People on the Move

Discovery Channel names a new director of development; Nat Geo scoops a Sony Pictures Television VP; BBC Worldwide has a new head of channels for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa
May 15, 2003

Discovery Channel announced the appointment of Sean Gallagher to the position of director of development. Gallagher was most recently executive producer for Discovery Channel, responsible for helping to develop popular series such as Monster Garage. Gallagher will now oversee program development for the network.

Washington, D.C.-based National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) named Tara Sorensen as vice president of development for its Kids’ Programming and Production unit, effective May 12. Sorensen will be based in Nat Geo’s feature film and kids’ TV offices in Beverly Hills, U.S. Sorensen is leaving Sony Pictures Television to join Nat Geo. She was most recently VP, creative affairs, for Sony’s Family Entertainment division.

BBC Worldwide announced the appointment of Susanne Gallagher as head of channels for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. Gallagher’s main responsibility will be the distribution of BBC Worldwide’s entertainment channels (such as BBC PRIME and BBC FOOD) throughout the region. Gallagher replaces Charlotte Repholtz, who will now manage the BBC Worldwide channels office in Copenhagen, Denmark, focusing on developing channel distribution across Scandinavia, Poland and Hungary.

Toronto, Canada-based Alliance Atlantis announced the promotions of Walter Levitt to senior VP of marketing, and Steve Rayment to VP of marketing, factual and lifestyle networks. Levitt was previously VP of marketing. Rayment, formerly director of marketing, will remains responsible for History Television, National Geographic Channel, Food Network Canada, HGTV, Life Network and Discovery Health Channel.

Canada-based CHUM Limited has promoted Maria Hale to the position of VP, Citytv Toronto, effective immediately. Hale will oversee day-to-day operations and strategic planning and growth of ‘Canada’s largest independent TV station’. She is currently managing director, interactive.

Jon Fitzgerald has resigned from his position as executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, a role he held for one year. A search committee has been formed to choose Fitzgerald’s replacement. In the meantime, he will remain a consultant to the festival.

London, U.K.-based prodco RDF Media has appointed Alice Robertson to the position of marketing executive. Robertson is joining RDF from Bristol, U.K.-based prodco The Future is Wild.

Los Angeles, U.S.-based Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) announced the promotion of Luis Ortiz to program manager. Ortiz will oversee the committee that selects projects to be awarded grants. (The LPB is a non-profit organization that supports cultural and educational TV programming for PBS.)

Michelle Coe has been hired by New York, U.S.-based doc distributor First Run/Icarus Films as publicity and marketing associate. Coe was most recently the program director at the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF).

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.