The station group names veteran television development executive Tony Optican as head of programming to ramp up the company’s content strategy.
Expanding its commitment to original content across all platforms, Media General today named Tony Optican as head of programming. Optican, a senior television development and programming executive, is based in Los Angeles and reports to Deb McDermott, SVP-COO.
In this newly created role, Optican is responsible for building the company’s content strategy, while continuing to enhance current program offerings, such as BiteSizeTV’s entertainment variety show Hollywood Today Live, which will air in several of Fox TV’s markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, and two — thirds of Media General’s markets, beginning Sept. 14.
The company said he will “directly influence and impact all strategic aspects of the programming efforts, providing creative vision as well as partnering on the connectedÃ¢â‚¬Âscreen sales opportunities that will leverage Media General’s unique position in the marketplace and capitalize on the companyÃ¢â‚¬Âowned BiteSizeTV and industry partnerships.”
“Tony has the strategic and creative vision, as well as the deep connections and business acumen to really maximize Media General’s full range of content possibilities,” McDermott said. “He also has a proven track record of building new content models for multiple genres that drive ratings growth. We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber joining our team.”
Optican has a wide range of experience in successfully developing and launching programs for broadcast networks, cable television, syndication and digital screens.
He began his programming career at MGM Worldwide Television Group, where he was involved in all phases of development for drama, comedy and reality series. He then served as VP, current programming for Fox Broadcasting Co., where he oversaw network creative decisions, from story development through on — air implementation to long — term strategic planning, for popular series, including 24, The X-Files and Mad TV.
Subsequently, Syfy recruited him to be SVP, original programming. Prior to forming his own media consultancy and production company that focused on content creation across television, digital and OTT platforms, Optican was SVP, head of scripted programming for FremantleMedia North America. In that role, he oversaw the entire creative chain, worked with worldwide distribution and production teams and sold dozens of shows to cable and broadcast networks.