Exec to head up programming unit
New IMG Global Media prexy Chris Albrecht has made one of his first major hires, bringing on Rob Lee to head up programming.Lee, who most recently ran his own shingle, Bayonne Entertainment (Bravo’s “The Millionaire Matchmaker”), will oversee all programming for the company, which is part of the sports and entertainment conglom IMG (the company best known for repping Tiger Woods, among other high-profile athletes). As head of programming, Lee will generate new properties and work with IMG’s U.K. production arms — Tiger Aspect Prods. and Darlow Smithson Prods. — and use IMG’s large sports and fashion divisions. Albrecht has already sold Tiger Aspect’s ITV2 skein “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” to Showtime here in the U.S. “This is a company that’s very successful in fashion and sports, and that’s not just in representation, but production work as well,” Lee said. “Now we’re looking to match that by building out a fully integrated entertainment arm. We’re not starting from scratch, either.” IMG’s various entities already hold broadcast rights to several sports events, and the company produces and distributes more than 11,000 hours of programming a year. Lee said he’ll immediately start looking at people and companies to be in business with — both inside and out of IMG. Company is looking to create shows using IMG talent but also come up with content not related to IMG’s specialties. Scripted and nonscripted material will be pursued, with an emphasis on reality. Besides his lengthy career as a producer, Lee has also been charged with TV packaging at agencies such as William Morris and Triad Artists. Albrecht said hiring Lee repped a “key building block” in his efforts to turn IMG into an entertainment power. “Rob’s background as an accomplished producer, agent-manager and lawyer provide him the perfect skill set to expand and maximize the potential programming opportunities” for IMG, Albrecht said. At Bayonne, Lee also produced the MTV skein “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.” His producer credits also include Bravo’s hit “Blow Out,” ABC’s Dean Koontz longform “Mr. Murder” and USA’s production of John Woo’s “Red Skies.” Bayonne will remain a producer on current series, but Lee will no longer be actively involved. Lee has also served as a consultant for Germany’s ProSieben network. As a rep, Lee has worked with talent such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Whitney Houston, Bernie Mac, Woo and Koontz. At Triad and WMA, he helped put together “Roseanne” and Oprah Winfrey project “The Women of Brewster Place.”
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