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Ryan Seacrest has found a new chief.
The American Idol host has tapped veteran unscripted executive Eugene Young to serve as president of his Los Angeles-based production company. In the new role, Young will be responsible for setting the strategic creative direction of Ryan Seacrest Productions and managing the company. Beginning in early March, he will report to company chairman Seacrest on all creative matters, and RSP COO/CFO Jeff Refold on business and financial ones.
Young brings with him decades of experience in the big-tent reality programming space, having been involved with shows including Idol, America’s Got Talent, Deal or No Deal, The Price Is Right and Fear Factor. That experience was key, as the only show missing from RSP’s varied portfolio is an all-important broadcast network reality juggernaut, something Seacrest and his staff have spent years coveting.
“He’s an extremely talented and accomplished television executive, as well as an experienced producer, with a keen understanding of the business – not just where it’s been, or even where we are, but most important, where it’s all going,” said Seacrest in a statement announcing the hire Thursday.
Added Young: “This is the biggest opportunity of my career. I’ve known Ryan for some time, and we’ve developed and produced projects together. I’ve admired his dedication and passion for creating exceptional shows, and how he has masterfully diversified his business interests.”
Young comes to RSP from A. Smith & Co. Productions, where he was a managing director. Prior to that, he served as chief creative officer at Fremantle North America, where he moved after a stint as senior vp at Endemol USA. Young joins RSP as it continues to expand its portfolio, with a push into film (My Husband’s Wife) and scripted programming (ABC’s Mixology, NBC’s straight-to-series Jennifer Lopez cop drama) as well as its bread-and-butter unscripted fare. Among the latter: E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians franchise, Married to Jonas and Shahs of Sunset.
The news comes roughly three months after The Hollywood Reporter first reported that Seacrest’s longtime agent-turned-RSP chief executive Adam Sher would be departing the company. Sher no longer represents Seacrest.
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