Dave O’Connor has been appointed as the new President of Time Studios, Time CEO Jessica Sibley announced Monday morning, in a memo to staff.
O’Connor steps in for Ian Orefice, who served as President & COO of both news magazine Time and its Emmy-winning production division before exiting to launch the content studio EverWonder, alongside Jeff Zucker’s RedBird IMI. He will be based out of New York, reporting directly to Sibley. In his new role, he will look to further Time Studios’ mission of crafting premium storytelling for a global audience, providing the company with the vision and strategic direction necessary to propel it through a turbulent and fast-evolving point in entertainment’s history.
O’Connor joins after co-founding Majordomo Media, where he served as co-CEO and produced such hit series as Chef vs. Wild for Hulu, also building a podcast network and helping to launch an original FAST channel. In speaking to his appointment at Time Studios, Sibley emphasized the exec’s “deep creative background,” at the same time acknowledging his “proven track record of crafting business models to sustain profits and fuel growth.”
Boasting over two decades of experience as a showrunner, executive producer, and director, O’Connor has created and overseen non-fiction film and TV projects for numerous platforms — including ABC, Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube — many of which have already been in business with Time Studios, as well as such brands as American Express, Apple, IBM, Nike, Walmart, ABInBev.
In a statement on his hiring, O’Connor said that he looks forward “to leading and building on the success of Time Studios into its next chapter. Added the executive, “I have been so impressed with how Time Studios has made a big splash in the premium non-fiction film and television business, creating an ambitious slate of high-profile projects and partnering with some of the best filmmakers in the world to bring them to life.”
Before launching Majordomo Media, O’Connor served as President of Entertainment at the San Francisco-based design firm Godfrey Dadich Partners, for which he established a New York office, also building a video content practice, contributing to the redesign of National Geographic Magazine, and producing projects for the likes of IBM, Nike, and the Obama Foundation. He also served as a VP and executive producer at RadicalMedia, overseeing creative development and production operations for the company. During his time there, he developed and produced shows like Mars for Nat Geo and the branded content hit GT Academy for Paramount, Sony PlayStation, and Nissan, as well as films like Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru for Netflix, and You Don’t Know Bo for ESPN’s 30 for 30. He’s also held roles at Embassy Row, where he helped launch popular sports franchise Men in Blazers, and ESPN, where he oversaw the World Series of Poker and other original series.
Generating more than $100M in revenue in its first three years, per Sibley, Time Studios has of late been undergoing a period of great change in its executive ranks, amidst a continuing search for a CEO. In August, the company announced that interim Co-Heads of Time Studios, Mike Beck and Alexa Conway, were leaving the company alongside former Co-Head of Documentary Ali Johnes, who struck a first-look deal with the company as a producer as she departed. Johnes’ one-time Co-Head of Documentary, Loren Hammonds, was named Head of Documentary, with Time Studios EP Jeff Smith being named Head of Formats and Specials. Michael Erlinger now serves as Head of Business Affairs and Operations, with Sara Krupnick as Head of Production, and Rich Battista, the former CEO of Time Inc. and Imagine Entertainment, as an advisor to the company. Maria Perez-Brown and Kaveh Veyssi remain in their respective roles as Heads of Kids & Family and Scripted Film & TV.
Recent projects from Time Studios include Jeen-Yuhs (Netflix), Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space (Netflix), Katrina Babies (HBO), Black Gold (Paramount+), Big Vape (Netflix), John Lewis: Good Trouble (CNN Films), Amazing Grace (Neon), Right to Offend (A&E), Ricky Powell: The Individualist (Showtime), Mass Effect: The Story of YouTube, Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon/CBS), TIME 100 (ABC) and Women of the Year (Amazon).
Upcoming projects include a Christina Aguilera doc, a Megan Thee Stallion docuseries, and a scripted drama series on the historic New York culinary brand Russ & Daughters. Time Studios is repped by CAA.