Ryan Seacrest Productions is beefing up its executive ranks adding a small army of programming executives including Nina Wass as executive vp, scripted programming, Joseph Ferraro as vp of development working primarily on unscripted projects and Heather Schuster as senior vp of development.
Additionally, the company has forged overall deals with veteran Original Productions producer-editor Eric Lange and actor-producer brothers Dan and Ben Newmark, who were previously in an overall deal with Femantle Media.
The growth spurt comes in the wake of Clear Channel's move last January to take a minority stake in the production company worth up to $300 million. And RSP CEO Adam Sher tells THR the “infusion of capital” has fueled the expansion.
"We had an infusion of capital from Clear Channel into the production company and we've set our sights on working with our various partners to seize on some exciting new opportunities in the entertainment landscape," Sher says. "We're investing in talent across the company to help us achieve this goal.
Wass will be tasked with building out RSP’s scripted projects, which already include a romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon’s Type-A Films and Universal. Wass is currently developing comedy and drama projects for Lifetime, TV Land and Showtime.
Ferraro was most recently vp of programming at OWN and Shuster comes to RSP from Seveille/Shine, where she was senior vp of creative affairs.
Additionally, Gordon Cassidy, who has been consulting for RSP, officially joins the company as vp of current programming. And Noah Oppenheim, formerly the head of unscripted and digital development at Reveille and a senior producer on NBC’s Today show, has signed on as a consultant to development unscripted and scripted shows.
Seacrest and Sher would not comment on the company’s reported interest in buying Dick Clark Productions or reports that the company is out of the running. But certainly RSP already has a considerable Hollywood footprint, which already includes a slew of unscripted projects (the Kardashian franchise and Married to Jonas for E!, Shahs of Sunset for Bravo, The Nanny Diaries for ABC Family and the game show Draw Something in development at Sony), Seacrest’s nationally syndicated Clear Channel radio program and his headlining role on American Idol. Not to mention a new deal with Comcast-NBCUniversal that recently saw him join the network’s ranks of Olympics correspondents.
Says Seacrest: “Our goal at RSP is to also have a balanced slate of reality and scripted shows across major broadcast and cable networks.”