HBO, AwesomenessTV Veterans Land at Social Video Startup Fresno (Exclusive)
Tim Mohn, who helped create HBO GO while at the cable network, will serve as chief technology officer, while Grant Gibson, former head of digital programming at AwesomenessTV, will run content science.
Fresno, a startup using social media data to create targeted video content for platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, has tapped two industry veterans to help build out its business.
The company has appointed former HBO technologist Timothy Mohn as its chief technology officer and former AwesomenessTV programming executive Grant Gibson as head of content science.
"We continue to assemble a team of innovators who share our vision that developing intelligent content by infusing premium programming with proprietary data and insights is the future of media," said Fresno founder and CEO Rob Goldberg. "Tim and Grant are strong additions and we will draw on their deep technical and content strategy experience as we ramp up our growth this year and beyond."
Mohn most recently served as an adviser to startups and entrepreneurs in the media and augmented reality and virtual reality spaces. Prior to that, he spent two years as CTO of Fullscreen, the digital media company owned by Otter Media. He has also held roles at Comcast and HBO, where he helped to create the over-the-top streaming app HBO Go.
Mohn has been working with Fresno for the last year, but now is taking on a full-time role. As CTO, he will oversee Fresno's technology team and will continue to develop the company's content and audience intelligence platform, known as PCH. "I am looking forward to working with Rob and the team to continue to evolve what a modern media company can be," he said in a statement.
Gibson has spent the last several years working as head of programming at AwesomenessTV, where he managed more than 2,000 piece of content a year for platforms such as YouTube and go90. He joined the DreamWorks Animation-owned company when it bought talent management firm Big Frame, for which he served as head of audience development.
In his new role with Fresno, Gibson will process raw data into insights that can be used to create original programming and validate concepts pitched by content creators. "We've reached a tipping point, where the volume and depth of ingestible data can tell us what audiences truly want to watch," said Gibson. "Rob's vision to combine these insights with the emotional power of Hollywood storytelling represents a true evolution of the modern media company."
Fresno, launched in 2016, is so named because the city represents the halfway point between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. The company sees itself as a mix of those two industries, providing data insights to help identify content that will connect with audiences and then distribute those videos to the right people. Fresno has worked with Jimmy Kimmel to co-produce Cousin Sal's Sure Thing, which premiered on Facebook in September.