People/Biz

Betty brings on former DNI exec

UK indie betty has appointed Discovery Networks International exec Helen Hawken as its new director of programs. In the role, Hawken will oversee the studio’s production slate. She replaces Duncan Coates, who in ...
December 12, 2016

UK indie betty has appointed Discovery Networks International exec Helen Hawken as its new director of programs.

In the role, Hawken will oversee the studio’s production slate. She replaces Duncan Coates, who in October exited the firm for Seven Network-backed UK indie 7 Wonder.

Hawken will work closely alongside joint MDs Neil Smith and Matthew Littleford on identifying new business opportunities when she joins the shop in March.

She currently serves as VP of production and development at DNI, where she was responsible for commissioning such series as Marooned with Ed Stafford, Into the Unknown, Everest Rescue, Robson Green: Extreme Fisherman, Dogs: The Untold Story and Rise of the Warrior Apes. In addition, her exec producer credits include Combat Dealers, Shackleton: Death or Glory, You Have Been Warned/Outrageous Acts of Science, Body Invaders, and What Happened Next.

Prior to Discovery, she exec produced series across a raft of unscripted genres, including BBC3′s House of Tiny Tearaways and Young, Dumb and Living off Mum; and series edited Channel 4′s Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.

“Helen’s vast breadth and experience of program making and commissioning — from Big Brother to blue chip natural history — will prove invaluable to betty as a portfolio company,” said Smith in a statement. “As well as being a talented, well-liked and respected exec, her MA in coaching and mentoring helps further enhance our commitment to staff and freelancer development.”

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.

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