CHICAGO — Valerie Schaer has been named executive vice president, creative development for Harpo Productions, Inc. Schaer, who has developed and produced some of the most well-known shows on television, comes to Harpo from Worldwide Pants Incorporated, where she served as executive vice president and oversaw all production, development, new media and business development. Schaer joins Harpo on August 17 and will work in partnership with Harriet Seitler, executive vice president, marketing and development, to create new television programming and media opportunities for the company through a variety of formats, including syndication, network, cable and digital. She will be based in New York and will report to Tim Bennett, president, Harpo Productions, Inc., who made the announcement today, and Harpo Productions chairwoman Oprah Winfrey.
"It is rare to find an executive with a solid track record of success in primetime, in daytime syndication, in talk and in cable—one who is respected and praised by peers, employees and employers," said Bennett. "Valerie Schaer is that executive, and we are delighted to have her join our team."
"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join the incredible team at Harpo for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Schaer. "I am excited to be working with them to help create entertaining shows with heart and impact."
Schaer joined Worldwide Pants Incorporated in July 2003. The company produces The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson and is a co-producer of the successful Everybody Loves Raymond franchise currently running in syndication. She was the supervising producer on the co-production with Sesame Workshop, Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change, a PBS primetime special hosted by Queen Latifah and Elmo and also served as producer on the feature film Strangers with Candy and the feature documentary The Youngest Candidate. Previously, Schaer was the executive vice president of programming and development at Universal Domestic Television from May 1999 to May 2003, where she developed several successful series for syndication, including Crossing Over with John Edward.
Prior to Universal, Schaer was a senior executive at ABC from 1995 to 1999. As senior vice president of production and reality programming for ABC Daytime, Schaer supervised production of The View, All My Children, One Life To Live, Port Charles, and General Hospital. In 1996, Schaer developed and launched the Emmy-winning show, The View with Barbara Walters' production company. Schaer was also a lead creative executive overseeing The Daytime Emmy Awards on ABC.
Schaer served in various roles throughout the television industry before joining ABC. She served as vice president of current programming and production at Lifetime Television from 1989 to 1993 and served as executive in charge of production on all original movies, comedy specials and drama series.
Before Lifetime, Schaer held numerous producing positions in reality, drama and movies.
Harpo Productions, Inc. produces the number one–rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show; creates and develops original TV programming for primetime, syndication and cable television and operates Oprah.com ( www.oprah.com ), a premier lifestyle website. Harpo Print, LLC and Hearst Magazines publish the monthly O, The Oprah Magazine publication. Harpo Films is dedicated to high-quality scripted dramatic programming and recently announced an exclusive television deal with HBO. Harpo Radio, Inc. produces Oprah Radio (XM channel 156, Sirius channel 195 as part of its "Best of XM" package) on Sirius XM Radio. A joint venture between Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a multiplatform company, will debut in early 2010 in more than 70 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.