EXCLUSIVE: OZY Media has tapped two executives and three executive producers to help expand OZY Studios’ development and production.
Executives Allison Simmons and Matthew Vafiadis join OZY Media and will work under OZY Studios executive director and head of television Chris Rantamaki. Simmons, who joins OZY from BET Networks and Releve Entertainment, will be the Studios’ senior executive, development. Vafiadis, a former World of Wonder and Discovery exec, joins as senior executive, current & branded.
OZY has also promoted former director of production Lindsay Rodger to executive producer, scripted & development. Her credits include Netflix’s Between Two Ferns: The Movie and Hulu’s Becoming Bond.
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The multi-platform media company also adds producers Brett Webster, Sasha Mitchell-Fuller and Aaron Lorick. Webster, who has worked on Last Call with Carson Daly and NBC’s New Year’s Eve, will serve as an executive producer on The Carlos Watson Show. Mitchell-Fuller, whose credits include The Dr. Oz Show and Tamron Hall, will co-executive produce The Carlos Watson Show. Lastly, Lorick also joins as associate producer for OZY.
The brand new additions and promotion will help OZY Studios as it works to develop and produce original content for digital, broadcast and cable distribution.
“We are rapidly accelerating our development slate on the heels of our Emmy win for Black Women OWN the Conversation, and the team has hit the ground running in 2021,” said Rantamaki. “With season three of The Carlos Watson Show and our continued collaboration with A+E Networks, we look forward to broadening our slate of new content with our network and brand partners.”
The OZY Studios team will continue to expand its development slate with two new projects in the first half of 2021, while exploring additional digital, cable and broadcast partnerships. OZY Studios will also launch shows in both scripted (episodic and features) and unscripted (doc and reality) formats that will take on a number of subjects ranging from racial and gender disparities, to science, history, love, and lifestyle programming.
OZY Studios is behind Torn From Her Arms, an immigration drama for Lifetime. The studio’s first feature film is co-produced in partnership with A+E Networks and will air on Lifetime in October. Additionally, OZY Studios’ The Carlos Watson Show debuted its third season on YouTube on March 29.
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