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Ryan Seacrest‘s longtime agent turned production company CEO is set to exit, say sources.
Adam Sher’s departure comes as part of reshuffling of the senior ranks at Ryan Seacrest Productions, for which a new chief is expected to be appointed in early 2014. Sher, who will likely stay on through the transition, will maintain equity in the five-year-old company, and is expected to continue to work on Seacrest’s talent business and other entrepreneurial opportunities moving forward.
Sher, who signed a new long-term deal at RSP earlier this year, made the enviable move from agent to chief of his top client’s production company in 2008. In the half decade since, he has been hands on in growing RSP’s portfolio, helping with the company’s push into film (My Husband’s Wife) and scripted (ABC’s forthcoming Mixology) as well as continue to add unscripted projects to the portfolio. Among the latter: E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians franchise as well as Married to Jonas, The Wanted Life, Shahs of Sunset and A&E’s upcoming Montecito.
But while RSP has been active in selling projects across the landscape, the company has yet to secure its all-important network juggernaut. Though it’s a commentary in part of the challenged state of the broadcast reality business — outside of NBC’s The Voice, the big four have failed to launch a bona fide hit in some time — those inside RSP remain determined as reality still is the company’s bread and butter. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, Sher acknowledged that the fact that RSP had yet to get a “big non-scripted network primetime format on the air” was the “thing that keeps [him] up at night.”
The company will look to bring in an established, senior level creative executive to fill the position, a process that will involve an outside search firm. Sher had come to RSP after a 16-year run at William Morris, where he had worked his way up from the mailroom. In the years since, he continued to rely on that experience as a deal-maker as he played a key negotiator role in deals such as Seacrest’s multi-million dollar pact with Clear Channel, as well as ones with NBCUniversal and American Idol.
As part of the executive shuffle, Jeff Refold will add the role of chief operating office to his duties, making him RSP’s COO/CFO. He’ll continue to oversee RSP’s physical production department, legal, HR, and all financial operations for RSP and Ryan Seacrest. Additionally, Kelly Mullens Brown will assume a new title of president of strategy, marketing and communications for Ryan Seacrest Enterprises. In that role, she’ll continue to work on Seacrest’s various business and philanthropic pursuits, including RSP. Both execs will still report directly to Seacrest, the company’s chairman.
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