Mary Ellen Iwata (pictured), most recently VP of international programming and development at Scripps Networks International, is joining The Weather Channel as its VP of original content and development.
Iwata will be reuniting with a former colleague, Weather Channel senior VP of content and development Michael Dingley, who hired Iwata at Scripps-owned HGTV in 2003.
Iwata, who begins the new job on August 29, will be based in New York and will report to Atlanta-based Dingley. She’ll be tasked with overseeing the development and production of non-scripted series and specials for the channel and will work with its multi-platform operations to create cross-platform opportunities for content.
In her previous position, Iwata was a key part of the launch team for Food Network UK, EMEA and Asia, and continued to oversee the networks’ content after launch. Prior to her international role, Iwata was VP of program and talent development at HGTV, and before that, VP of development and special projects at TLC.
“This is such an exciting time to join The Weather Channel,” said Iwata. “I can’t wait to start meeting with producers and discussing the content we’re looking for – I think they will be as inspired as I am by The Weather Channel’s plans for the future.”
“Mary Ellen is a seasoned veteran who has helped launch and shape several leading content brands,” said Dingley. “Her sterling reputation in the industry, both domestically and internationally, and close relationships with numerous production companies, will be a huge asset to The Weather Channel as we move to build and strengthen our original content across all platforms.”
Dingley, who had been with HGTV for 11 years, took his new role at The Weather Channel in late July. Upon the announcement of his hiring, Bob Walker, executive VP and general manager of networks and content, said Dingley and his team will “focus on building our primetime with compelling programming that fits our well established brand.”
Iwata will be attending MIPCOM for The Weather Channel in October.