Discovery ups programming execs Helman, Perez, Burns

Destination America has upped Caroline Perez (pictured, left) and Sara Helman (center) to VPs of development and production, while Sara Burns (right) has been named programming VP for ID and American Heroes Channel.
October 10, 2014

U.S. net Destination America has upped Sara Helman and Caroline Perez to VPs of development and production, while Sara Burns has been named VP of programming for Investigation Discovery (ID) and American Heroes Channel (AHC).

Helman – who previously served as senior director of production and development - will continue overseeing the development of programming for Destination America, while Perez – who was also a senior director of production and development – will oversee production of the net’s series. Both execs will report to Marc Etkind, GM of Destination America.

Helman joined Destination America last year and has overseen the creation of series such as Buying the Bayou and Amish Haunting. The exec previously worked as director of programming for Food Network and Cooking Channel, in addition to serving as a manager and director of development at Animal Planet.

Meanwhile, Perez joined Destination America in 2011 and worked on series including Mountain Monsters and Railroad Alaska. Before joining the net, she worked as director of production for TLC and exec produced the series Four Weddings and DC Cupcakes. Before TLC, Perez served as director of development and production at VH1.

Elsewhere, Sara Burns – the former programming director at ID - will now serve as VP of programming for both ID and AHC, where she will be responsible for managing program schedules while coordinating across departments. At ID, Burns will oversee a content slate of 18 upcoming series launches, while at AHC, she will manage day-to-day scheduling and the net’s long-range program planning strategy.

Since joining ID in 2008, Burns has been on production teams for series such as Wicked, Cold Blood, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones and Solved.

The exec joined Discovery Communications in 2005, working with its UK reversion group to ready titles for international broadcast. She came to the U.S. production side in 2006, working on editorial content for Discovery Times Channel, which eventually became ID.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.