Jennifer O’Connell, Rebecca Quinn Launch VHM Production Banner – NewsAlarts

Former HBO Max executives Jennifer O’Connell and Rebecca Quinn have joined forces to launch production banner VHM, which will focus on unscripted series, documentaries and special events.

O’Connell and Quinn will serve as co-CEOs of the company, which is based in Los Angeles. VHM stands for Velvet Hammer Media.

“We have spent our entire professional lives in the content business, building and nurturing vital relationships with creatives and executives, and we look forward to furthering those collaborations and friendships through VHM,” O’Connell and Quinn said in a joint statement. “At this pivotal moment in our business, we’re excited to bet on ourselves and leverage our complementary strengths.”

O’Connell was previously executive VP of nonfiction and live-action family originals for HBO Max; Quinn was senior VP of nonfiction original programming. The two were among the many executives whose jobs were eliminated in the restructuring prompted by the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia earlier this year. Producer Nick Alarcon has also joined VHM as president.

“While VHM will utilize our deep experience and creative acumen, we will put equal focus on the way business is done, with trust, transparency and an unwavering dedication to inclusion,” the pair stated. “We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve already received from buyers and creators, and valued crew. We are ready for this moment and could not be more energized about our new venture.”

The VHM founders have vowed to establish an “Inside Access” program that includes dedicated budget to hire promising creatives from underrepresented backgrounds with the goal of giving them valuable development and production experience behind the camera. Per VHM’s description, the Inside Access program is “not a mere shadowing opportunity, but rather a commitment to expand the talent pool and provide participants with hands-on experience in critical decision-making roles.”

Quinn helped establish a similar program for unscripted series during her tenure at HBO Max.

Before joining HBO Max in 2019, O’Connell was head of alternative programming for Lionsgate TV. She has also held executive posts at NBCUniversal, Core Media Group and Shed Media U.S. Earlier in her career, Quinn was president of Pulse Creative, where she worked with Alarcon and helped produce such unscripted series as Fox’s “Kicking and Screaming” and CBS’ “Candy Crush.”

VHM is repped by WME and the law firm of Weinstein Senior.

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