UK production company betty is launching a U.S.-based production arm and has tapped Discovery Networks International exec Jon Sechrist as SVP and head of production & development. Sechrist will join betty in the coming weeks and will be tasked both with overseeing the current developing production slate, which includes The Food Inspectors, Kings of the Wild and Too Ugly for Love?, as well as developing new programming for the U.S. and global markets. Sechrist, who will be based in New York, will report to betty’s co-managing directors, Neil Smith and Matthew Littleford. betty’s focus is on factual and factual entertainment programming.

The formats and story lines of betty’s programs “can translate to the U.S. market, creating new hit series while broadening their own audience beyond the UK,” said Lee Bartlett, president of The Studios Group for Discovery, which oversees betty.  “Jon’s contributions to Discovery Networks International are invaluable and his expertise in the lifestyle and factual entertainment genres make him the ideal leader for betty’s U.S. operation.”

Sechrist is currently VP of production and development for Discovery Networks International, where he has worked on series including Cake Boss, My Naked Secret and 650 lb Virgin  He has also produced and developed All My Children and One Life to Live.