Los Angeles-based film and TV studio Wayfarer Studios has made two key hires in scripted and unscripted content.
Founded by actor and producer Justin Baldoni and entrepreneur Steve Sarowitz in 2019, the company has brought on Tracy Ryerson as senior vice president of scripted development and production and Endyia Kinney-Sterns as senior vice president of unscripted development and production.
“As Wayfarer Studios continues to grow, we are so excited to welcome Tracy and Endyia into our family, both exceptional women with incredible experience and expertise to further advance our slate of projects and studio partnerships,” said Baldoni. “We are a new studio in this unique Wild West inflection point of film and content creation, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand and learn with Tracy and Endyia’s expertise helping to guide the way.”
The studio recently produced the Disney Plus original film “Clouds”
Ryerson joins from her previous post as head of film and television at Fabula, the production label created by Pablo Larrain (“Jackie,” the upcoming Kristen Stewart film “Spencer”). There she contributed the shingle’s first-look deal with Fremantle, setting up “Midnight Family” and development projects with filmmakers such as Ali Abbasi, Steve Knight, Guillermo Calderon and Bruno Dumont. Prior to Fabula, she served as head of TV at Rare Birds Productions, Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed’s production company set up at Warner Brothers Television. She’s also done stints with Caryn Mandabach and Jerry Weintraub’s shops, where she developed projects including “Peaky Blinders,” “Ocean’s 13,” “Nancy Drew” and “Tarzan.”
“Not only do we share the same ethos, but we strive to amplify diverse voices, tell thought-provoking stories, and challenge the status quo. I’m so excited to continue building on what Justin, Steve, Labid and others have already started,” said Ryerson.
Kinney-Sterns joins Wayfarer from the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), where she served as vice president of development and programming on popular docuseries like “Flex and Shanice,” “Raising Whitley” and “Deion’s Family Playbook,” as well as critically acclaimed docs such as “Dark Girls” and “Light Girls.” Prior to OWN, she was senior director of programming and development at TV ONE, where she co-created the hit series “Unsung,” the winner of multiple NAACP awards. She began her career at BET, overseeing production and post for the network’s top-rated series “College Hill” and “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.”
She also ran the consultancy EKS, with a broad clientele including MGM Studios, ViacomCBS, Tyler Perry Studios and Wayfarer. Named one of the “Top Female Executives in Hollywood” by Essence Magazine, Kinney-Sterns has been instrumental in identifying and developing new programming for various networks, including VH1, CBS, NBC, HGTV, BET and OWN.
“It is rare that you find a company like Wayfarer Studios whose core mission is to truly inspire, uplift and effect positive change through content. I’m excited to join the team and look forward to playing a part in telling stories that not only entertain but can also change people’s lives for the better,” said Kinney-Sterns.
Both executives will support Andrew Calof, president of development and production, on all of Wayfarer Studios’ content efforts — which consists of podcasts and animated TV series in addition to scripted and unscripted film and television.