Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List
When National Geographic Channels CEO David Lyle tapped Reveille founding partner Owens, 44, as the group’s president in November, he said it was to bring, among other things, a “greater sense of urgency.” “I don’t like to greenlight things that can’t get on the air in six months or less,” explains Owens. “In our business, there’s an opportunity to be primal and immediate and instinctual, and you lose that if there’s too long of a tail on your introduction to your audience.”
So far, that has translated to Nat Geo’s highest-rated series to date (Doomsday Preppers and Wicked Tuna) and stronger pop-culture presence (The Colbert Report recently profiled Doomsday) as Owens has beefed up the New York and L.A. offices with key hires from his new D.C. home base (he’s splitting time between D.C. and L.A. until his family joins him there in July) and partnered with Reveille co-founder Ben Silverman’s Electus on a development deal.
By year’s end, he’ll also have launched American Gypsies, Bid & Destroy and Brain Games, an adaptation of a successful 2011 special that Owens and Lyle see as typifying the brand as it moves forward.