News

Gaither Exits TV One

7/18/2005 5:05 AM Eastern

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- TV One executive vice president of programming and production Lee Gaither has left the company to pursue other interests.

Network president Johnathan Rodgers said Los Angeles-based Gaither’s departure was primarily “geographical,” adding that he wanted a greater programming presence at the network’s Silver Spring, Md., headquarters, and Gaither decided to remain in Los Angeles for family reasons.

Gaither oversaw the launch of several shows, including G. Garvin, a culinary show featuring the former The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC and Morton’s Restaurant Group executive chef; and Makeover Manor, the first transformation show focusing exclusively on beauty and style tips for African Americans.

“When we hired Lee, I had a real hope and expectation that he would move to the Washington, D.C./Silver Spring area,” Rodgers said. “It’s important for us as a new network to have a programming source in the building so that all of the other departments could feed off of it. We really appreciate Lee’s contribution to the point where he will remain a consultant to me.”

The network -- which will become Nielsen Media Research-rated this fall -- will continue its development of original programming with the launch of several new series later this year.

TV One has teamed up with civil-rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton to create a talk/interview show that will take place in barbershops around the country. A reality takeoff on the successful Barbershop movies, Cuttin’ Up with Al Sharpton will showcase celebrities, politicians and other interesting characters discussing the issues of the day with barbers and shop patrons, Rodgers said during the network’s Television Critics Association Tour presentation here Sunday.

Another reality series, Renovate My House -- hosted by former Trading Spaces designer Kia Steaves Dickerson -- will explore renovated homes and gardens of African-American homes around the country, Rodgers said.

The network will also bow Off the Pages, a female-targeted talk show featuring famed erotic fiction author Zane, who will discuss topics such as relationships, sexuality and marriage in an effort to help women build empowerment and self-respect.

Also on the docket for the network are a series of news commentaries hosted by award-winning journalist and author Roland Martin. The 60-second commentaries will touch upon a wide range of topics of interest to African Americans.