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Nat Geo picks pair for production arm

National Geographic Channel in the US is bolstering its New York production team, hiring two execs known for their work at rival Discovery Communications.

Matt Renner

Matt Renner

Matt Renner has been named VP of production, reporting to president of original programming and production Tim Pastore, while Terry Danuser joins as VP of talent, reporting to senior VP of programming and development Alan Eyres.

Renner, a Primetime Emmy-winning producer on Discovery’s long-running Deadliest Catch series during eight years at Thom Beers’ Original Productions, joins from indie Undertow Films where he had been co-CEO and executive producer since 2012.

He will now be the lead creative within Nat Geo’s senior production team while managing the New York executive producer team and a portion of the network production slate. He will also be responsible for developing the network’s visual style and production practices, while expanding the breadth of its producer pool.

Terry Danuser

Terry Danuser

Danuser, meanwhile, was senior director of talent development and casting at Discovery Communications from 2003 to 2012. His credits there include Naked & Afraid and Big Brain Theory.

In 2012 he joined Discovery-owned OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to help establish its talent relations department, before moving back to Discovery Channel in 2014 to book celebrity talent for Shark After Dark.

Danuser will be charged with discovering and developing new talent for the network, as well as maintaining key relationships with talent, in both the non-fiction and scripted arenas.

In addition, he will liaise across the parent companies, National Geographic Society and Fox Networks, to realise the full potential of the existing talent pool. He will work closely with the network’s talent relations team, led by Chris Albert, senior VP of communications and talent relations worldwide.

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