EXCLUSIVE: Half Yard Productions, the company behind TLC’s long-running series Say Yes To The Dress, is losing its two most senior executives.
CEO Dirk Hoogstra and Chief Creative Officer Nicole Sorrenti are exiting the company, which is owned by Peter Chernin’s The North Road Company. North Road took it over as part of its deal to acquire the U.S. assets of Red Arrow Studios last year.
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It follows layoffs within the company over the summer as North Road looked to “right-size” the business.
It comes at a difficult time for unscripted producers; many companies in the genre are struggling as buying seems to have hit a low and the writers and actors strike didn’t bring any boom to the area, as happened with the 07/08 strike. There are fewer places to sell unscripted reality series and the market has been hurting.
“It’s the toughest time to be in unscripted that I can remember,” one unscripted producer told Deadline over the summer.
Half Yard was founded by former TLC exec Abby Greensfelder and ex-Discovery exec Sean Gallagher in 2006. German company Red Arrow Entertainment, which was part of ProSiebenSat.1 acquired a majority stake in 2014.
In addition to Say Yes To The Dress, which aired its 22nd season earlier this year on TLC, Half Yard was behind Secrets & Sisterhood: LA for Hulu, The Last Alaskans for Discovery and I Just Killed My Dad for Netflix.
Former History boss Dirk Hoogstra took over from Gallagher as CEO in December 2020, having previously been EVP, Development. Sorrenti has been with the company since 2007.
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