LOS ANGELES, CA -- Sandy Grushow, president of TELE-TV Media, today announced the appointment of Japhet Asher, as executive vice president, programming and product development.
Mr. Asher will report to Mr. Grushow and will have overall responsibility for TELE-TV original programming, including oversight of all creative assets and personnel. Mr. Asher will supervise TELE-TV's content production and integration into the venture's interactive distribution routes, including both television and the Internet. He will also supervise the entity's Digital Production Studio in Reston, Virginia. He will be based at TELE-TV Media headquarters in Los Angeles.
In making the announcement, Mr. Grushow said: "One of the key areas for TELE-TV is programming and Japhet is the ideal colleague to influence our goal of delivering unique products to our customers. His proven creative vision and talent for leadership will have a tremendous impact on our future."
Formerly Vice Chairman of Colossal Pictures (San Francisco) where he remains on the board of directors, Mr. Asher has been executive producer of Colossal and MTV's Aeon Flux and before that was executive producer and creative director for MTV's Emmy Award-winning Liquid Television. He joined Colossal in 1986 and initially managed USFX, the firm's visual effects division. He also produced commercials, music videos and feature film effects for such clients as Merrill Lynch, The Grateful Dead and Universal Pictures.
In 1988, Mr. Asher formed and managed Big Pictures, a division of Colossal specializing in long-form film product for all screens. The firm initially collaborated with Hanna-Barbera Productions on The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley for NBC and with King Features on Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery for CBS. Subsequently, Big Pictures produced three seasons of Liquid Television for MTV and the BBC; Back To The Future for Amblin Television, Universal Cartoon Studios and CBS; and The Wish That Changed Christmas, a co-production with Children's Television Workshop, for CBS.
"TELE-TV presents the opportunity to move interactivity beyond the pushing of buttons to pushing the creative envelope," Mr. Asher said. "This represents the holy grail in the inevitable evolution of television, in terms of generating the kinds of new content and new ideas that will excite audience participation."
Mr. Asher's career began at the Ladd Company, followed by a research position at ABC News in New York. In 1982, he joined director Malcolm Clarke to form Filmworks Inc., a New York-based production company specializing in documentary films for television. Filmworks' films appeared originally on ABC, PBS and HBO, and are now available in the home video market. They include Soldiers in Hiding, a documentary about Vietnam Veterans seeking refuge in the wilds around the United States, which was a 1985 Academy Award nominee and Cable Ace winner. The same year, Mr. Asher left Filmworks to produce Trouble On Big Mountain with Joseph Kwong, which earned four Emmy nominations.
Mr. Asher graduated from New York University School of the Arts, where he received a B.A. degree in Film and Television in 1980.
TELE-TV, headquartered in New York, is a media and technology company created by Bell Atlantic (NYSE: BEL), NYNEX (NYSE: NYN), and Pacific Telesis (NYSE: PAC). The TELE-TV Media division is based in Los Angeles. The TELE-TV System division is based in Reston, Va., with offices in San Ramon, California. TELE-TV will develop and offer nationally branded, traditional and interactive home entertainment, and information services over wireless and telephone networks in six of the nation's top seven markets beginning next year.
NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.