Starz Ups Marta Fernandez, Karen Bailey to Original Programming VPs

Starz Logo - H 2012

Starz Logo - H 2012

The move comes as Starz looks to ramp up its original programming slate with big-tent fare from recognizable names.

Starz has promoted Marta Fernandez and Karen Bailey to senior vice presidents of original programming. 

In their new roles, the Beverly Hills-based execs will take the lead on new development and current production as the company ramps up its original programming slate under chief executive Chris Albrecht. Among the premium cable network's upcoming offerings: Da Vinci’s Demons with David Goyer and BBC Worldwide Productions and pirate drama Black Sails from Michael Bay and Jon Steinberg as well as Spartacus: War of the Damned and a second season of Magic City.

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"Our programming efforts are becoming increasingly more ambitious, and Marta and Karen have not only been instrumental in building up Starz in the early days of its entrance into originals, but they will be a driving force for our future original programming expansion as well,” said Starz managing director Carmi Zlotnik, noting a corporate desire to delve into more internationally appealing, popcorn fare as a means to cut through the clutter in an increasingly crowded cable environment.

Fernandez, who has been with the network since 2007, was promoted to VP of originals at Starz Entertainment in 2010. She took the lead on the creative development and production of the Spartacus franchise, Kelsey Grammer’s Boss, as well as the premium network’s development efforts, including Da Vinci and Black Sails.

Bailey joined Starz in 2006 as a feature producer, overseeing the development and production for the company’s studio slate of TV movies and mini-series for outside networks including Syfy, Lifetime and IFC. She also served as executive producer on a number of projects for Starz’s home entertainment division, Anchor Bay Films. By 2010, she was upped to VP of production and oversaw the production for early STARZ Original series, Crash, Party Down and later Spartacus. The following year, she joined the creative development division as VP of original programming overseeing the Miami-based Magic City.

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