Digital drives Telepictures appointments

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Longtime Telepictures Prods. executive Lisa Hackner has been upped to the newly created position of executive vp creative affairs, part of an overall expansion of the company's development and programming ranks.

In addition, Sheila Bouttier and David McGuire have been promoted to senior vp programming and development, while Emmy-winning producer Lauren Blincoe has joined the company as vp development and Leigh Collier has been named manager of programming.

In her new post, Hackner will be responsible for overseeing all of Telepictures' creative efforts regarding new program and content development for all distribution outlets. She also will be responsible for the creation of new first-run syndicated programming and will be charged with identifying ideas and talent for the digital space. In addition, Hackner will oversee Telepictures' creative development and programming team as well as producers with overall deals at the company.

She will report to Telepictures president Hilary Estey McLoughlin, who said the promotions and appointments are part of an effort to make a bigger push in the digital media arena.

"Our focus is becoming more of a new-media company than just a traditional syndication company," she said. "While syndication is the core business for us, we want to continue to build our profile and stature and content development in other areas."

Estey McLoughlincq said the goal is to continue supplementing existing shows with digital content and creating original content for broadband, wireless and other digital platforms. Telepictures has made an impact in the online world with the entertainment news site TMZ.com, its joint venture with AOL; a companion syndicated show is launching in the fall. Other recent initiatives include a deal inked with Doppelganger that saw the launch of "The Tyra Banks Show" virtual set in the 3-D virtual world the Music Lounge.

Hackner had been senior vp development since 2004, when she rejoined Telepictures from Universal Domestic Television, where she had served as executive vp for two years, overseeing development and current programming. Before joining Universal in 2002, Hackner had spent her entire career at Telepictures, starting with the company in 1990 as a receptionist and working her way up to vp development.

Bouttier and McGuire will report to Hackner on development and will continue to be involved in all aspects of Telepictures' current programming activities. Bouttier will continue to play a key role in overseeing "Tyra" and will work closely with Hackner in developing and executing new projects and content initiatives across multiple platforms.

McGuire will remain responsible for overseeing "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and will work with Collier to oversee "Judge Mathis," "The People's Court," "Showtime at the Apollo" and new current programming. In addition, McGuire will expand his role in managing the creative execution of product integrations for Telepictures' shows.

Meanwhile, Blincoe will work with Hackner in developing new first-run series and digital content, while Collier also will support the development team in identifying new projects, trends and market opportunities.

McGuire was vp development, while Bouttier was vp programming. Blincoe was senior supervising producer on "Tyra," and Collier was manager of media research at Telepictures' sister company Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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