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HBO hires ex-MTV exec for Asian originals push

HBO Asia has hired a former MTV China channels chief to lead an enlarged push into original programming.

Jessica KamJessica Kam (pictured) is joining the Time Warner-owned channels business as senior VP of original productions.

This puts her in charge of all aspect of production on the Sinagpore-based company’s original programming operation, which began in 2012 with action horror film Dead Mine and most recently yielded a first Mandarin-language series, The Teenage Psychic.

Kam has extensive experience in film and TV. She has produced ten Chinese feature films, including The Piano in a Factory, and two docs, Hong Kong’s She Objects and Italian-Chinese copro Coffee.

Priot to this, she oversaw marketing and product management at Asian content firm Celestial Pictures between 2005 and 2008, leading distribution of Shaw brothers’ titles, films and TV channels.

Before that, she worked at MTV Asia, where she was head of the MTV China channel and VP of network communications.

She has also worked at MGM, Dow Jones Newswire and The Walt Disney Company’s studios business.

“HBO Asia was one of the first in the region to produce Asian original content and there has been a growing interest in Asian productions which is encouraging for us as we ramp up HBO Asia Original productions under Jessica’s leadership and wealth of experience in the region – creating content for viewers not only in Asia, but also across the globe,” said HBO CEO Jonathan Spink.

HBO Asia offers six subscription movies channels in 23 territories, plus on-demand service HBO Go, SVOD offer HBO On Demand and a Chinese operation. It also distributes the BabyFirst and DreamWorks channels regionally.

HBO’s international production business has been ramping up, with its Scandinavian unit now producing programming for its local SVOD service, HBO Nordic, and Miguel Salvat overseeing a push into Spanish originals.

HBO Europe’s Central and Eastern European production business is already well established.