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Time Studios ups execs, kicks off CEO search as co-heads Beck, Conway depart

Time Studios, the content arm of New York-based news magazine Time, has promoted several execs and commenced a CEO search following the departure of co-heads Mike Beck and Alexa Conway.

Jessica Sibley

Jeff Smith has been elevated to head of formats and specials for Time Studios, while Loren Hammonds has been named as the sole head of documentary and Rebecca Gitlitz has been appointed director and exec producer.

Michael Erlinger, head of business affairs and operations, who has overseen all business and legal aspects for original productions and project financing, will see his responsibilities expand to include oversight of studio operations and finances.

Other members of Time Studios’ content team include head of kids and family Maria Perez-Brown, head of scripted film and TV Kaveh Veyssi and head of production Sara Krupnick.

The changes were announced by Time CEO Jessica Sibley, who reiterated the company’s commitment to its studios division, which has generated more than US$100m revenue since it launched in 2020.

Time Studios produces titles including Black Gold (for Paramount+), The Territory (National Geographic), Split Screen (Peacock) and the upcoming docuseries following the US women’s World Cup soccer team for Netflix.

The promotions come amid a period of significant personnel change at Time’s content division. Beck and Conway’s exit comes on the heels of the departure of former Time Studios CEO Ian Orefice, who recently launched New York-based non-fiction company EverWonder Studio with financial backing from Jeff Zucker-led media vehicle RedBird IMI.

The company has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to spearhead the hunt for a new CEO. Veteran exec Rich Battista, who served as CEO of Time from 2016 to 2018 and is also former CEO of Imagine Entertainment, has also been retained as a strategic advisor to Time Studios.

Elsewhere, former co-head of documentary Ali Johnes is transitioning into independent production under a first-look deal with Time Studios.

Noting that they were leaving to “pursue new career opportunities,” Sibley thanked Beck and Conway for their contributions to Time.

“As core members of the Time Studios leadership team from the beginning, they have had a hand in everything that Time Studios has accomplished over the years,” she said.

“In many ways they have also been the day-to-day heart and soul of Time Studios, establishing a culture of teamwork and collegiality that we value and will continue going forward.”

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