BET Hires Veteran Fox Searchlight Exec Zola Mashariki To Head Original Programing

April 27, 2015  |  

Veteran Fox Searchlight production executive Zola Mashariki is moving over to BET Networks.

BET Networks has tapped Mashariki to be the new EVP and head of original programming. Mashariki will be based in Los Angeles and will oversee scripted and unscripted programming and development as well as casting for the cable network.

With Mashariki’s appointment BET finished the restructuring of it top programming ranks, which the company started following the September departure of president of original programming Loretha Jones. In addition to hiring Mashariki, BET promoted President of Music Programming & Specials Stephen Hill to President of Programming. He now oversees both Original Programming and Music Programming & Specials. New York-based Hill has extensive experience in music shows and specials, but limited interaction with the Hollywood creative community. This is where Hollywood-connected Mashariki comes in.

At Fox Searchlight, where she worked for 15 years, Mashariki most recently serving as SVP of Production. “During her tenure at the feature company, she worked on such movies as The Last King of Scotland and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” reports Deadline.

Mashariki also created the Black Film Initiative, spearheading the development of a new business plan for the African-American market that resulted in the releases of such films as The Secret Life of Bees and Notorious.

Mashariki graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

If you could send a note to Mashariki’s inbox letting her know what you’d like to see, what would you say?

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