Maryanne Culpepper has been promoted to president of National Geographic Television (NGT), the factual giant’s production arm, replacing Michael Rosenfeld, who has left the company.
Rosenfeld, who was appointed president of NGT in June 2006, quietly left NGT in March to return to “his first love — making films,” according to a Nat Geo spokeswoman. It has since been announced that Rosenfeld will be heading up a US$60 million science documentary initiative for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, beginning in July.
Culpepper, meanwhile, most recently served as exec VP of editorial and new business development at NGT. In her new role, she will report to Edward Prince, chief operating officer for National Geographic Global Media.
“Continuing to expand the reach and influence of National Geographic’s cable channels around the globe is our top priority, and National Geographic Television is committed to creating and delivering great, original programming in service of that goal,” Prince said.
Rosenfeld’s departure sees him exiting after some 18 years with National Geographic. He joined in 1993 as a writer and producer on the network’s Explorer series, and in 1999 took over National Geographic Specials. He later rose to executive VP for programming and production, before becoming head of NGT in 2006.
The move represents a major promotion for Culpepper, who joined Nat Geo as director of story development in 1996, before rising to exec VP of editorial and new business development.
Prior to joining the firm, she was president of Graffiti Works, a production company she founded based in Orlando and Washington DC, producing films for networks including Discovery, PBS and Time-Life.
Nat Geo Society president Tim Kelly said Culpepper “is uniquely positioned to ensure we can deliver the expeditions, talent, grantees and editorial know-how wrapped up as great, entertaining television specials and series to our channels.”
The news comes after Nat Geo announced earlier in April that Steve Burns, National Geographic Channel exec VP of global content, was departing, with Michael Cascio, SVP production, serving as interim head of global programming until a successor is found.