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AT&T is putting one of its longtime digital executives in charge of Otter Media, its joint venture with The Chernin Group.
Tony Goncalves is joining the video-centric business as CEO.
He comes to Otter Media, the owner of Fullscreen and Crunchyroll, with an intimate understanding of the business. In his role as CEO of digital brands for AT&T, he oversaw the telecom giant’s piece of the Otter investment. He also led the strategy for DirecTV Now, AT&T’s foray into an over-the-top television offering.
A Sharp and Samsung veteran, Goncalves joined DirecTV in 2007 and has held a number of roles at the cable company and its parent company.
“Tony has been our partner on Otter Media for almost four years, and during that time, it was evident that he is a thoughtful, strategic executive who is hugely passionate about furthering the growth of one of the premiere digital media companies,” said Otter Media chairman Peter Chernin. “Over the last six months, we started discussing having Tony join Otter full-time, and we are delighted that he has agreed to assume the role of CEO. We know he will apply his formidable talents to help us take this company to the next level.”
Otter Media was founded in 2014 through a $500 million investment from AT&T and Chernin Group. The company, which has focused on buying and building digital video and over-the-top video offerings, claims 90 million monthly unique viewers and nearly 100 billion video views in 2017. The Otter portfolio includes investments in Van Toffler’s Gunpowder & Sky and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.
Founding CEO Virasb Vahidi left the company in 2015. Sarah Harden had been leading the business as president until she took on the full-time role as CEO of Hello Sunshine.
“I’m honored to join Otter Media,” said Goncalves. “I’m passionate about this company and industry segment, and I’m excited to work with the incredibly talented teams within Otter Media’s portfolio at Ellation, Fullscreen, Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, VRV, Gunpowder & Sky, and Hello Sunshine. Together, we’ll expand Otter’s leadership in the digital media space. These innovative companies have already hit impressive milestones. I look forward to building on this stellar foundation to create a scaled global, digital-first, fan-centric media company.”