Betty heads to U.S., names Sechrist as senior VP

UK indie betty is poised to launch a U.S. production arm with Discovery Networks International exec Jon Sechrist (pictured) at the helm.
August 10, 2015

UK indie betty is poised to launch a U.S. production arm with Discovery Networks International (DNI) exec Jon Sechrist (pictured) at the helm.

Sechrist joins the prodco later this month as senior VP and head of production and development where he will be tasked with overseeing the future production slate for local and international markets, original unscripted programs, and the label’s current TV schedule that includes Too Ugly for Love?, The Undateables, The Food Hospital, and Kings of the Wild.

He will be based out of New York where he will report to betty co-MDs Neil Smith and Matthew Littleford.

Betty was acquired by Discovery Networks International in 2011.

Sechrist, in his current role of VP of production and development at DNI, is charged with the global development and production of such lifestyle, factual and entertainment series as Cake Boss, Sister Wives and My Naked Secret The exec also oversees content partnerships for Discovery’s American portfolio for Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, OWN, Destination America and Discovery Life.

“Betty creates high-quality television with formats and story lines that can translate to the U.S. market, creating new hit series while broadening their own audience beyond the UK,” said Lee Bartlett, outgoing president of Discovery’s Studios Group. “Jon’s contributions to Discovery Networks International are invaluable and his expertise in the lifestyle and factual entertainment genres make him the ideal leader for betty’s U.S. operation.”

“Jon has an acute understanding of global markets and a sharp mind for what makes a hit show across lifestyle and factual,” added Neil Smith. “Having previously worked with us as a commissioner, he was the perfect choice to set up our new office and we are delighted that he is joining the 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 HMV.com. 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.