Pair set up online content venture
Shine chair Elisabeth Murdoch and Joanna Shields, former topper of social networking site Bebo, have formed a company that will operate across TV production and online social media.The as-yet-unnamed entity aims to “pioneer innovative methods and formats, encourage viewer engagement and monetize original content.” It plans to invest in and develop “cross-discipline partnerships” involving TV shows and social media, while enabling Shine to beef up the online exploitation of its content. Shields will begin work as CEO of the new venture Oct. 1 and will join Shine’s advisory board. In common with Murdoch, she is well regarded for her entrepreneurial mindset, having spearheaded the sale of Bebo to AOL for $850 million in early 2008. At Bebo, Shields pioneered the production of tailor-made content by commissioning online shows “KateModern” and “Sofia’s Diary,” which helped the social networking site gain traction with young femmes. Murdoch and Shields are understood to have worked together in Blighty as fund-raisers for President Obama’s election campaign. The prospect of two such driven execs joining up is bound to attract attention from potential investors.