Defy Media Expands Original Content Strategy With New Hires

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Christopher Willey has joined the company as vp development, while Alex Lin joins as director of development.

Defy Media has hired two new executives with TV development experience to help it manage its growing slate of original programming. 

The company behind comedy duo Smosh announced on Tuesday that it has appointed Christopher Willey as vp development. Willey most recently headed development for Conde Nast Entertainment but spent eight years at MTV before jumping into digital. Defy has also tapped Alex Lin as director of development. He comes from NBC Entertainment, where we was manager of comedy development. Both Willey and Lin will report to Defy chief content officer Barry Blumberg

"Chris and Alex are instrumental hires as we ramp up development and production to meet the increasing demand for our content as we expand our distribution with new partners in SVOD, OTT and other streaming platforms," said Blumberg. "We fully expect them to play key roles as we build on the must-watch programming our company has become known for." 

Defy currently produces more than 35 weekly series, including Honest Trailers and Beauty Break, and also has plans for several new shows in the works. Among them is an original Smosh series, which was part of YouTube's first slate of funded programming and will debut early next year. Defy is also producing three originals for Verizon's go90 that will launch early next year. Additional projects in the works include America High Five (working title), from Trevor Moore, and Blind Dates (working title) from Theo Von

Earlier this year, Defy announced a deal with WME to package its originals for television. As part of the deal, Defy is working with RatPac Entertainment on develop several concepts.