YouTube has made two big hires from the TV world to bolster its YouTube Red originals initiative: Angela Courtin, formerly chief marketing officer of Fox Broadcasting, and Jon Wax, previously head of scripted programming for WGN America and Tribune Studios.
Wax will lead drama, scripted and current programming for YouTube Red, reporting to Susanne Daniels, global head of original content. Courtin will serve as the global head of YouTube TV and originals marketing; she reports to Jodi Ropert, who leads subscription marketing for YouTube.
The moves show that YouTube is stepping up its efforts to widen the appeal of its subscription-based original content as well as the ad-supported series it’s bringing to the platform. Overall, the moves promise to result in more shows from traditional TV talent for YouTube Red — which has largely comprised of shows featuring homegrown YouTube stars.
In addition, YouTube announced that it’s expanding the duties of Dustin Davis to be head of comedy development and current programming for the platform, reporting to Daniels. He joined YouTube Red as head of current series a year ago from ABC, where he oversaw shows such as “Black-ish,” “Happy Endings” and “Last Man Standing.”
At the Television Critics Association tour in L.A. earlier this month, YouTube Red unveiled a 10-episode series order for “Cobra Kai,” a half-hour comedy series reuniting “Karate Kid” stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in their roles from the original film. Other recent YouTube Red pickups include “Impulse,” a drama from Universal Cable Productions and executive producer Doug Liman, and two comedy series from Rob Huebel and Ryan Hansen.
Wax joined WGN America in 2013. During his tenure as EVP of scripted programming, the network launched four dramas — “Manhattan,” which earned the net its first-ever Emmy Award; “Salem”; “Underground”; and “Outsiders.” Before that, Wax spent nearly 15 years in various roles at both Twentieth Century Fox TV and Fox Broadcasting where he helped shepherd series including “Prison Break,” “Bones,” “24,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Firefly.” He’ll start at YouTube in the coming months.
Courtin joined Fox in 2015, and exited this past March. Previously, she was CMO of Relativity Media, which she joined about a year before it filed for bankruptcy. Before that Courtin was president of Dentsu Aegis Network U.S. after service as chief content officer for Aegis Media. She’s also held executive marketing positions at MTV and MySpace, and served as an associate producer on HBO’s “Big Love.”
Wax and Courtin will join the rest of the YouTube Red exec team, which includes head of unscripted programming Ben Relles and head of international originals Alex Carloss (who acquired unscripted series “Run, BigBang Scout” starring members of South Korean boy band BigBang, YouTube Red’s first non-English language original). Both Relles and Carloss report to Daniels.