Former HBO Max Execs Jennifer O’Connell, Rebecca Quinn Form Production Company

Velvet Hammer Media Jennifer O'Connell Rebecca Quinn
Velvet Hammer Media founders Jennifer O'Connell (l.) and Rebecca Quinn (Image credit: Lily Ro Photography)

Jennifer O’Connell, former HBO Max executive VP, nonfiction and live-action family originals, and Rebecca Quinn, former HBO Max senior VP, nonfiction original programming, have formed Velvet Hammer Media, which will create, produce and distribute nonfiction content.

Velvet Hammer Media will be dedicated to inclusion and, under its Inside Access program, every production will hire a BIPOC (Black, Indigineous, People of Color) talent, giving them hands-on experience in critical decision-making roles.

“We have spent our entire professional lives in the content business, building and nurturing vital relationships with creatives and executives, and we look forward to furthering those collaborations and friendships through VHM. At this pivotal moment in our business, we’re excited to bet on ourselves and leverage our complementary strengths, said O’Connell and Quinn, who will be co-founders, co-CEOs and executive producers at the new Los Angeles-based company.

“While VHM will utilize our deep experience and creative acumen, we will put equal focus on the way business is done, with trust, transparency and an unwavering dedication to inclusion,“ the co-founders said. “We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve already received from buyers and creators, and valued crew. We are ready for this moment and could not be more energized about our new venture.” 

VHM said that development and production veteran Nick Alarcon is joining the company as VP. He was previously with Pulse Creative and Bunim/Murray Productions.

At HBO Max, O’Connell was responsible for shows including Selena + Chef, Fboy Island, The Hype, Legendary, Steph & Ayesha Curry's About Last Night, The Big Brunch with Dan Levy and The Climb with Jason Momoa. Before HBO, she was with Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Core Media Group and Shed Media.

Quinn’s projects at HBO Max included Legendary, The Hype and Fboy Island. She also launched The Access Unscripted Program at HBO Max. Earlier in her career, she was president of Pulse Creative. She started her career in non-fiction casting.

VHM is represented by WME and Weinstein Senior. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.