Discovery exec leaves for Lifetime

McCarthy named senior VP of reality, alt programming

Discovery exec Gena McCarthy has jumped to Lifetime, where she’s been named senior VP of reality and alternative programming.

Hire reps one of the first at the channel since the arrival of prexy/GM Nancy Dubuc, who recently added Lifetime to her History duties. The McCarthy hire likely signals Dubuc’s interest in ramping up alternative at Lifetime, which has struggled to find its voice in the unscripted world.

McCarthy will report to Lifetime entertainment exec VP JoAnn Alfano, who announced the hire on Tuesday.

“Gena;s long track record of building successful reality franchises int he cable industry is extraordinary,” Alfano said. “We look forward to her spearheading our long term unscripted strategy and growth.”

McCarthy had served most recently as senipr VP of development and production at Discovery, working on series such as “Pitchmen” and “The Colony.” During an earlier stint at Discovery, she also exec produced series such as “Dirty Jobs,” “Mythbusters” and “Deadliest Catch.”

In between Discovery tours of duty, McCarthy explored the femme-centric TV universe via a job at WE TV as VP of development and production. At WE, she oversaw staples such as “Bridezilla.”

McCarthy’s credits also include six years at TLC, acquiring shows like “Junkyard Wars.”

McCarthy fills the void left by former Lifetime reality exec Jessica Samet, who departed last year.

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