“Beyond Howard’s incredible television acumen existed a man who truly cared for everyone he encountered in a way unique from anyone I have ever met,” said Rob LaPlante, executive VP turned co-owner of Schultz’s company, Lighthearted Entertainment, said in a statement. “TV has lost a visionary mind, and we have lost a mentor in life.” PHOTOS: Reality TV’s biggest scandals Schultz first made a name for himself in Hollywood as the executive producer of the dating game showStuds in 1991, after which he founded Lighthearted. As CEO, his companywent on to produce, among others, ABC’sExtreme Makeover; the Fox game showThe Moment of Truth, which featured contestants get women taking lie-detector tests; the MTV dating show Are You the One?; the TNT reality series 72 Hours, in which contestants were parachuted into the wilderness and forced to make a go of it for three days; and, most recently, Dating Naked, which has been renewed for a second season. Per Deadline , Lighthearted had just sold 10 episodes of a new reality-competition show, Twinning, to VH1 and it will premiere in summer 2015. In an interview with Real Screen earlier this month, Schultz credited his collaboration with LaPlante and VP of development Josh Spangler for Lighthearted’s continued success and banner 2014. VH1 “Obviously everything that has happened from that relationship is sort of the secret sauce,” Schultz said.
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