Deirdre (Didi) O’Hearn, who grew up in Wilton, was named to lead the programming and development team for both Food Network and Cooking Channel, it was announced today by Kathleen Finch, Scripps Networks Interactive’s chief programming, content and brand officer, to whom O’Hearn will now report. The move makes O’Hearn the top executive at the two food TV networks.
“Since joining Food Network and Cooking Channel in 2014, it was quickly apparent that Didi’s skills and expertise represent exactly the creative leadership our beloved brands require,” said Finch. “She was a driving force behind 2015’s successful programming slate, with titles such as Chopped Junior and Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition as just two examples of Didi’s creative instinct driving double-digit ratings gains. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have such a talented and well-respected executive seated next to me as we look ahead for future growth opportunities.”
O’Hearn, who graduated from Wilton High School in 1979, will oversee the programming team, lead all development strategy for programming across both nets, as well as identify and develop new network talent, and manage relationships with outside production partners.
She was previously vice president, development and talent for WE tv, responsible for creating originals and specials that personified We tv’s brand. She was instrumental in developing many of the networks most popular series, including Mary Mary, SWV: Reunited, Kendra On Top, LA Hair and Marriage Boot Camp. Before joining WE tv in January 2011, Didi served as vice president in charge of the New York office of non-fiction media producer Darlow Smithson Productions. Prior to Darlow Smithson, she spent 16 years at A&E Television Networks, most recently as vice president of non-fiction and alternative programming, launching the hit series Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Didi served as executive producer of the Emmy® Award-winning Biography series and director of programming for Biography Channel as well as 10 years in producer and senior producer of programming roles inside A&E and History networks.
O’Hearn is a graduate of Amherst College and received her master’s degree from Columbia School of Journalism. She resides in New York City with her husband and two boys.