Thrillist has tapped an entertainment industry veteran as it places increased emphasis on video production.
The digital publisher, known for its food, travel and lifestyle programming geared toward young men, has named Ocean MacAdams as its president, replacing co-founder Adam Rich in the role. At Thrillist, MacAdams will oversee an editorial team of 75 employees, as well as lead marketing and promotion of the brand. Further, MacAdams, who spent years in Hollywood before jumping to a content role at camera company GoPro, will oversee video production efforts for the company.
Thrillist has made video a large focus since it was rolled up into Discovery-backed Group Nine Media, which also owns The Dodo, NowThis and Seeker. Earlier this year, Thrillist laid off about 20 employees in an effort to reorganize around its video efforts. The publisher says video views have more than tripled over the last year, and it plans to invest further into social, over-the-top, linear and VR programming.
“Thrillist is extremely committed to bringing our audience great programming across all the different platforms where they spend their time,” said Thrillist co-founder and Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer. “Ocean has extensive experience in developing and producing great content across digital and TV — and his leadership will be invaluable to Thrillist as we continue to expand and explore new types of content creation.”
MacAdams most recently led the entertainment division of GoPro, which was shut down late last year as part of a larger restructuring at the company. During his early career, MacAdams spent more than a decade at MTV, rising to become senior vp at the network. He went on to become a programming executive at Current TV and later served as general manager of The Warner Sound, where he launched Warner Music Group’s YouTube Channel. He also oversaw programming and acquisitions at MSG Networks.
“I’ve been a fan of Thrillist literally since the day it launched, and I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at this important point in the company’s history,” he said. “I believe that Group Nine can become the next great media company, and Thrillist is a key part of their future. The audience, the reputation for editorial excellence and the brand loyalty that Thrillist has built over the years is hard to duplicate, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
MacAdams, who will split his time between Thrillist’s New York headquarters and San Francisco outpost, starts this week and will report to Lerer. Thrillist chief creative officer Ben Robinson will report to MacAdams and will continue to run daily editorial operations at the company. Rich will now serve as senior adviser and work on special projects for Thrillist.