Chris Rantamaki returns to Discovery

Spike TV's former senior VP of original series Chris Rantamaki (pictured) has been named senior VP of production and development at Discovery Channel, where he was a VP of production before heading to Spike.
March 2, 2015

Former Spike TV exec Chris Rantamaki (pictured) has been named senior VP of production and development at Discovery Channel, where he will carry out production strategies and diversify the U.S. net’s slate and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Viacom-owned Spike TV as senior VP of original series, Rantamaki worked at Discovery as VP of production, overseeing such programs as Pitchmen and The Colony. He will officially return to the net to begin his position on April 20, based in LA and reporting directly to Denise Contis, executive VP of production and development for Discovery.

The net’s VPs of development and production Matthew Kelly and Michael Sorensen will continue to oversee development in New York, where they have been charged with heading Discovery’s recently established production and development unit. Elsewhere, LA-based VP of production Sean Boyle will also continue to work on development. All three execs will report to Contis.

Over at Spike, Rantamaki’s unscripted credits include Ink Master, Bar Rescue, Catch a Contractor and Tattoo Nightmares. He also worked on the forthcoming financial unscripted series Family Takeover. Other production credits include TLC’s Miami Ink as well as Fox’s Ambush Makeover.

“Chris is incredibly smart and knows the TV industry,” said Contis in a statement. “His experience in growing and broadening an audience, along with his knowledge of Discovery, make him the perfect choice to lead this talented team.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor 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.