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OWN Taps Veteran Drew Tappon to Head Unscripted Programming

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has hired former A&E and MTV programming executive Drew Tappon as its head of unscripted development, program & specials, the network said Wednesday.

Tappon will be responsible for leading the Black female targeted network’s efforts in developing and producing a variety of unscripted programming, according to OWN. Tappon replaces Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, who left the company in April. 

Previously Tappon served as chief creative officer for 495 Productions, overseeing such diverse reality programming as Peace of Mind with Taraji P. Henson, Jersey Shore, Floribama Shore, and A Double Shot at Love. Prior to that, he held various senior programming positions at A&E, Warner Horizon Television and MTV.

“Drew is one of the most talented creatives in the industry having developed and produced some of the biggest unscripted hits on television,” said OWN president Tina Perry in a statement. “I am beyond excited to have him join OWN to bring his expertise to our growing lineup of dynamic series.”

Added Tappon: “I can’t wait to join the team at OWN and help continue its growth. Working with the unscripted community to forge new programming for the network is the chance of a lifetime.”

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.