Wandell to lead p'gramming services for newscaster

Former Digital Entertainment Network exec Morgan Wandell has rejoined Primedia’s youth newscaster Channel One as executive veep of programming.

Wandell, who ankled his post as veep of program development at Gen-Y Netcaster DEN last April — less than a month before the Netcaster shuttered — will now lead the programming services for all of Channel One, including the daily Channel One news program seen by 8 million U.S. high schoolers, roughly 40% of the country.

Additionally, Wandell will be involved in content development and the integration of Channel One News with Channelone.com.

He will report to Jim Ritts, prexy and CEO of Channel One, who also was an exec at DEN. Ritts, himself, ankled the Netcaster as chairman and CEO in March to rejoin Channel One (Daily Variety, Feb. 29). He helped co-found Channel One in 1989.

A third high-level DEN staffer, prexy David Neuman, also came from Channel One. His future employment has not yet been determined but it would not be surprising if he returned to Channel One as well.

Wandell began his television career at Channel One in 1993, writing, directing and producing news features for the broadcast service.

“I’m thrilled to return home to Channel One and to work with Jim Ritts and all of my other old friends again,” Wandell said. “Together, I know that we can continue to help educate students on current events by producing the best hard news show for teenagers. At the same time, we will work toward growing the business into exciting new areas.”

At the troubled DEN, Wandell supervised all entertainment-based programming that appeared on the site, managed the production and execution of all video and animation and hired the key creative staffers, as well as developed and managed key business relationships for new content, including a series of shorts from comic helmer-producer-director Steve Oedekerk (“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”).

Before DEN, Wandell held creative and development positions at Touchstone Television, where he supervised the daily operations of development deals with writers and producers for network television, including Jerry Bruckheimer, David Hoberman, Shephard-Robin Prods and Imagine Television.

He also managed the creative aspects of studio shows, including “Home Improvement” and “Boy Meets World.”

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