Liz Gateley, the veteran TV executive served as EVP and Head of Programming at Lifetime until exiting the company a year ago, has been hired as Head of Creative Development at Spotify. It’s the latest move as the streaming music service dives into the entertainment business.
Gateley joins a team headed by veteran TV executive Dawn Ostroff, who became the company’s chief content officer in August. Ostroff and Gateley worked together at Lifetime; the former was head of programming from 1996-2002.
In her new role, Gateley said Thursday via a LinkedIn post, she will oversee Spotify’s “original content development teams on both coasts and their expansion into Comedy, Sports, YA Fiction & Scripted, News/Docs and obviously more Music formats in the podcast space.”
Spotify most recently purchased podcast biggie Gimlet Media, which is behind the popular “Homecoming,” “StartUp,” “Reply All” and “Crimetown” which are now being seen as IP ripe for TV and film adaptations. Spotify says it could spend $400 million-$500 million on multiple acquisitions in 2019; it also recently acquired startup Anchor.
“I am excited to be back in the music/culture world to tell loud stories with my incredible team and to help invent new executions as I always have, but, most importantly, to join at such a transformative time at Spotify on the heels of the Gimlet and Anchor acquisitions,” Gateley wrote. “I also get to work with Dawn Ostroff and Courtney Holt, both former colleagues and two of the smartest people I know.”
Gateley had been on a temporary leave at Lifetime, where she shepherded the network’s scripted him UnReal, to deal with personal issues before she officially exited last February to focus on her family. She departed via a heartfelt note to staff in which she also reflected on her time at the network and the female-centered network’s mission in the #MeToo era.
Before Lifetime, Gateley was SVP Series Development at MTV, working under president of programming Tony DiSanto, where she created reality show Laguna Beach and developed and executive produced its spinoffs The Hills and The City. Other hits Gateley and DiSanto oversaw included Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant, Ridiculousness, Jersey Shore, and America’s Best Dance Crew. They also developed Teen Wolf, Awkward and Hard Times of RJ Berger.
Gateley and DiSanto left MTV in 2011 to launch DiGa, where they executive produced Teen Wolf and shepherded such reality hits as Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life for MTV and Player Gets Played for Oxygen.