, Hollywood Treasure, and the upcoming Monster Man, Dream Machines and Total Blackout, as well as developing new unscripted projects.
Socha and Whitney will support the programming team, as well as identify new projects for development.
All five executives will be based in Syfy’s Los Angeles office.
Prior to joining Syfy, Robyn-Lattaker Johnson was an independent producer, most recently serving as the show runner of Comic View: One Mic Stand. She also served as Senior Vice President, Original Programming, for BET Networks, where she spearheaded the development on some of the network’s most successful and acclaimed original series, including American Gangster, Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is, Hell Date, Sunday Best, Baldwin Hills, and Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown. Lattaker-Johnson graduated with an MFA in Film from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Wayne Sampson joins Syfy from Dick Clark Productions, where he played a key role in expanding the company’s reality division as Vice President of Development. Prior to Dick Clark Productions, Sampson worked at the Discovery Channel and Spike TV, where he helped develop series such as Auction Kings, Ghost Lab, Deadliest Warrior, MANswers, The Ultimate Fighter and 1000 Ways to Die. Sampson graduated from the University of Florida with a BA in History and Business Administration.
Colin Whelan was most recently Director of Production / Executive Producer at TLC, where he was responsible for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, LA Ink and the network’s first successful foray into competition, Ultimate Cake-Off. During his tenure, he also developed and launched NY Ink and Surprise Homecoming. Before joining TLC, Whelan was Vice President, Programming, at Dalaklis McKeown Entertainment. Whelan graduated with an MFA from the UCLA School of Film and TV Producers’ Program.
Tori Socha was previously Manager of Development at TLC. In this role, she spearheaded development on series such as Cake Boss, Four Weddings, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Sister Wives, Extreme Couponing and Hoarding: Buried Alive. Prior to TLC Socha worked at Discovery Studios, CBS, and the William Morris Agency. She received her BS in Television, Radio & Film from Syracuse University.
Andrew Whitney joins Syfy from CMT, where he served as Manager of Development for three years. He was instrumental in all phases of development on presentations, pilots, and series, including Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Top Secret Recipe, Sweet Home Alabama, World’s Strictest Parents, Trick My Truck, Country Fried Home Videos, and The Singing Bee. Whitney also worked at Dick Clark Productions, MTV, Magical Elves and Katalyst. He graduated from William & Mary in Virginia.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
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