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Discovery to launch int’l TLC content unit

Discovery is launching an international content unit to produce local programming for its female skewing network TLC International.

The factual operator announced plans to roll out TLC internationally in March with initial launches in Norway and is aiming to be in 100 million homes by the start of 2011.

It is looking to develop and produce local lifestyle formats to target women 25-49.

It has hired former Pulse Films exec Sarah Thornton to head up development and production across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Thornton previously worked at the UK indie, working on its hit reality series Pineapple Studios.

The company has also appointed Jon Sechrist to focus on production and development. Sechrist will move to Discovery Networks International (DNI) from the US cable network, where he produced its breakout hit Cake Boss.

The unit will be overseen by Luis Silberwasser, senior VP and international head of content, DNI, and Darcy Tomlin, VP, programming, DNI will run day-to-day operations for TLC International.

“While we will leverage the pipeline of rich content across TLC and Discovery’s portfolio of networks, we will focus our efforts on creating distinct programming designed specifically for TLC on an international level,” said Silberwasser.