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Format Awards

Tributes paid to Matt Gould

Matt Gould, an experienced and popular television executive who worked with Discovery, Zig Zag Productions and PactUS, has passed away aged 48.

Gould started his career with the New York Times before joining US factual giant Discovery in 2004 as a senior executive producer.

There he worked on shows for female-skewing lifestyle net TLC, including Miami Ink as well as American Chopper for the flagship Discovery Channel.

He was VP of product development and later head of programme development for Scripps-owned US cablenet Travel Channel from 2006 to 2008, where his credits included Man vs Food, and then executive producer of programme development at rival cablenet TruTV for three years, where he worked on Storage Hunters.

He moved into independent production in 2011, joining Danny Fenton’s London-based Zig Zag Productions where he remained until 2015. He then joined the fledgling PactUS set up, as the UK producers’ association expanded to the other side of the Atlantic.

He passed away on Tuesday evening due to a heart condition, leaving behind wife Stephanie and their three daughters Maddie, Talia and Iris.

A memorial service will be held at Congregation Ohr Shalom, 67 Kent Place Blvd, Summit, New Jersey on Friday morning at 11.00 ET.

Fenton, Zig Zag’s CEO, said: “I had the pleasure to know Matt Gould. I worked with him both as a buyer and later as the head of Zig Zag USA. He was, most importantly, my friend.

“Matt had an infectious laugh and a personality to match. He lit up the room with his boundless enthusiasm. He was one of life’s ‘can do’ people. He could edit, shoot, pitch, direct – the lot. He wasn’t just a one-man band, he was a one-man symphony orchestra.

“His impact on the industry knows no bounds. He produced thousands of hours for NY Times TV and went on to Discovery where he created many hits for TLC. From there he went to Court TV, which became TruTV, and it’s there we first met. He loved our shows so much he joined the company. We had five great years together until he joined PactUS where he worked with my other great mentor, David Lyle.

“I was due to see Matt in New York last week but he had come down with pneumonia. Typically, he messaged me to say, ‘Don’t worry I’ll see you next week. I just need the weekend to recover.’

“Shockingly Matt has now passed and a light has gone off in my life. My thoughts are with Stephanie and the girls at this tragic time.”

Pact CEO John McVay added: “Pact is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Matt Gould. He was a leading light in the UK and US industries and in setting up PactUS with the late David Lyle. Matt’s infectious laugh and enthusiasm will be sorely missed by his friends, both here and around the world.”

The family have set up a fund to help pay for the education of Gould’s daughters. For details click here.



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