HLN Chief Turns to Entertainment Programmers To Develop Network

Variety

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HLN’s programming is expected to be vastly different in weeks to come as new chief Albie Hecht puts his stamp on the place. But to achieve that goal, the founder of the Spike cable network  and the former president of Nickelodeon, is relying on something familiar.

The Time Warner-owned network said Monday it had hired three programming executives who are well versed in general-entertainment cablers like BET, Spike and Nickelodeon, places Hecht knows well. Indeed, one of the new executives hails from Hecht’s previous employer, Worldwide Biggies, a production studio at which Hecht was chief executive.

HLN said it had hired Keith Brown as senior veep of programming; Kari Kim, veep of program development; and Adrienne Lopez and director of special projects. All three executives have experience working for or with the various cable networks owned by Viacom, which is the place from which Albie Hecht, one of the founders of Spike, gained a good part of his operating experience.

Brown, a former TV journalist, will be responsible for overseeing all current daytime and primetime series, editorial, newsgathering and programming , including encompasses scheduling, media planning, acquisitions and on-air talent. He will report to Hecht. Brown   recently served as managing partner of the New York-based production company Perez-Brown Media Group, Inc. which produced two seasons of the critically acclaimed series, The Root 100 on Aspire TV.   Earlier, he was senior vice president of news and public affairs at BET Networks.

Kim, who will  oversee, the creation and supervision of original series and specials, comes from Worldwide Biggies where she developed television and digital programming for outlets that include Nickelodeon, Spike TV, EPIX, Disney Interactive and BBC America. She will report to Hecht.

Lopez, reporting to Brown, will have oversight of bookings, talent relationships, and talent development projects, in collaboration with Kim.  She will also serve as a producer and production executive on special projects.  She worked for 12 years at Nickelodeon.

HLN may best be known for gavel-to-gavel coverage of tabloid-y trials, but that programming stance has been in flux since Hecht’s arrival in September. Under his aegis, the network in November canceled three programs and laid off an unspecified number of employees.

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