Revamped TVGN Names First Executive Hire15 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Former TV Guide Network is co-owned by CBS and Lionsgate
Brad Schwartz has been named president of entertainment and media at TVGN — the first executive appointment at the rebooted TV Guide Network, which is co-owned by CBS and Lionsgate.
Schwartz, who was a programming executive for Fuse, CTV (Canada) and MTV, will oversee programming, scheduling, marketing and creative operations for the channel and report to TVGN's board in Los Angeles.
“Brad is a gifted and astute young programming executive with a hip sensibility who knows how to create exciting branded content for an emerging channel," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said in a statement. "He has his finger on the pulse of pop culture and is ideally qualified to help TVGN fulfill its promise as a premiere destination for celebrating the world of entertainment."
CBS last month acquired a 50% stake in TVGN and TVGuide.com, held by a private equity investment arm of JPMorgan Chase. The basic cable network, available in more than 80 million homes, will continue to be entertainment-focused on celebrities and women’s fashion, with a specific rebranding and programming strategy to be announced at a later date.
Original programming includes “Standup in Stilettos,” a 30-minute show specializing in comedy material for, by and about women; “RoveLA,” featuring Australian stand-up comedian Rove McManus; and reality show “Nail Files.”
Lionsgate acquired TV Guide for $242 million in 2009.
"This partnership is all about improving a property that has tremendous potential it has yet to realize," CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said in a statement. "The key to that improvement will be growing the quality of the programming offered to the more than 80 million viewers who have access to TVGN. I can think of no better person to manage that process than Brad. He's a terrific addition to the team."
The company also announced that Dennis Miller, former interim president of TVGN, has been named president of operations. In this new role, Miller will continue to manage affiliate sales, finance and operational strategy, while working closely with Schwartz in advertising sales, which will report to them both.
B. Riley & Co. analyst David Miller said TVGN aspires to be an “ESPN for celebrity gossip.”