SPIKE TV BOLSTERS ORIGINAL SERIES DEPARTMENT WITH NEW ADDITIONS AND KEY PROMOTIONS
Los Angeles, CA, June 5, 2013 - As Spike TV continues to evolve and develop its brand through broad-appealing original programming, the network is announcing additions and promotions to its Original Series Team. The department's growth correlates with the network's biggest ever commitment to originals, which include the network's hit series "Ink Master," "Bar Rescue," "Tattoo Nightmares," "Auction Hunters," and the upcoming "Fight Master" and "Criss Angel: Believe."
"The Original Series team's expansion reflects our ever-continuing goal to create distinctive, bold shows geared toward a more-gender balanced audience," said Sharon Levy, Executive Vice President, Original Series, Spike TV. "We are developing more original series than ever before, and we are bringing in two real superstars in Kevin Bartel and Hayley Lozitsky to join one of the best development teams in the business."
The Original Series department changes include the following:
Chris Rantamaki is promoted to Senior Vice President, Original Series and will continue to report to Levy. Rantamaki will oversee the day-to-day department activities relating to development and production. Rantamaki joined Spike in April 2011 as Vice President, Original Series and was instrumental in developing the highest-rated series on the channel, "Ink Master," which delivered nearly three million viewers for its most recent season finale. Rantamaki also oversees the successful "Tattoo Nightmares," "World's Worst Tenants" and "Urban Tarzan." Before joining Spike, Rantamaki spent four years at the Discovery Channel.
"I am thrilled to announce Chris's well-deserved promotion today. He'll now be taking more of a leadership role in the department and company," said Levy. "He is a rising star in our industry and his creativity, passion and taste have played an enormous role in helping Spike grow its slate of successful original programming."
Justin Lacob is promoted to Vice President, Original Series. Lacob previously served as Director where he oversaw two of the network's signature series, the critically-acclaimed "Bar Rescue" and "Savage Family Diggers." Lacob is now developing two of the network's highly anticipated series, the upcoming "Tattoo Rescue" and "10 Million Dollar Big Foot Bounty." In his new role, Lacob will also work with Levy and other members of the team in the development of the network's scripted miniseries. Lacob came to Spike following a two-year stint at Intuitive Entertainment, where he served as Senior Director of Development overseeing such projects as "LA Shrinks" and "Love Broker" for Bravo.
Hayley Lozitsky joins Spike TV as Vice President, Original Series. Lozitsky previously served as Senior Vice President of Development at Ellen Rakieten Entertainment where she developed non-scripted/scripted programming. Among the series she developed include "Trisha's Southern Kitchen" for Food Network, "Pretty Wicked Moms" for Lifetime and "Hideous Houses" for A&E. Prior to that, Lozitsky was an agent specializing in non-scripted television at UTA. She began her career at E! and Style Network in Programming and Development.
Kevin Bartel joins Spike TV as Vice President, Original Series. Bartel previously served as Vice President of Development and Current Programming for All3Media America. Prior to that, Bartel joined Eli Holzman as one of the first employees of the U.S. arm of the British production company, Studio Lambert and helped launch "Undercover Boss," the #1 new show of the 2009-2010 season for CBS. Working across All3media Americas diverse slate of projects, Bartel has helped develop and produce television for A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, Bravo, CBS, CMT, CW, Discovery, E!, Lifetime, Logo, MTV, Nat Geo, NBC, Oxygen, Spike, Style, SyFy, TLC, TNT, Travel, TruTV, Vh1 and USA.
After nine years at Spike TV, Senior Vice President Tim Duffy will be leaving this fall to start a production company with his twin brother, Mike Duffy. "Tim has been an invaluable asset to me and a tremendous force in developing some of Spike's signature series. While we will miss Tim on our team, we are very excited to partner with him on a development deal as he sets out to create our next hit series with his new production company. We wish him tremendous luck and a big thank you for his time here."
Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike's Internet address is www.spike.com.