Martinez, who lives in both Los Angeles and New York City, reports to Endemol Beyond USA president Will Keenan and will be based in the L.A. office. “Rico is one of the few people in the entertainment industry right now who has producing experience with television geared towards a younger demographic combined with real credibility and success in the digital space,” Keenan said in announcing the hire.
At Endemol Beyond USA, Martinez will be responsible for content and programming initiatives, particularly focused in the areas of comedy, scripted originals, music and reality. That includes developing premium content for Endemol talent such as Pitbull, YouTube beauty mogul Michelle Phan and Vine star Brittany Furlan.
Most recently, Martinez worked on programming for Maker Studios, now owned by Disney. He exec produced and helmed “Oh, You Pretty Things!” for Maker in partnership with Nylon TV. In addition, he directed series “In Transition” starring comedian Margaret Cho, which appeared on Cho’s Maker-affiliated YouTube channel. Martinez has also written, executive produced and directed shows for MTV, VH1, WB, NBC, Fox, Oxygen, CMT, A&E, WE tv, Lifetime and History Channel, including VH1’s hybrid-reality sitcom series “The Cho Show.”
Keenan joined Endemol from Maker Studios last fall. Other recent hires include former Disney executive and entrepreneur David B. Williams as chief content and technology strategist; chief social media officer Jacob Shwirtz, formerly head of social TV at Viacom’s MTV Networks; and Leslie Morgan as executive director of lifestyle vertical network and programming.
Endemol Beyond USA part of Endemol Beyond, the TV production company’s global venture launched in November 2013 to create content for digital platforms including YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Dailymotion. Endemol said it was investing $40 million investment in the initiative.