‘Wife Swap’ Production Company Loses Its Leader

Chris Coelen, CEO of reality factory RDF USA, unexpectedly bolts

Last Updated: December 10, 2009 @ 6:16 PM

In a head-scratching development, reality power RDF USA is parting ways with founding CEO Chris Coelen.

Variety, which broke the news of Coelen’s exit earlier this evening, suggest Coelen and RDF’s overseas owners couldn’t come to terms on a new deal. The news comes on the same day RDF announced Natalka Znak was moving from the UK to assume an executive VP role at RDF USA.

Coelen’s departure is a shocker given the company’s rapid expansion and solid track record for success. Coelen and his team have sold dozens of series, launched innovative management deals with networks such as MTV (Coelen oversaw a management unit tied to RDF) and kept existing hits such as "Wife Swap" successful.

No word yet on what Coelen’s next move will be. Before joining RDF four years ago, Coelen ran UTA’s alternative department.