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Matthew Henick, who has been leading BuzzFeed’s push to make television shows and films, is decamping for a new job at Facebook.
Henick has been tapped to lead video content strategy and planning for the social network, which has been in the process of building up its video business. He will be relocating to Menlo Park and will report to vp media partnerships Nick Grudin.
“Facebook is just setting out on its journey to become a new kind of video platform for the world, and the opportunity to tag along was just too good to pass up,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
At BuzzFeed, Henick has overseen the digital media brand’s film and TV output. It has been in development on Brother Orange, a film adaptation of a series of BuzzFeed articles by Matt Stopera, with Warner Bros. BuzzFeed has also set a true crime series at Oxygen based on reporting by Katie J.M. Baker about the mysterious death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers. BuzzFeed Studios has also sold projects to YouTube Red and Verizon’s go90, among other distributors.
Henick joined BuzzFeed in 2014 and served as head of development at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures until a reorganization put him in charge of the newly renamed BuzzFeed Studios — and its 40 employees — earlier this year.
A BuzzFeed spokesman says a search is underway for a seasoned creative executive with deal-making experience and existing Hollywood relationships to fill Henick’s role. “We love Henick, wish him all the very best of luck, and look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his new role,” the spokesman said in a statement. “He leaves our fast-growing studio business in great shape, and we’re excited to bring aboard a new leader for the group who will take it to the next level.”
Prior to BuzzFeed, Henick worked as an intern and later assistant for Judd Apatow and as a writer and startup consultant. He graduated from the USC Peter Stark Producing Program and co-founded a ringtone website while he was still in high school.
Facebook has placed a greater emphasis on video over the last few years. In August, it launched a new video platform, Watch, through which it has begun to fund shortform and traditional-length series. Henick is expected to work on projects for both Watch and videos that are published to the Newsfeed. He will work to set strategy that will optimize how partners like BuzzFeed use video on the platform.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for my time at BuzzFeed. Every day I got to tinker, experiment and invest new ways of engaging and entertaining people with the greatest, most creative team,” Henick added. “I learned everything I know about harnessing the massive scale of platforms like Facebook to connect with audiences in intimate, authentic ways. I look forward to working with my BuzzFeed friends in my new role, along with so many other partners around the globe.”
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