Unscripted

Syfy makes unscripted hires

U.S. cable network Syfy has made a number of alternative programming appointments, naming Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, Wayne Sampson and Colin Whelan as VPs of alternative programming, while Tori Socha and Andrew Whitney will join as directors of alternative programming.
January 11, 2012

U.S. cable network Syfy has made a number of alternative programming appointments, naming Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, Wayne Sampson and Colin Whelan as VPs of alternative programming, while Tori Socha and Andrew Whitney will join as directors of alternative programming.

All five will be based in Syfy’s Los Angeles office and report to Tim Krubsack, senior VP of alternative programming. As VPs, Lattaker-Johnson, Sampson and Whelan will oversee Syfy’s current slate of reality series, which includes Face Off, Ghost Hunters and Haunted Collector, and upcoming series 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.

“On the heels of Syfy’s most watched year in history, we will be launching a record number of unscripted series in 2012,” said Krubsack. “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.”

Independent producer Lattaker-Johnson was most recently the show runner for Comic View: One Mic Stand. She has also served as SVP, original programming, for BET Networks, where she headed the development on the network’s original series, including American Gangster and Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.

Sampson was previously the VP of development at Dick Clark Productions, where he played a key role in expanding the company’s reality division. Sampson has also worked at Discovery Channel and Spike TV, where he helped develop series such as Auction KingsDeadliest WarriorThe Ultimate Fighter and 1000 Ways to Die.

Colin Whelan was most recently director of production/executive producer at TLC, where he was responsible for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, LA Ink and Ultimate Cake-Off.  He also developed and launched NY Ink and Surprise Homecoming. Before joining TLC, Whelan was vice president, programming, at Dalaklis McKeown Entertainment.

As for Syfy’s new directors of alternative programming, Socha was previously manager of development at TLC, where she headed development on series such as Cake Boss, Four Weddings, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Sister Wives and Extreme Couponing. She has also worked at Discovery Studios, CBS, and the William Morris Agency.

Lastly, Andrew Whitney brings experience from CMT, where he served as manager of development, and was involved with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Top Secret Recipe, Sweet Home Alabama, World’s Strictest Parents, and The Singing Bee. Whitney has also worked for Dick Clark Productions, MTV, Magical Elves and Katalyst.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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