Sarah Thornton and Jon Sechrist have been promoted by Discovery Networks International (DNI) to senior positions on DNI’s lifestyle production and development team.
Thornton has been promoted to vice president, Production and Development—DNI Lifestyle, with a focus on the Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) regions. Sechrist has been upped to vice president, Production and Development—DNI and TLC International.
Sechrist will jointly report to Luis Silberwasser, executive vice president and chief content officer, DNI, and Julian Bellamy, creative director and head of Production and Development, DNI, and Thornton will continue to report directly to Bellamy.
Based in New York City, Sechrist will manage the content partnership between DNI and Discovery’s US female-targeted networks—TLC, OWN, Discovery Fit and Health, ID: Investigation Discovery and Destination America. Sechrist will also continue to develop and executive produce for TLC international, including the upcoming series Swinger Wives, season two of series My Naked Secret and the third season of NY Ink.
Before joining DNI in 2010, Sechrist was executive producer on network shows for TLC in the United States, including Sister Wives, Cake Boss, Next Great Baker and BBQ Pitmasters. Sechrist is also credited with executive producing TLC specials including the 650 LB Virgin, and Child Frozen in Time. Previously, Sechrist was an ABC programming executive overseeing All My Children and One Life to Live.
Based in London, Thornton will lead the charge for upcoming TLC international series including Ultimate Shopper and Your Style in His Hands. Thornton will also work closely with the regional teams in Western Europe and CEEMEA on the commissioning of local productions. Thornton has also developed and executive produced local productions that have been instrumental for the launch of TLC in various European markets, including Daughters vs Mothers, Jodie Marsh: Bodybuilder and Don’t Tell the Bride in Norway and Poland. Thornton joined Discovery from Pulse Films where she directed the penultimate episode of Pineapple Dance Studios.
Previously, Thornton produced and reformatted numerous programmes for the BBC including Don’t Get Done Get Dom, Animals at Work, Heir Hunters and Undercover Dads. Thornton also worked on the formatting of Hider in the House, a BBC2 programme.
“The growth and success of DNI’s production and development unit thus far can be in large part attributed to the strong efforts and solid programming output from both Jon and Sarah,” said Silberwasser. “I look forward to seeing how they continue to shape our commissioning strategies within DNI’s lifestyle portfolio.”