Verizon Hearst Media Partners will introduce its first two new multiplatform digital video channels at tonight’s Digital Content NewFronts in New York City: RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV. AOL’s presentation takes place at 6 pm. For more information visit iab.com/digital-content-newfronts-2016-aol/.
RatedRed.com is a multiplatform digital video channel for millennials from the heartland, offering this audience a brand of their own, with a lens on the world via news updates, documentaries and scripted and nonscripted series across topics like music, food, outdoor life, military affairs, politics and faith.
Seriously.TV is a multiplatform digital video channel offering comedic news updates throughout the day at a time when younger viewers are turning to their phones instead of late-night programming for their take on world events.
RatedRed.com’s editorial team is located in Nashville, and Seriously.TV is based in New York. Both channels will be creating premium content for Verizon’s go90™ platform and the development team for RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV is based in L.A. The central product team is based in New York. Both channels have amassed top creative and on-air talent, including:
Todd Schwarzschild, RatedRed.com Channel Leader: Schwarzschild is an Emmy Award winning investigative reporter for CNN with a decade of experience. He also helped launch and lead a team of 90 young people as VP of programming and production at the Back9 Network, a golf lifestyle channel.
Mark Somers, Executive Producer, News: Somers produced CNN Headline News’ Daily Share, where he used analytics to turn social media trends into compelling television. He previously worked for The Weather Channel and the Investigative Unit at Court TV.
Tommy Davis, Executive Producer, Documentaries: Documentarian who has produced for VICE and HBO and is an audience award winner at SXSW.
Jeff Winkler: Winkler’s articles have appeared in Texas Monthly, VICE, Oxford American and The New Republic.
Richard Ryan, Executive Producer: Ryan’s YouTube channel Full Mag has 1.8 million subscribers, specializing in edgy outdoor life content. He is also a reporter for RatedRed.com.
Paxton Elrod: Elrod formerly worked at CMT Radio and Knoxville NBC affiliate WBIR-TV.
Abby Casey: Specializing in outdoor lifestyle content, Casey has been producing and starring in her own YouTube series, RealTree Outdoors, for the past two years.
Ethan T. Berlin, Channel Leader: Berlin formerly worked with HBO’s Da Ali G Show and TruTV’s Billy on the Street.
Robyn Adams, Head Writer: Adams was a producer and writer for Triumph’s Election Special 2016 with Robert Smigel for Hulu.
Max Browning, Executive Producer, News: Browning served as a senior producer at The Daily Show since 2007.
Sachi Ezura, Executive Producer of Development: Ezura was the director of Original Programming at IFC, as well as a producer of MTV’s Girl Code and manager of talent and development at MTV2.
Jenny Morrissey, Executive Producer of Field: Morrissey was a producer for Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report and top comedy names including Jim Norton, Amy Sedaris and John Hodgman.
Saurin Choksi: Choksi is the former host of the White Guy Talk Show on Fuse TV. He has performed at top comedy venues including Caroline’s in New York and The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Choksi has been featured on Fox TV and Sirius/XM Radio.
Mary Houlihan: A stand-up comedian, writer and actress, Houlihan has appeared on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live and TruTV’s Billy on the Street. She has also written for MTV and created animated shorts for Saturday Morning(ish) Cartoons on Comedy Central.
Nore Davis: Davis has performed at the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and acted on shows including Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, HBO’s Last Week Tonight and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
Delaney Yeager: Yeager is a writer and performer, known for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and Sundance’s The Approval Matrix.
Premium Development Team (Scripted, Nonscripted Series for go90™)
Justin Killion, Head of Premium Development: Killion developed Storage Wars and Ice Road Truckers. He served as executive producer for Brent Montgomery’s ITV Studios and previously work with Thomas Beers’ Original Productions.
Melanie Moreau, Development: Moreau developed programming for CMT for over 10 years and served as executive producer for more than 30 original series including Party Down South, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, Redneck Island and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.
Corey Moss, Development: Moss is a digital specialist who has developed shows for AwesomenessTV, YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, Vevo and many more. He also ran the digital division at the PYE comedy talent management company.
Brian Silbert, Development: Silbert served as a development and production executive on Impractical Jokers for TruTV and was previously with Pilgrim Studios where he produced Orange County Choppers.
Cory Stern, Development: Stern developed Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City at Comedy Central.
Central Product Team
David Rubin, Head of Production: Formerly with 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, CBS This Morning and NBC News Washington Bureau.
Theo Burry, Chief Technology Officer: Formerly CTO at NowThisNews. Also worked at AOL, Huffington Post and The New York Times.
David Vogler, Executive Creative Director, Head of Design: Formerly with Hulu, NBCUniversal, MTV Networks and The Walt Disney Company.
Announced in March, RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV are a part of Verizon Hearst Media Partners, a 50/50 joint venture to build new multiplatform digital video channels targeting the mobile millennial audience. It pairs Verizon’s leading technology and Hearst’s digital video content and production capabilities to develop channels of video programming to be distributed across go90™, AOL and other distribution platforms, as well as through third-party networks and licensors.
“From Complex to AwesomenessTV and RatedRed.com to Seriously.TV, we are quickly working to expand our joint portfolio of robust millennial-focused digital video channels to bring this audience more original and dynamic content they demand,” said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. “The digital video landscape is continuing to evolve, and we are making strategic bets in the strongest ideas, brands and management in this space.”
“With Hearst, we envision becoming the brand that influences culture and spurs conversation among an audience that’s as influential as it is broad,” said Shawn Strickland, Verizon’s General Manager of Media Investments and Production. “Our media strategy is focused on the disruption that is occurring in digital media and content distribution, and involves building a portfolio, a network of the emerging digital brands of the future for the millennial and Gen Z audiences.”
The Digital Content NewFronts is an annual series of events founded by AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, and Yahoo in 2012. The 10-day marketplace for advertisers and media buyers will spotlight the latest in original digital video programming, featuring well-known talent and innovative storytelling. For the fourth year in a row, IAB will serve as managing partner of the NewFronts, handling event logistics and marketing and communications.
Verizon Communications, Inc. (verizon.com), headquartered in New York City, generated nearly $132 billion in 2015 revenues. Verizon operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with 112.6 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
Hearst (hearst.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; majority ownership of global ratings agency Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; 30 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, Calif., which reach a combined 19 percent of U.S. viewers; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Albany Times Union, more than 300 magazines around the world including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR and Car and Driver; digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA; and investments in emerging digital and video companies such as BuzzFeed, VICE and AwesomenessTV.