Shaw Media hires new factual, lifestyle content directors

As part of a shift in direction for its original programming, the broadcaster has announced new hires and promotions for its content team. (Lisa Godfrey, head of original content, pictured.)
Robyn Hutt Headshot

Robyn Hutt

Shaw Media has revealed the first step in a shift in direction for its original programming strategy, naming a number of new hires and promotions to its original content division.

To work under Lisa Godfrey, who took over as head of original content during a reorganization this spring (which saw Christine Shipton promoted to SVP and chief creative officer), Shaw Media has hired Robyn Hutt and Krista Look as its directors of factual and lifestyle content, respectively. On the drama side is Rachel Nelson, promoted to director of original dramatic content earlier this year.

Hutt is the former SVP of TRUTV, a U.S.-based factual channel she helped successfully transform from its past guise as Court TV. At Shaw, she will oversee History, Slice and reality programming for Global (which in the past year included Big Brother Canada). Look takes over a lifestyle portfolio at Shaw that includes powerhouse specialty brands HGTV and Food Network Canada. She has worked on MasterChef Canada as a series producer and CBC lifestyle brands such as Steven and Chris and Best Recipes Ever.

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Lisa Godfrey

Two new roles were also created: manager of factual content and business affairs and manager of original lifestyle content, filled by newly promoted execs Lynne Carter and Nancy Franklin, respectively. Shaw Media also made two new hires in the lifestyle department: Larissa Laycock and Marni Goldman, both production executives. Goldman comes from Rogers Media, where she was also a production exec, and Laycock was previously story editor on Amazing Race Canada.

While the new hires don’t represent a restructuring per se, Shaw Media’s original content team has undergone a series of changes in the past six months, as it shifts its original programming focus to an increased emphasis on international coproductions, multiplatform content and strategic partnerships. Tara Ellis, former senior director of original dramatic content, left the broadcaster in April under the major restructuring round and Ellis’ equal on the factual side, Sarah Jane Flynn, departed this summer and recently joined Paperny Entertainment.

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Rachel Nelson

The broadcaster in recent years has seen significant success with its international coproduction Vikings on the scripted side and original productions like Timber Kings on the factual side. And it has announced platform-bending new endeavours like its brand and digi-friendly Great Canadian Cookbook and Tricon’s The Incredible Food Race, sponsored by Walmart.

But with a number of its scripted series ending (Continuum, Lost Girl) and Rookie Blue‘s future not yet revealed, Shaw Media has a fair bit of room to manoeuvre in developing new series that fit its broader mandate – one that looks to have a global-facing focus.

Correction: Lisa Godfrey was incorrectly identified in her photo as Krista Look in an earlier version of this story.