People/Biz

Palek, Witt upped to co-presidents of Leftfield Pictures

Gretchen Palek and Shawn Witt have been elevated to co-presidents of ITV America’s Leftfield Pictures. Longtime Leftfield staffers, Witt (pictured, left), formerly SVP of programming, and Palek (right), formerly SVP, talent and casting, ...
June 6, 2017

Gretchen Palek and Shawn Witt have been elevated to co-presidents of ITV America’s Leftfield Pictures.

Longtime Leftfield staffers, Witt (pictured, left), formerly SVP of programming, and Palek (right), formerly SVP, talent and casting, assume their roles as co-presidents after having led current programming, and casting and talent, respectively, for the prodco.

Having joined Leftfield Pictures in 2011, Witt has overseen such hits as Alone (History), Forged in Fire (History), Counting Cars (History), Tiny House Nation (FYI), Brain Surgery Live (NatGeo) and Tackle My Ride (NFL Network).

Palek has been at Leftfield since 2013. She was key in the development of the hit series Alone, and has been spearheading casting efforts for such shows as the reboot of Queer Eye (Netflix), American Grit (FOX), The Book of John Gray (OWN), and many of the ITV America portfolio’s hit franchises.

The appointments come as David George, who previously served as president of Leftfield Pictures, and then president of Leftfield Entertainment, was elevated to president of ITV America earlier this year, leaving the position vacant.

In related news, Joe Weinstock has been upped to SVP, development from his previous position as head of West Coast development. He will be reporting to Palek and Witt.

As SVP, development, Weinstock will now oversee all development on both coasts for the company. Weinstock, who joined Leftfield in 2015, was responsible for the development of key titles including Book of John Gray (OWN), Tackle My Ride (NFL Network and produced with Michael Strahan), Billy the Kid: Lost Evidence (NatGeo), Carspotting (Discovery), and several others currently in production.

Meanwhile, Will Nothacker, who currently serves as SVP, development, will take on an expanded role within ITV America.

“In Gretchen, Shawn and Joe we are bringing together a stellar team of executives, each with specific skill sets to lead Leftfield into a constantly evolving marketplace. Their knowledge of each aspect of the market and their previous work at various networks, along with their understanding of the network business model and how it is changing, will enable us to evolve and adapt alongside our business partners,” George said in a statement.

About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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