Matthew Littleford And Neil Smith Named As Joint MDs Of betty
betty today announced the appointment of Matthew Littleford and Neil Smith to the roles of joint managing directors.
Matthew is to join betty from his role of editorial director, digital, at BBC Worldwide to head up the company alongside Neil, who has worked for betty for the past seven years, most recently as creative director.
Matthew, who takes up his new post in July, will be tasked with growing the business and overseeing strategy, international sales, finance and operations. With his promotion, Neil will lead creative efforts and continues to oversee production and development, as well as working closely with channel commissioners.
“Matthew and Neil are well positioned to lead betty into its next chapter, each encompassing a unique skillset that will allow the company to thrive both on the business and creative fronts,” said Lee Bartlett, president of The Studios Group for Discovery Communications. “I am confident betty will continue to develop innovative and groundbreaking programming, while implementing new strategies to perform even more efficiently and to satisfy and build upon its established client base.”
The appointments come at a time of growth for betty with orders for 2015 including The Undateables, Ugly House and a second series of Bear Grylls: Mission Survive for ITV. Additionally, they follow the recent appointment of Duncan Coates as director of programmes, who joined betty from Wall to Wall.
In his role at BBC Worldwide, Matthew was responsible for building and delivering the editorial strategy for its digital portfolio. Previously he was controller at UKTV where he led the editorial direction of the business including the rebranding of its portfolio of channels. Prior to that, he was the controller of entertainment for ITV’s digital channels.
Neil has been instrumental in diversifying betty’s portfolio of programmes to include entertainment series such as Bear Grylls: Mission Survive and adventure formats including the new Discovery series Kings of the Wild. His executive producer credits include Country House Rescue, The Food Hospital, The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Bear Grylls’ Wild Weekend with Stephen Fry. Neil and Matthew have previously worked together as series producer and executive producer respectively.
Neil Smith, joint managing director, betty said: “Matthew is a fantastic strategic thinker and has both editorial and business acumen at a very high level. He also understands digital and is a brilliant manager who will embrace the inclusive betty ethos.”
Matthew Littleford, editorial director, digital, BBC Worldwide, said: “I love working with Neil and I’ve long admired betty’s programmes - it’s a company which puts people at the heart of what it does – from respecting contributors to treating staff well. I look forward to returning to my production roots and leading the company to the next level.”
betty makes high quality, prime-time, factual entertainment, features, specialist factual, documentary and adventure shows including Heston’s Great British Food, The Undateables, Bear Grylls: Mission Survive, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and The Fabulous Baker Brothers. In 2011 betty was bought by Discovery Communications. Its shows have been sold to more than 63 countries worldwide and it supplies to major UK terrestrial broadcasters including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC three, ITV, Channel Four and Discovery.