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Longtime media executive Herb Scannell has been named CEO of Latino-centric digital media company MiTu.
Scannell, who will start in the new job immediately, replaces co-founder and CEO Roy Burstin in the role. Co-founder and president Beatriz Acevedo will remain at the company and take on an expanded role to oversee content production, talent development and social impact efforts.
Scannell was most recently president of North America at BBC Worldwide. He left the U.S. production and distribution arm of the British broadcaster in 2015. Prior to joining BBC Worldwide, Scannell was the founding CEO of online video start-up Next New Networks, which YouTube acquired in 2011. He spent a decade at Nickelodeon, serving as the kids’ channel’s president from 1996 to 2006, overseeing the launch of properties including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats. During that time, he also served as vice chairman of MTV Networks.
Scannell, whose mother is Puerto Rican, said in a statement that “MiTu’s promise speaks to me professionally and personally.” He added, “I have long advocated that the Latino market is underserved. Within a generation Latinos are projected to represent the majority of youth in the U.S. and the most influential and sought-after audience in entertainment. So when the chance to run the fastest growing digital media company in the sector came up, I was very excited to join Beatriz and the team.”
Five-year-old MiTu launched during the heyday of YouTube’s networks, focusing on the Latino market while others including Fullscreen and Maker Studios had more broad networks of creators. The company has raised more than $40 million from investors, including Upfront Ventures, AMC Networks and Shari Redstone’s Advancit Capital. But while many other so-called multichannel networks have sold, including Maker to Disney and Fullscreen to The Chernin Group’s Otter Media, MiTu was not part of that flurry of dealmaking.
Today, MiTu says it has 650 million monthly video views and reaches 100 million monthly unique viewers with programming such as Netflix comedy special They Can’t Deport Us All with Chingo Bling and Watchable series Cholos Try.
Of Scannell, Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster said, “It’s rare to find somebody who was at the top of industry in traditional media and has also run a successful internet start-up that was sold to YouTube. Herb is a genius at leading the creation of new content formats. The fact that he’s also Latino was just incredible.”
Added Acevedo, “I have so much respect for Herb and for the legendary brands and franchises he built, so I am incredibly excited to now have the opportunity to partner and work alongside him and build our MiTu brand as the voice of this generation.”
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