Based in Los Angeles, Lattaker-Johnson comes to Revolt with a mandate to expand its roster of original programs, particularly in the unscripted arena. She was recruited by Roma Khanna, the MGM TV and NBCUniversal alum who took the reins of Revolt as CEO in October.
“Robyn’s track record of developing and creating compelling formats featuring authentic voices and diverse stories is exactly what Revolt needs as we build our voice in content as the definitive home of hip hop and the global leader in the culture,” Khanna said.
Lattaker-Johnson is in the hunt for shows that can broaden Revolt’s appeal beyond its core audience of hip hop devotees. The cable channel at present serves up a slate of talk shows, including its daily morning show “The Breakfast Club,” and music- and pop culture-centric docu and lifestyle series.
Lattaker-Johnson’s mission is to find a show that will become a signature franchise for Revolt. The cable channel launched by hip hop mogul Combs in October 2013 is available in about 50 million U.S. cable homes. But independent niche cablers are facing a tough road ahead in maintaining broad linear distribution as MVPDs shift to offering and pare down fees for lower-profile channels.
“Ultimately we need to be able to break out with a series or more as soon as possible in a way that not only reaches our core audience but goes beyond our core,” Lattaker-Johnson told Variety. She sees potential in comedies, game shows, and more elaborate documentary series.
Revolt is in the midst of investing significantly in fresh original content. Lattaker-Johnson cited her previous experience as a programming executive at Syfy with the buzzy reality show “Face Off” as an example of how a niche channel can spread its wings in new formats.
“The core viewers for that show were not those that previously watched Syfy,” she said. “That’s my goal again here.”
Lattaker-Johnson said cross-platform programming was also a priority for Revolt. She praised the company’s prowess at social media and knowing how to reach its core audience. She vowed that Revolt would be setting content pacts with “some clutch talent” in the coming weeks.
Lattaker-Johnson was VP of programming for Syfy from 2010-2014, which marked her second stint at the cabler (back when it was known as Sci Fi Channel). Before that, she was a senior VP at BET Networks.
(Pictured: Sean Combs)