UPDATED: Philip Segal, CEO of the FremanteMedia North America-owned Original Productions, will be departing at the end of his contract this spring.
Taking over his duties on an interim basis will be Ernie Avila, Original Prods.’ COO & EVP Business Affairs, and Sarah Whalen, the company’s EVP Development and Programming. Both will report into Jennifer Mullin, Co-CEO of FremantleMedia North America.
Segal took the reins of Deadliest Catch and Storage Wars producer Original Prods. after founder and CEO Thom Beers was named CEO of FMNA in 2012. Beers departed the company in 2015.
Segal had worked in scripted TV, bringing Doctor Who to the U.S. in 1996, until former top reality agent Mark Itkin introduced him to unscripted producer John Murray. Another A-list reality producer, Beers, invited Segal to join his Original Prods. banner 14 years ago.
Since then, Segal has overseen 2,000 hours of alternative programming. “That is a hell of a run, and with my contract coming up in June, I felt, what a great time to take on another challenge,” Segal told Deadline.
He still is contemplating his next move. “I’m looking at a lot of options. I would love to put scripted back in the playbook, and I also could not be more passionate about alternative content,” he said.
In a statement, Mullin listed some of the longest-running Original Prods. series, on which Segal has worked, including Deadliest Catch and the Storage Wars franchise, along with recent addition, Jay Leno’s Garage.
“Philip has been an incredibly respected member of our team, leading OP and successfully managing key long-running and award-winning franchises including Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, Bering Sea Gold, Storage Wars and Jay Leno’s Garage,” Mullin said. “We wish Philip all the best in his new endeavors, and we look forward to Ernie and Sarah lending their expertise across the business during this transition.”