In his first move at the helm of Comedy Central, Doug Herzog is ramping up the cabler’s development ranks and finalizing a deal for former USA alternative senior veep Elizabeth Porter to join as VP of talent and events, a newly created position.
Porter, who most recently oversaw reality programming for USA, including “Nashville Star” and specials, is no stranger to Comedy Central — she was a producer on the cabler’s Martin Short skein “Primetime Glick.” Move also reunites Porter with former boss Herzog, who hopped from USA to the laffer net two months ago.
Based in Los Angeles, Porter will report to senior VP of original programming-head of development Lauren Corrao.
Her chief priority will be to help develop and create talent-friendly marquee events in the vein of Comedy Central’s 2003 awards show “The Commies” (kudocast will not see a second year, Corrao said).
Porter will oversee net’s signature roasts and booking for standup specials. She also will be responsible for identifying emerging talent for the cabler to develop.
“Part of the plan for us this year was to attract more A-level talent and to do more high-profile event programming,” Corrao said.
At the same time and in a bid to boost the net’s original series quotient, Herzog and Corrao have divided the programming staff between current series and development, promoting and hiring several execs in Los Angeles and net’s Gotham headquarters.
“We wanted to free up people to do more original programming and much more development,” Corrao said. Previous structure had the same execs handling current series and development. “The new organization will allow us to get even more original shows in the hopper and on the air.”
On the West Coast, development director Zoe Friedman has been promoted to the new post of VP of current programming, overseeing the channel’s existing wares. Development director Gary S. Mann, in charge of the Comedy Central Stage, has been upped to VP. New hire Dave Koga joins Margy Yuspa as a director in the department.
All will report to Jim Sharp, West Coast VP of original programming and development.
In New York, Aaron Rothman joins Jessi Klein as a director. Department has also hired Dan Powell as a manager. Both report to East Coast original programming and development veep Lou Wallach. Comedy Central wants to add three more positions to its Gotham development staff.
Porter’s credits include producing the syndie strips “Vibe” and “The Howie Mandel Show.” She launched her entertainment career working on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”