Advanced Television

Hearst TV promotes Ling

February 1, 2023

Laura Ling, an award-winning journalist and veteran of local and network television news and documentary production, who since 2021 has served as Hearst Television’s director of programming for its streaming video services group, has been promoted to vice president of Very Local, a division of Hearst Television, overseeing programming for the rapidly growing streaming unit.

The promotion, effective immediately, was made today by Jordan Wertlieb, president of Hearst Television, and Andrew Fitzgerald, Hearst Television’s senior vice president, streaming video services.

In this new role, Ling oversees the strategy and team responsible for new, locally focused original programming for Very Local, which Hearst Television launched in 2021 to provide original non-scripted programming across genres with a focus on production in Hearst Television’s more than two dozen local media markets.  The Very Local team produces more than 100 hours of content a year, including more than a dozen titles and hundreds of interstitial programs, and manages the schedules of more than two dozen FAST channels.

“Laura is an exceptional creative mind and leader whose work highlighting local communities across the United States has broken new ground for Hearst Television, allowing us to tell more original stories celebrating localism,” Wertlieb said. “Her focus on quality story-telling and innovative concepts has been crucial to the development of our Very Local streaming product.”

Ling has been responsible for the development of more than a dozen new original unscripted concepts for Very Local such as Finding Adventure, Maker Nation, My Amazing Cheap Date, Eat Play Stay, and Plate It!, and has overseen the production of original documentaries such as Prom(ish).  Her teams engage with internal producers across Hearst Television, its parent company, Hearst, and other production companies across the United States.

“Laura is one of the most talented executives and documentarians I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Her sense of storytelling, her innate instinct for the narratives that celebrate the people and communities we serve, and her mentorship and leadership of creative talent are all unparalleled.” added Fitzgerald. “She is a master producer, with an eye to every detail and a mind to the overall strategy.”

Prior to Hearst Television, Ling served as head of development for Discovery Digital Networks and VP of news and documentaries at Current TV.  She has worked as a producer and host for E!, Discovery, Z Living and Channel One News, and her work has appeared on projects for Nightline, NBC, PBS and elsewhere.  Ling has been awarded an Emmy, a national Edward R. Murrow Award, a Gracie Award, and the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage, and was named one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year. Her work on Vanguard on Current TV was awarded a Peabody, a Prism, and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award among others. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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