Twentieth regroups, enters hiring mode

Jul 22, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The appointment of Daniel Tibbets last week as Twentieth Television’s VP of production is just the tip of the iceberg as the company gets ready to overhaul its development and programming ranks.
The hiring not only reunites Mr. Tibbets with Twentieth’s top two honchos, Bob Cook and Robb Dalton, it also earmarks a new, more aggressive approach by the distributor to tackle programming for both syndication and cable. The company expects more hirings in coming weeks as well as the introduction of the new Fox Lab, a brain trust of producers.
“We are going to get busier as we have an aggressive agenda,” said Mr. Dalton, president of programming and production for the company. “We see a lot of programming needs for our stations as well as other outlets and want to be their largest supplier of programming.”
Reporting to Mr. Dalton, Mr. Tibbets will oversee production operations and finance on behalf of Twentieth Television for all first-run programming, including “Divorce Court,” “Texas Justice,” “Good Day Live,” upcoming talk show “The Rob Nelson Show” and upcoming strip “Ex-treme Dating,” with host Jillian Barberie. Additionally, Mr. Tibbets will look to exploit Twentieth Television’s extensive first-run library into new and original programming opportunities for both syndication and cable. Mr. Tibbets most recently served as VP of entertainment for Fireworks Television.
“Having had the opportunity to work with Daniel, I found someone who had an incredibly strong work ethic and. … He has relations in the community with the buyers that we feel benefits us all the more when we decide to sell a series beyond our station group, Mr. Dalton said.”
Mr. Dalton confirmed that another hire would be made soon to oversee development and that two more players were in the process of being hired for the Fox Lab.
“It’s clear that we need more than one way to develop programs, and the Fox Lab will provide us with more structure, in the sense that we’re not bringing these producers in as an overall deal,” Mr. Dalton said. “Instead, this will be a think tank of colleagues designed to collaborate for internal development, which will work in concert with our aggressive traditional development.”