It’s been barely a month since Assaf Blecher left Los Angeles for the Tel Aviv headquarters of Israeli media giant Keshet, but he’s already feeling at home.
Despite more than a decade spent in Tinseltown, mainly at Dick Clark Prods., Blecher is a native Israeli, born and raised in the sleepy Tel Aviv suburb of Petach Tikva. For the past two years, he has been at the L.A. helm of Keshet DCP, the company’s joint production venture with DC Media, Dick Clark’s parent company. So when Keshet in January tapped him for the role of VP of development and content and asked him to come back to the Holy Land for good, he knew the transition would feel natural.
“I know the mentality here,” Blecher says. “Everyone is always thinking — thinking big and thinking different. You can’t reinvent the wheel, but you can reshape it, and that’s what excites me about being here.”
Blecher earned a master’s degree in media production from the U.K.’s Kent University at Canterbury before settling down in L.A., which he called home for 11 years. In 2005, he joined Dick Clark Prods. as development manager, and over a decade held several roles there. He produced live red carpet pre-shows for the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards, and later became VP of development for TV and digital programming, creating original non-scripted series like “World’s Funniest,” airing on Fox; “Big Crazy Family Adventure” (Travel Channel); and “Star Spangled Spectacular” (PBS).
During his tenure with Keshet DCP, he helped oversee series including game-show “Boom!,” which launched in Israel and then bowed on Fox last year, as well as the fourth-wall-busting talent show “Rising Star,” which was wildly popular in Israel before a more tepid 2014 ABC debut.
In Israel, Blecher will develop non-scripted game-show, entertainment and reality content. He reports to Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir, noted in Israel for his outside-the-box thinking and manic energy. Indeed, Blecher says the best part of being based at Keshet Tel Aviv is the constant flow of fresh ideas.
“I’m totally energized by it,” he says with a grin. “In L.A., there was something slow to the city. But here, it’s like — boom! I’m at the office at 8 or 8:30 (and) excited to see where the day might go.”