(June 7, 2000 - Burbank, CA) - Highly respected reality television producer and news veteran Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey has been named to the newly created position of Senior Executive Producer, Reality Programming, Telepictures Productions, it was announced today by Jim Paratore, President, Telepictures Productions. Gregorisch-Dempsey will oversee the creation, development and current programming activities of reality based programs at Telepictures, as well as the production of the daily syndicated newsmagazine “Extra.” As her first appointment in her new position, Gregorisch-Dempsey has named award-winning television producers Neal Freundlich as Executive Producer and Steve Longo as Co-Executive Producer of “Extra,” which begins its seventh season on the air this September. “I have known Lisa for many years and long been an admirer of her work,” said Paratore. “Her experience and successful track record are unparalleled, and her creative instincts and news sensibility will be an enormous asset not just to ‘Extra,’ but to Telepictures as she works with us to develop new shows.” “As a competitor, I have always had a ‘rival respect’ for ‘Extra’ and for Jim Paratore, who I have known since our early days in Miami,” said Gregorisch-Dempsey. “I look forward to the challenge of maintaining ‘Extra’s’ leadership position in the marketplace and improving upon it from a creative standpoint to really make it appointment viewing. And, I’m excited to be working with Jim’s development team in creating distinctive, new reality programming that will standout in the competitive broadcast environment.” “I am extremely fortunate to have tapped Neal and Steve as show runners on ‘Extra,’” Gregorisch-Dempsey continued. “They are really responsible for the turn around of ‘America’s Most Wanted,’ and I know their style, creativity and sensibilities will be huge in taking ‘Extra’ to the next level.” Gregorisch-Dempsey has nearly 20 years of broadcast news experience, 15 of which were spent as a newsroom manager. She joins Telepictures Productions from the Fox Television Stations Group, where she served as the in-house news consultant for the 22 Fox owned-and-operated stations, responsible for the hiring of on-air talent and news directors, as well as the creation of sweeps programming. Prior to that, she served as Executive Producer for three seasons on “Hard Copy.” Gregorisch-Dempsey has worked in a variety of news posts at the station level in seven markets, including serving as Vice President/News Director at WNYW-TV in New York (where, in 18 months, she helped lead the station to its best news ratings in more than a decade) and at KDAF-TV in Dallas. Prior to that, she served as News Director at KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) and at KDFW-TV (Dallas), where she led the 10:00 p.m. news to time period victory for the first time in several years. She met similar success at KUSA-TV (Denver), where she served as Managing Editor and Executive Producer. She began her career in Miami, where she worked for seven years at WTVJ-TV as a reporter, producer and bureau chief. She is currently a partner in Edge TV, a television production company which has produced three series for syndication. Freundlich joins “Extra” from Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted,” where he served for the past three years as Supervising Producer. Prior to that, he served as Senior Producer at Boston-based Sunbeam Television, where he launched and served as Executive Producer of the daily half-hour entertainment news program “Deco Drive” for WHDH-TV in Boston and WSVN-TV in Miami. Before that, he was Director of Special Projects at WHDH-TV, overseeing investigative, medical, entertainment, political, educational and children’s advocacy series for sweeps and produced primetime specials. Freundlich also produced “Montage,” the longest-running local weekly newsmagazine in Miami for WTVJ-TV, and has served as a freelance producer in Miami. He has earned nine regional Emmy Awards and a national Emmy nomination for “Andrew, The Documentary.” He also earned an award from the Radio Television News Directors Association for “Keeping Secrets,” part of a documentary collection of the Museum of Broadcasting in Chicago. Longo also joins “Extra” from “America’s Most Wanted,” where he served as Managing Editor. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of capacities for MTV Productions, including as Director of MTV’s “Road Rules/Central America,” Story Editor and Associate Director for “Road Rules/Australia,” Production Manager of “Real World/Road Rules Challenge: New Zealand” and Associate Producer of “Real World Boston.” Longo also created, developed and served as Senior Producer on the teen magazine show “Generation Cosmo,” and worked as Senior Segment Producer of NBC’s daily, national magazine series “Real Life.” Longo worked for nearly nine years at WHDH-TV as an Assignment and Planning Editor, and, later, as an Investigative Producer, where he developed and produced Emmy Award-winning child advocacy segments titled “Child Watch.” Telepictures Productions is currently responsible for six strip shows representing 26 hours of programming per week for the syndication marketplace: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “Jenny Jones,” “Queen Latifah” and, through Time Telepictures Television, “Extra,” “Change of Heart” and “Judge Mathis.” In the fall, the company will add “Street Smarts,” representing 2½ more hours of programming per week. “Extra,” a Time Telepictures Television production, is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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