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BuzzFeed Motion Pictures has appointed a publisher to oversee operations and growth at the studio.
Michelle Kempner comes into the role after a little more than a year at BFMP, where she started as a video product lead before quickly rising to director of operations. With her elevated title, she will work closely with BFMP president Ze Frank to oversee the non-creative lifecycle of a video produced at BFMP, from research to production to studio to post-production. Her purview also includes social, data and international initiatives. Meanwhile, the creative team will continue to report directly to Frank.
“As we grow, Michelle’s work will maintain a culture of test and learn, ensure employees have access to the resources they need, and scale BFMP operations in support of a worldwide video team across BuzzFeed,” Frank wrote in a memo to employees.
BuzzFeed started BFMP in August 2014 as the Los Angeles-based video arm that produces content for YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Vine and other social video platforms. Today the main BuzzFeed channel on YouTube has nearly 4.9 billion views.
Although it operates separately from BuzzFeed’s editorial division, BFMP retains much of the company culture that CEO Jonah Peretti has created, and part of Kempner’s role will be to retain that culture at the studio. She said her role was inspired by that of BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen, with whom she works closely.
Kempner pointed to a recent memo from Peretti that outlines BuzzFeed’s primary goal as building a global news and entertainment network that can live on a variety of platforms. “I’m making sure that as we grow, we stay true to our principals,” she said, noting that she’s especially focused on helping the studio expand into new cultures with content tailored for international audiences. Kempner added: “Jonah’s memo really captured the excitement around where we’re going.”
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