To save the earth, you have to grab the attention of changemakers everywhere. EarthX is trying to do that by ramping up its streaming TV service with a goal of eventually launching a traditional TV network. Last summer, former Ride TV co-founder and CEO Michael Fletcher was named Co-CEO of EarthX. Since then, EarthX has hired several other TV execs with experience at Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet and other networks.
Fletcher joins Co-CEO Lynn McBee at the helm of Dallas-based EarthX, an environmental organization dedicated to a more sustainable future worldwide.
Fletcher will focus on building a network and video-on-demand platform featuring entertainment programming focused on environmental issues. His mission: Build EarthxTV into a globally recognized entertainment network targeting audiences who are increasingly attuned to issues affecting the planet.
McBee will continue to lead the company’s nonprofit, impact, and conservation efforts. She will work with Fletcher to increase global awareness of EarthX as it expands into new areas.
“We have an ambitious plan to expand development and distribution of EarthxTV into a powerful global entertainment and educational network, and I’m thrilled to welcome a truly talented leadership team to help us achieve our goals,” Fletcher said in a statement.
Building on Trammell S. Crow’s 10-year EarthX mission
As it doubles down on TV, EarthX is building on a 10-year legacy of raising awareness about sustainability. Founded in 2011 by Dallas philanthropist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the organization is known for its annual EarthX live event at Fair Park.
In response to the pandemic in 2020, EarthX launched EarthxTV to deliver its live event and programming to audiences online.
EarthxTV now delivers hundreds of hours of programming, with plans to “aggressively increase” its library of acquired and original series, films, and documentaries in 2022. The network is currently available online, on iOS and Android phones and tablets, and through OTT partners including Roku, Apple TV, Firestick, and Google Play.
But its biggest TV news is yet to come: EarthX expects to announce traditional and digital 24×7 linear distribution deals soon.
New execs have deep TV network experience
The other new hires include Dan Russell, EVP of content and strategy for EarthX, who will head up programming development and acquisitions for EarthxTV. Russell has worked for several Discovery Networks brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery International, and Velocity/MotorTrend. Previously, he worked at Poker Central TV and CuriosityStream and served as SVP of content development at New Dominion Pictures.
Rose Stark, another Discovery Networks veteran, has been named SVP of marketing for EarthX. She will oversee marketing, social media, and communications for EarthX Expo, EarthxTV, and the annual EarthX Film Festival. Stark previously spent 15 years at Discovery working on brands including Planet Green, TLC, and Discovery Health.
James Levitt is the new EVP of global ad sales for EarthX and will focus on EarthxTV. He previously led ad sales for Ride TV—a Fort Worth-based equestrian sports network that was acquired in June by GAC Media. Ride TV has since been reprogrammed as a family entertainment network, GAC Living, launched in September by Bill Abbott, the former president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, parent company of the Hallmark Channel.
Prior to his stint at Ride TV, Levitt was SVP of ad sales for Discovery Inc.
Two other Ride TV veterans have joined the EarthX team. Mike Clark, EVP of global distribution, will focus on expanding the availability of EarthxTV across digital and linear platforms worldwide. At Ride TV, Clark he served on the board of directors and held posts including VP of operations, SVP of corporate development, and EVP international operations.
Bryan W. Redd is the new interim CFO of EarthX, overseeing accounting, finance, and IT. He previously spent more than five years at Ride TV in roles including VP of strategy.
With all these new execs ramping up EarthxTV, a lot of people will be doing a lot of producing. Leading them will be Tim Pirrello, SVP of production for EarthxTV. Pirrello will oversee the network’s creative, production, and post-production departments. He previously held numerous roles at AMS Pictures during a 21-year stint at the company—helping to supply hundreds of hours of programming to networks including Discovery, HGTV, A+E, History, Food, Cooking, Lifetime, Bio, Showtime, WGN, TruTV, and Reelz.
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