Former HBO Max Unscripted Chiefs Jennifer O’Connell and Rebecca Quinn Launch Velvet Hammer Media

Jennifer O’Connell and Rebecca Quinn, who previously oversaw unscripted content at HBO Max, are moving into the production business.

O’Connell, who is EVP, non-fiction and live-action family originals, and Quinn, who is SVP, non-fiction original programming, launched VHM (Velvet Hammer Media).

The company will create premium original non-fiction content with a focus on formats, special-event programs and documentaries.

It comes after the pair left last year after Warner Bros. Discovery dropped non-scripted from its streaming service.

Based in LA, this duo, who were responsible for such shows Selena + Chef, Fboy Island And The Way Down, will serve as co-CEO and executive producer. They will be joined by Nick Alarcon, who previously oversaw unscripted development for Pulse Creative under the company’s overall deal with Lionsgate as VP.

VHM is also launching an Inside Access program, which will strengthen diversity behind the camera. The program will ensure that every production budget has a line item to ensure that BIPOC talent is behind the camera and that 100% of it is applied to the production, even if that means covering these costs themselves.

HBO Max’s unscripted slate is itself one of the most diverse series in the industry The hype, the legend and Steph and Ayesha Curry About last night.

“We’ve 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. At this critical juncture in our business, we are excited to bet on ourselves and leverage our complementary strengths,” said O’Connell and Quinn. “While VHM will leverage our deep experience and creative intelligence, we are a business with an unwavering commitment to trust, transparency and inclusion. We’re humbled and grateful for the support we’ve already received from buyers and manufacturers, and from the valued crew. We’re ready for the moment and couldn’t be more excited about our new venture.”

VHM is repped by WME and Weinstein Sr.

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