Z Living Names Oller GM

TV Veteran Takes on Distribution-Challenged Wellness Net

Z Living, the disrtibution-challenged health and wellness network, has named seasoned television executive Rafe Oller as its new general manager.

Oller has a long history in the television business, including stints at Fox Broadcasting, Comcast Networks, Warner Bros. International, and NUVOtv. Prior to joining Z Living, Oller served as a media consultant for Firebrand Creative Group, a branding company focusing on broadcast, cable, OTT and theatrical.

In his new role, Oller will oversee Z Living’s programming, across all content categories and dayparts, as well as distribution, affiliate relations, advertising sales, marketing and operations. Oller reports to Rajeev Kheror, president, strategy & planning, international business, at Living Communications Inc., corporate parent of the network that is affiliated with Indian-based media conglomerate Zee Entertainment, the company said in a release.

Z Living also named Tim Krubsack executive vice president and head of programming, reporting to Oller. Krubsack will run the network’s expanding programming and development divisions, the company said, and will create and manage Z Living’s programming slate, including fitness, food, wellness, lifestyle, reality, travel, and celebrity-oriented series. 

Krubsack previously served as senior vice president, alternative programming for Syfy/NBCUniversal, where he was responsible for overseeing the development of the network’s unscripted programming lineup, Z Living said.

"As the worlds of entertainment and health continue to converge, and viewing becomes ever more seamless among the various platforms, it’s crucial that Z Living’s leadership ranks are entrenched with smart, seasoned executives who are creative, innovative and willing to take risks,” Kheror said in the release. “In Rafe Oller, we are confident we have found a visionary leader who will build and elevate the Z Living brand, driving audience engagement across all platforms.”

Z Living has had significant management turnover over the past several months. Former chief Eric Sherman left and, this past January, the network cut back at least a significant portion of its New York City staff (it is now based in Los Angeles). One-time marketing executive Michael Snyder filed a discrimination suit against the company, claiming management regularly prevented him from performing his duties and fired him because he is a Jewish American. Other former executives also have sued, also making claims of discrimination. The company also was under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discriminatory practices.  It has struggled to find carriage on cable and satellite systems and, currently on Cablevision Systems, Verizon FiOS TV and Dish Network, has an estimated 10 million subscribers, according to one source familiar with its business. Formerly Veria Living, the network launched in 2007 on Echostar Communications, now Dish Network.