Thornton Fractional South graduate lands VP job at CBS

2010-09-05T00:00:00Z Thornton Fractional South graduate lands VP job at CBSBy Carrie Steinweg Times Correspondent
September 05, 2010 12:00 am  • 

Like many high schoolers, Louis Boyd had big dreams.

After getting involved in drama in junior high, Boyd started doing experimental theater as a freshman at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing. He acted in school plays. He learned about lighting and sound and managing a production. He got a good sense of what things are like behind the scenes, which has come in handy with his new appointment at CBS.

After graduating from T.F. South, Boyd went on to Milliken University in Decatur, Ill., where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in theater/acting.

"From there, I wanted to live the dream and go out to Los Angeles to be an actor," Boyd said.

A couple months after his college graduation, he was on his way to the West Coast to pursue an acting career.

"I had my struggles," he said. "I eventually worked side jobs and did catering and then I got into production."

His first job in the field was as a production assistant for the show "Celebrity Mole Hawaii" on ABC. From there, Boyd said he worked his way up to becoming a coordinator on other shows.

Most recently, he was a coordinating producer for seasons one and two of the Food Network's "Chef vs. City."

In between the two seasons, he worked as a producer/director of the Style Network's "How Do I Look?" which earned him a Daytime Emmy nomination. The award went to Martha Stewart, but Boyd said he was "truly honored" to be part of the show and be nominated for an award.

As he learned of the nomination, he also got more good news. Boyd was hired in June as the vice president of alternative programming for CBS.

In his new position, he works closely with Executive Vice President Jen Bresnan on the network's current reality shows and on new shows that are in the development phase. That means he's overseeing production of such shows as "Survivor," "Amazing Race," "Undercover Boss" and "Big Brother."

"It's a really great opportunity to work with these shows that have proven themselves year after year," Boyd said. "We're always busy in pre- and post-production. We're going live with 12th season of 'Big Brother' and premieres of 'Amazing Race' and 'Survivor' are airing in September. We're currently in production for the second season of 'Undercover Boss.' It's a feel-good show."

Boyd is now going into production for the 22nd season of "Survivor" and the 18th season of "Amazing Race."

"It's great to be part of these shows with a great track record. We're holding strong. 'Big Brother 12' had its highest ratings ever for the show this past week," he said.

Now that he's gotten into the production end of the industry, Boyd recognizes how valuable his experience behind the stage in high school and college was. His advice for youngsters who want to follow in his footsteps: "Get as much experience as you can early on. Figure the path you want to go on and don't be afraid to go for it."


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