GSN has hired cable programming and marketing veteran Heidi Diamond as an executive vice president, the latest move into the games network's front offices under new president David Goldhill and at a time when the network is planning its first foray into live programming.
Diamond, a veteran of several cable-programming operations, most recently was president of television for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a post she resigned in August 2005 while remaining as a new business consultant. There, she oversaw corporate alliances with NBC Universal, Discovery Communications and the company's TV series, such as Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food.
GSN said Diamond will play a major strategic role, initially focusing on the network's move into live programming. The network is giving game-show fans a chance to interact in real time with a three-hour live block debuting Feb. 25.
Diamond — a former marketer at AMC Networks, Food Network, Channel One, Nickelodeon and former telco Ameritech's onetime TV unit — joined GSN last week, officials said.
Goldhill came on board last August, succeeding Rich Cronin as chief. Since then, the executive departures have included senior vice president of advertising sales Christopher Raleigh (now at The Weather Channel); Dena Kaplan, who was senior vice president of marketing (now at NFL Network); senior vice president of digital media and interactive entertainment John Roberts and Scott Perlmutter, who was vice president of distribution.
His hires include John Zaccario, formerly of ESPN, who came on board last month as senior VP of ad sales.
GSN is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media.
As for the live programming, consumers will be able to play three on-air games from noon to 3 p.m. ET or 9 a.m. to noon PT by dialing in on a toll-free number or playing online at GSN.com.
Viewers who attempt to participate, whether they get on or not, will be entered for a weekly prize bonanza sweepstakes, bestowed on Fridays.
Contestants who actually participate during the shows will be entered to win a car on the channel's monthly “Steal These Wheels” sweepstakes.
The new block will be hosted by Fred Roggin, KNBC sports anchor and Olympics commentator. Scheduled are special appearances by hosts of classic game shows, such as Wink Martindale, Monty Hall and Peter Marshall.