Rob Lundgren, who has led Knoxville-based indie studio RIVR Media for two decades, has decided to step down from his role within the company.
Lundgren (pictured, left) has announced his retirement from the Escaping Polygamy producer after 20 years at the helm of the indie production outfit he formed alongside co-founder Dee Bagwell Haslam in 1999.
As a result of Lundgren’s departure, Lori Stryer (right) is to become CEO and will continue to spearhead RIVR’s field production operations.
Stryer, who currently serves as president of the production outfit, boarded RIVR in 1999 and helped launch TLC’s hit renovation series Trading Spaces. During her 20-year tenure at RIVR, the Emmy-nominated executive has served as showrunner and lead producer for more than 40 series for such major cable networks as HGTV, Discovery Channel, A&E, Lifetime, Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, TNT, ESPN, Food Network, Biography, Great American Country and DIY Network.
Prior to RIVR, Stryer worked within HGTV’s commercial film division where she helped develop and produce a number of commercials and interstitials for networks and cable TV.
“I think I actually have only one skill and that is talking extraordinary people into coming to work with me and our company is filled with such good people who excel at their craft,” said Lundgren in a statement. “Lori is exceptional and will do a great job leading Rivr into the future.”
Before launching RIVR Media in 1999 with Haslam, Lundgren joined Ross Television Productions – a company launched by Ross Bagwell Sr. and Haslam – as chief operating officer. Prior to that, Lundgren – an industry veteran with 40-plus years experience – served as a managing partner of venture development firm Venture Alliance and as a partner of Whittle Communications.
Haslam, meanwhile, departed the Trading Spaces creator last spring to devote more of her time to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns – where she serves as owner alongside her husband, Jimmy Haslam. She remains a partner and executive producer in the company alongside Stryer.
“The partnership that Dee and I have shared with Rob has been very special,” added Stryer. “Rob will certainly be missed. He has been an integral part of our company on so many levels. I’m excited to take the position of CEO and to continue to partner with Dee Haslam on producing unique and compelling programming. The talent we have at RIVR are some of the best in their respective fields and together, we’ll continue to provide the highest quality of content for our network partners.”
RIVR Media was named a realscreen Global 100 company in 2016 and serves as an award-winning non-fiction shop that has produced more than 3,000 episodes of unscripted content for 21 different networks. The firm has produced such hits as TLC’s Trading Spaces, Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, ESPN’s Knight School, A&E’s Escaping Polygamy, DIY Network’s Vintage Rehab and HGTV’s Almost Home.