15,000 HOURS “LIVE” ON THE AIR!
With a Peabody, a mantle of Emmys, and an amazing cast of TV characters from around the world, Ray’s track record is clear and quantifiable: From early morning to prime time, Raymond J Brune (bru’-nee) has built a career on producing personalities. Some of the most famous faces on the air, on the web and streaming in the palm of your hand were discovered and/or mentored by Ray. As an Executive Producer for local, cable, network and digital morning shows, he’s produced more than 15,000 hours of personality-driven, “live” TV from the control room… and counting. As CEO of his own production company, he’s created prime-time docu-dramas, court and game shows that are airing & streaming in syndication around the globe.
Ray has been called the “Father of Los Angeles morning TV” by longtime L.A. anchorman Carlos Amezcua. His expertise and success in morning TV is unparalleled. Perfect example – Ray was recruited to create and EP Eye Opener, the national morning show for the Tribune station group. The show premiered in May of 2011 and in just 10 weeks on the air in its Houston test market, beat the local and network competition in the 18-35 & 18-49 demo. In 2014, he was recruited back to Eye Opener to fix it after losing its way. In just six months he added 50% more viewers to the show.
On the network level, Ray was hired by legendary news pioneer Roone Arledge to Executive Produce Good Morning America/Sunday. There, he used ESPN reporter Robin Roberts to fill-in as guest host. We all know how that turned out… Ray began his tenure at ABC as Executive Producer of World News Now, the network’s top-rated overnight news broadcast. He was the first to produce Anderson Cooper in a network anchor chair. And we also know how that turned out…
Ray first woke up Los Angeles with his irreverent approach to morning television – the KTLA Morning News. With its mix of news, off-beat celebrity interviews, and casual conversation, the two-hour program (later expanded to four hours) was consistently #1-rated for 14 consecutive sweeps under Ray’s watch. His format for the show was, according to Tribune executive John Reardon, “the most copied and imitated format of any show in the history of television.” And the show was the highest-rated local morning program -ever-.
Early in his career, Ray was the 11pm producer at WDIV Detroit, WBNS Columbus, WSAZ Charleston-Huntington, and WLWT Cincinnati, his first job where he produced then anchorman Jerry Springer.
As Vice President & Executive Producer of E! Network‘s global news division, Ray launched the network’s flagship news franchise E! News Live and grew the highly-desirable adult 18-49 demo by a whopping 100%, and its women 18-34 demo by 86%. He discovered Giuliana Rancic who would become the face of the network. Ray also added the highly-rated E! News Weekend to feed the insatiable appetite for entertainment news and oversaw E! News Live’s launch on Foxtel in Australia. E! News Live is seen in 300 countries around the world in 17 languages.
But Ray’s news chops are only part of his story. He remains on the bleeding edge of broadcasting with a string of successful reality, court and game shows. Partnering with the legendary Merv Griffin, Ray created and EP’d two seasons of Lisa Williams: Life Among The Dead on Lifetime.
He created the tense court docu-drama Second Verdict, which aired a full season on PAX, and he convinced Merv to finally finish developing the sister game show to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, Merv Griffin’s Crosswords, which launched 225 episodes into syndication and spawned ancillary products including video games, board games and books. He’s sold the female MMA show Knockouts to VH1, Guardian Angel to ABC, and Dream Horse to CBS. He’s EP’d Restless Josie, a female extreme sports show for TuffTV, and James & Sunda, the #1 prime-time comedy series on the JLTV network which is seen in 116 countries around the world.
Ray’s role as Vice President and General Manager of the Fox-produced TVG Network brought television and horse racing into the new millennium. The 24-hour, international network, headquartered in Los Angeles combined state-of-the-art digital technology with interactive wagering from home via broadband cable. This first truly interactive TV network was a joint venture between Fox, AT&T and Gemstar/TV Guide International. By its third year on Ray’s watch, TVG became the highest-valued cable network in history to that point, according to SNL Kagan, assessed at a staggering $3 (b)billion.
Ray spent the summer of 2017 on tour across the country – producing a reality series following four misfit standup comedians. The Straightjacket Comedy Tour played to sold-out crowds in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, D.C., and Chicago. It recently made international headlines when one of the comedians was “outed”:
During his career, Ray picked up four Emmy Awards, eight additional Emmy nominations, a Peabody station award for KTLA’s continuing coverage of Rodney King, three Best Newscast awards from the Associated Press, three Golden Mike Nominations, and a Prism for an E! News special.
Ray is an avid writer. He’s published three books on his TV news experiences. In 2016, he was invited by Arianna Huffington herself to become a contributor to the Huffington Post.
A Cincinnati native, Ray attended Northern Kentucky University alongside classmate George Clooney… and we all know how that turned out! Ray’s made the stunning landscape of California’s Mojave Desert his home for more than 20 years but spends a lot of time with family in Cincinnati. He raises rescued German Shepherds and rescues long-forgotten cheesy, made-for-TV movies of the ’70’s. …so let’s see how this all turns out!