HLN Hires Three New Programming Executives

By Jordan Chariton Comment

HLN300x197The winds of change at HLN continue, as network president Albie Hecht announced three new senior level programming hires today.

Former BET and Spike TV executive Keith Brown joins as senior VP for programming. Kari Kim becomes VP of programming development, coming from Worldwide Biggies, which produces content for Disney, Spike TV, and more. Former Nickelodeon VP Adrienne Lopez has been named special projects director.

“Marrying the talented trio of Keith, Kari and Adrienne to the dynamic HLN team creates a powerful force that will no doubt catapult the network’s brand evolution and invigorate programming,” said Hecht.

The hires come as the network continues its programing overhaul: it cancelled “Raising America” with Kyra Phillps and “Evening Express” with Ryan Smith in November, and last week saw the departures of anchors Natasha Curry and Carlos Diaz as well as SVP and managing editor Katharine Green.

The new hires will be based in New York, shifting HLN away from its longtime Atlanta roots and making it a more New York-based network.

A source close to the network tells TVNewser to expect more changes in the first quarter of 2014. The press release below.


HLN executive vice president and general manager Albie Hecht today announced the hiring of the following key programming executives and their new roles: Keith Brown, senior vice president, programming; Kari Kim, vice president, program development; and Adrienne Lopez, director, special projects. All three newly appointed executives will be based in New York.

“Marrying the talented trio of Keith, Kari and Adrienne to the dynamic HLN team creates a powerful force that will no doubt catapult the network’s brand evolution and invigorate programming,” said Hecht.

In his new role Brown, who reports to Hecht, will be responsible for overseeing all current daytime and primetime series, editorial, newsgathering and programming which encompasses scheduling, media planning, acquisitions and on-air talent.

An executive with more than 20 years of industry experience, Brown most recently served as managing partner of the NY-based production company Perez-Brown Media Group, Inc. which produced two seasons of the critically acclaimed series, The Root 100 on Aspire TV, hosted by CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux.   Earlier, he was senior vice president of news and public affairs at BET Networks where he launched and executive produced more than 30 series and specials, and led BET News and Public Affairs as they earned more than 40 awards, including a national Emmy, NAACP Image Awards, and numerous NABJ Awards for Excellence in Journalism.  Previously, as vice president at Spike TV, he created the news and documentary department where he oversaw the development, production and acquisition of series and specials.  Brown started his career as a broadcast journalist, and was an on-air correspondent and producer for the PBS series Now with Bill Moyers, and a senior producer at NBC News for Dateline specials. As a producer at CBS News, he received a George Foster Peabody Award, a national Emmy and a Robert F. Kennedy Award as part of the producing team for the special In the Killing Fields of America.

Kim, a digital and television industry veteran, is charged with overseeing HLN’s new development department where she is responsible for the creation and supervision of original series and specials. Kim reports directly to Hecht. Prior to joining HLN, she was VP, production and development, Worldwide Biggies where she developed television and digital programming for outlets that include Nickelodeon, Spike TV, EPIX, Disney Interactive and BBC America. She executive produced  “Innerstar University” a virtual world for American Girl and the “Princess Bride Game.” In feature films, she has co-produced the Oscar nominated documentary War/Dance and the Oscar winning documentary short Inocente.  Kim began her career in the talent department at Saturday Night Live, later worked at MTV Networks, first at Nickelodeon in its Film and Television division, and later at sister network Spike TV at its launch.

Lopez, reporting to Brown, will have oversight of bookings, talent relationships, and talent development projects, in collaboration with Kim.  She will also serve as a producer and production executive on special projects.  An attorney and executive with a long career in talent, development and production, the 23-year industry veteran is lauded for the creation of the Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship program, which cultivates minority writers for children’s television.  During her 12-year tenure at Nickelodeon, Lopez was vice president of talent and casting