Whisper hires former ITV director of Daytime for push into factual and entertainment
Former ITV director of Daytime, Helen Warner, is joining The Whisper Group as chief creative officer to lead its push into factual and entertainment, following the recent investment in the business by Sony Pictures Television.
Starting on 9 March, Warner will be tasked with developing global entertainment and factual formats, as well as building an IP catalogue for the group, which includes Whisper, Chapter 3 Graphics and East Media.
Whisper has become one of the UK’s fastest growing independent production companies thanks to its impressive sports and live events slate. Within Whisper, Warner will lead on unscripted ventures, while managing director Mark Cole will remain in charge of its sports and live division.
A former head of Daytime for Channel 4 and ITV spanning an eleven year period, Warner is also a best-selling author. Her career highlights include launching Loose Women, reformatting Come Dine With Me for primetime (propelling it to become a successful global format), as well as launching Good Morning Britain, Tenable and Judge Rinder.
Warner will be joined in her new position by head of development, Helen Dower, and development executive, Yasmin Pasha, who are coming to Whisper from ITV and Brown Bob respectively. Dower and Pasha will join Whisper’s existing inhouse development team to bolster its development capabilities.
Sport will remain fundamental to Whisper, as will its ambition to constantly seek new ways to entertain in this genre. Often looking outside of sport to develop its productions, Warner’s entertainment experience will be drawn upon to offer added value across Whisper’s sports portfolio, which includes Formula One, NFL and The Paralympics.
Warner commented: “As a sports fan, I’ve always been so impressed by Whisper’s ambition, vision and excellence in sports production, so I was thrilled to be asked to lead their push into entertainment and factual. Sport is the ultimate in dramatic, emotional story-telling, so it’s a great base on which to build an unscripted business. I have huge admiration for both the Whisper and Sony teams I’ll be working with and can’t wait to get started. Having realised my dream of writing a number one bestseller that’s being optioned, I was ready for a new challenge in TV.”
Jake Humphrey, Whisper co-founder said: “I am so pleased about Helen joining us; it’s rare that someone with her experience and proven track record becomes available. The fact that she has chosen Whisper speaks volumes about the continued momentum of the business. For Whisper, Chapter 3 Graphics and East Media, these are incredibly exciting times.”
Sunil Patel, Whisper CEO and co-founder, added: “Helen joining us shows a real intent to deliver on our ambitions. The strength of our business is our people and this appointment demonstrates our continuing mission of being a destination for the best talent in the industry. Helen will work across the whole Whisper Group, also supporting Whisper’s investments, East Media and Chapter 3 Graphics with her 25+ years of industry experience. Helen is the impact hire we have been looking to make over the last year and signals an exciting new chapter for both The Group and Whisper.”