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Time Studios increases commitment to documentary production, makes key hires

Time Studios is ramping up its efforts in the doc space, tapping Alexandra Johnes and Loren Hammonds to lead its documentary division, and adding significant financial resources to greenlighting and producing ...
November 19, 2021

Time Studios is ramping up its efforts in the doc space, tapping Alexandra Johnes and Loren Hammonds to lead its documentary division, and adding significant financial resources to greenlighting and producing doc content.

The Emmy-winning TV and film production division of Time launched last year, and currently has more than 20 documentary projects in production.

Johnes, an Emmy-winning producer, has worked with acclaimed directors such as Alex Gibney, Lauren Greenfield and Jehane Noujaim. She had served as a producer and executive in charge of production at Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, and her myriad credits include On the Record for HBO Max and Amazing Grace, distributed by Neon.

Hammonds was most recently VP of immersive programming at Tribeca Enterprises, and senior programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival. He’s worked in production in curatorial roles for The Gotham, POV, Tribeca All-Access and Hamptons International Film Festival. He also executive produced Ricky Powell: The Individualist with Time Studios earlier this year.

Time Studios has also promoted Rebecca Teitel to VP of documentary. Teitel, prior to joining the firm, worked as a director, producer and journalist. Her work has focused on developing and producing premium feature documentaries and unscripted TV projects including Jeen-Yuhs and Big Vape for Netflix, Katrina Babies for HBO, and Black Gold for Paramount+. Her work has premiered at Tribeca and DOC NYC, and has been featured on National Geographic, the Sundance Channel, Discovery, NBC, BET, the History Channel and in the New York Times.

Time has also brought on Rebecca Gitlitz as director and showrunner, and Jeff Smith as executive producer and showrunner. Gitlitz recently directed the ABC primetime special The Story of Diana in 2017, as well as The Story of the Royals, The Story of Soaps and 50 Years of Sunny Days. Smith, meanwhile, has led productions such as the ESPY Awards, NFL Honors, Time Person of the Year, Fox New Year’s Eve, and was part of the Peabody-winning team that honored more than 140 Sister Survivors at the ESPYs.

Time Studios has also announced an eight-figure financial commitment to greenlight and produce original documentary work, and invest in aligned external productions. The studio’s goal is to deficit finance and support productions that further its mission to provide trusted guidance for viewers and tell stories about people and ideas that shape and improve the world.

In conjunction with unveiling the hires and plans for increased activity in the doc genre, the division has also provided a snapshot of its performance thus far — generating more than $70 million in revenue, with more than 20 projects sold to streaming services, TV networks and other distributors in the last year. Those buyers include Netflix, Amazon, Paramount+, HBO, Showtime, Nickelodeon, CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC, A&E, Magnolia and CNN Films.

“We are thrilled to bring this group of talented creators together to continue to bring forth the inspiration and passion of TIME Studios projects, solidifying our mission to impact the world,” said Time Studios president Ian Orefice, in a statement.

“Our growth since launching a little over a year ago has been a remarkable team effort, and we are proud of all we are accomplishing with our incredible partners.”

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