- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sean Gallagher, the Learning Channel’s new senior vice president of production and development, is focused on finding new ways to win the fierce competition for television viewers.

“One of our focuses this year is increased development, so we have an incredibly aggressive slate of programs coming up for fourth quarter and into next year,” Mr. Gallagher said.

TLC, viewed in 94 million North American homes, is owned and operated by Discovery Networks, a unit of Discovery Communications Inc., a Silver Spring company celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

TLC is developing new genres and formats for expanding the channel’s programming slate, said David Abraham, executive vice president and general manager.

Mr. Gallagher said competing with other channels and networks will be his biggest challenge.

“The television industry moves incredibly rapidly, and trends come and go. So, the biggest challenge for any channel is always staying ahead of the curve and trend spotting,” he said.

Mr. Gallagher’s responsibilities include commissioning new series and specials, working with other companies to partner on co-productions, and directing the channel’s acquisition strategy.

“Essentially, I oversee the idea pipeline for TLC programs and manage those ideas through the process as they are produced and are ultimately seen by viewers,” Mr. Gallagher said.

Mr. Gallagher was named vice president of development for TLC in January after serving as vice president for program development at the Discovery Channel.

In that role, he was responsible for development and management of the popular TLC shows “Monster Garage” and “Monster House.”

Mr. Gallagher also was executive producer of Discovery Channel’s prime-time unit, where he worked on projects such as “American Chopper” and “MythBusters.”

Abby Greensfelder, senior vice president for programming and development, said she worked with Mr. Gallagher for eight years at Discovery Channel.

“He has been a producer, respects producers and, by sheer force of his relationship skills, is able to get some of the best projects,” she said.

Before he joined Discovery Channel, Mr. Gallagher was a freelance producer in the D.C. area. He began his career at the Monitor Channel in Boston, where he worked on magazine shows, local news and children’s programming.

Mr. Gallagher is training for the Ironman USA triathlon, which will take place July 24 in Lake Placid, N.Y. The competition features a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and a marathon, in succession.

He lives in Arlington with his wife, Deirdre, and two children, Finian and Fiona.

Kate Finneren

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