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.”