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Former eOne exec Tara Long to lead global unscripted TV at Blink49 Studios

Tara Long has become the latest former Entertainment One (eOne) staffer to join Blink49 Studios, taking the role of president of global unscripted television at the Fifth Season-backed Canadian firm.

Tara Long

Long, who left eOne in December ahead of its acquisition by Lionsgate, will be charged with overseeing Blink49’s US unscripted slate and its development efforts.

Reporting to Blink49 CEO and former eOne TV CEO John Morayniss, LA-based Long will also manage the company’s global unscripted division, including its Canadian business unit.

Blink49 also tapped Ri-Karlo Handy, the former VP of original programming at Bounce TV and executive producer of the drama series Saints & Sinners, as senior VP of unscripted.

The arrival of Long will see the implementation of a new structure, with executive VP Toby Dormer and Handy reporting to Long, while VP of unscripted Allison Brough continues to report to Dormer.

Blink49 said that Long’s mandate includes taking a “centralised approach to US/Canada cross-border opportunities that maximise financing and production benefits, co-commissioning opportunities and expanding to other international territories.”

Long joined eOne in 2009 and was brought in by then CEO Morayniss to lead the company’s US reality television division.

During her tenure, she built out the US and global scripted team, producing projects including Impact with Gal Gadot (National Geographic), Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. (A+E), Siesta Key (MTV), Mary J Blige’s My Life (Prime Video), LA Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later (A+E), Growing Up Hip Hop (WE tv), The Impact (BET+/VH1) and Ex on the Beach (MTV/Paramount+).

Ri-Karlo Handy

Blink49 – which has been nicknamed ‘eTwo’ by some in the industry – has scaled up quickly since it was launched in late 2021, growing its team with multiple former eOne staffers and building out businesses in both scripted and unscripted.

The company was launched by Morayniss alongside former eOne colleagues Patrice Theroux as executive vice chair, Nelson Kuo-Lee as chief financial officer and Jeff Lynas as chief operating officer.

“Tara has established herself as a distinctive force in the market, earning a stellar reputation for delivering outstanding alternative programming that resonates with global audiences,” said Morayniss.

“We are so grateful to have Tara back in the fold to lead the growth of our unscripted business. I know that with her integrity, dedication and commitment to non-fiction storytelling and her incredible relationships with talent and buyers, Tara will build a powerhouse, best-in-class alternative division.”

Long added: “I’m thrilled to join the Blink49 team and to be working alongside old friends. I’m also excited to start building out the global team including Ri-Karlo, who I’ve had the privilege of working with previously. Ri-Karlo’s industry-respected expertise and extensive network will undoubtedly help elevate projects in the pursuit of excellence and compelling unscripted entertainment.”

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