Discovery Taps Sandy Varo Jarrell As SVP Creative, Expands Role For Howard Lee

Sandy Varo Jarrell is moving from her role as SVP of Production and Development for TLC, to SVP Creative for Discovery Studios. In the newly created role, Varo Jarrell  will be responsible for originating and developing projects for network clients and overseeing the creative direction of all Discovery Studios projects. She’ll report directly to Marc Graboff, President of Global Business and Legal Affairs, Production Management and Studios.

In addition, TLC is expanding Howard Lee’s current role as EVP development and production. He will now oversee TLC’s entire production and development programming slate originating from the Los Angeles, New York and Silver Spring, MD, offices as the No. 2 creative exec under Nancy Daniels, TLC President and General Manager. Lee will continue his role as General Manager of Discovery Life Channel reporting to Daniels. TLC’s West coast development and production teams lead by Elvia Van Es Oliva, VP Development and Jack Tarantino, VP Production, will now report to Lee.

“Sandy brings a wealth of experience to Discovery Studios, having worked both inside the Discovery Networks group as well as at other networks and production companies. We are confident that her leadership skills, knowledge and deep expertise, combined with our talented crew of creative executives, will generate compelling content across our entire portfolio,” said Graboff.

“Howard’s creative leadership has resulted in some of TLC’s biggest hit series, while his remarkable storytelling abilities and nurturing of larger-than-life personalities have helped TLC remain atop of pop culture,” said Daniels. “He knows our audience and loves our brand and I am thrilled to have Howard as a creative partner overseeing all our content.”

As SVP of Production and Development for TLC, Varo Jarrell oversaw hit franchise series including including Say Yes To The Dress, Little People Big World, My 600lb Life, Our Little Family and I Am Jazz. Prior to joining TLC, Varo Jarrell served as Head of Unscripted Programming and Development for ABC Family.

Lee has had a hand in launching numerous reality series including 90 Day Fiance; Sister Wives; My Giant Life; My Big Fat Fabulous Life, Cake Boss; Long Island Medium; Breaking Amish; Extreme Couponing. He also served as TLC’s Executive Producer from season one onward for hits The Little Couple and Toddlers & Tiaras.

During the past year, Lee has overseeen series Who Do You Think You Are?, Sex Sent Me To The ER, Extreme Cheapskates, My Strange Addiction, and Kate Plus Eight, as well as the final season of Jon & Kate Plus Eight. A Discovery veteran, Lee joined TLC in 2008 and previously served as Vice President of Development and Production for the 2007 launch of Planet Green. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Development for the Travel Channel.

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