Just days after the news that showrunner Sheila Sitomer will ankle the newsmag “Extra,” Telepictures has finalized a pact to bring news and reality vet Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey to the studio and confirmed Sitomer’s successor.
Gregorisch-Dempsey will take on the newly created role of senior exec producer of reality programming for Telepictures sometime in July.
In advance of that, she has named producers Neal Freundlich and Steve Longo to succeed Sitomer, who confirmed Tuesday that she’s leaving “Extra” (Daily Variety, June 6).
Gregorisch-Dempsey joins Telepictures from Fox Television Stations Group, where she was the inhouse news consultant for the Fox O&Os.
She will oversee the creation, development and current programming activities of reality-based programs at Telepictures, which is the Time Warner entertainment company that produces the majority of firstrun programming distributed by Warner Bros.
She will also be responsible for the production of “Extra,” which goes into its seventh season in broadcast syndication this fall.
“Lisa’s role is to help us with ‘Extra’ as a first priority,” said Telepictures Productions president Jim Paratore. “We have a huge infrastructure there, and we want to leverage that to create more reality programming. Her experience as a producer, news director and manager will be the perfect combination to do that.”
Prior to her stint with Fox, Gregorisch-Dempsey was exec producer of syndie newsmag “Hard Copy,” which ended its run last season. She also worked in a variety of news posts at the station level in seven markets, including New York, Dallas and Salt Lake City.
“As a competitor, I have always had a rival respect for ‘Extra’ and for Jim Paratore,” Gregorisch-Dempsey said.
Freundlich, who will serve as “Extra’s” exec producer, joins from the supervising producer post at Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted.”
Longo, to serve as co-exec producer of “Extra,” was “Wanted’s” managing editor.