×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AOL Hires Viacom’s Dermot McCormack as Head of Video, as Ran Harnevo Exits (Exclusive)

AOL has tapped Viacom exec Dermot McCormack as president of its video division, replacing Ran Harnevo, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

Harnevo has been with AOL since its September 2010 acquisition of 5min Media, the web-video startup he co-founded and led as CEO. After his exit, Harnevo will remain executive producer of AOL’s first long-form original series, “Connected.”

McCormack will lead AOL’s video businesses, comprising about 200 employees. That includes AOL On, the Internet media company’s 14 video channels; the Be On branded-content platform; and AOL Studios, which produces and distributes original programming. At Viacom, he most recently ran Viacom Music & Logo’s Connect Content Group, in charge of all digital initiatives for MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo.

“Dermot is a game-changing talent with experience exactly where we need it — building audiences through engaging programming — and is the person I expect to take AOL’s video efforts to the next level, building on our significant success to date and increasing the pace of our innovation and growth,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in announcing the hire.

Harnevo, in a statement provided by AOL, said, “Building 5min Media as a small startup and then getting acquired four years later to keep going full speed and reach our vision, was the best experience in my professional life… Dermot is the right person to lead AOL On forward, and now it’s time for me to return to my entrepreneurial roots.”

On Twitter, Harnevo put it this way:

McCormack, 45, starts at AOL on Thursday, Oct. 9. He reports to Armstrong and Bob Lord, CEO of the AOL Platforms advertising and technology group, and will be based in both New York City and Los Angeles.

“I’ve been working in the emerging content space of (traditional) media companies for several years,” McCormack said in an interview. “I feel like there’s a whole reinvention that will happen over the next five to 10 years. It’s an interesting evolutionary time.”

McCormack will largely be based in NYC, also overseeing the video tech team in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Beverly Hills-based AOL Studios, which is headed by Nate Hayden following the departure of Gabriel Lewis, who joined Disney’s Maker Studios in August.

Before joining Viacom in 2008, McCormack was Cablevision Systems’ SVP of interactive product management and was co-founder and chief technology officer of online-gift currency startup Flooz.com. Prior to that, McCormack, was one of the first executives at iVillage.com, where he led advertising products and strategy.

Since 2011, AOL has launched nearly 50 original series since 2011, and its library of curated and original video content is now distributed on 15 connected devices, including Apple TV and Roku.

More Digital

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

  • nba-the-bounce-logo

    NBA, Turner to Debut 3-Hour Primetime Live Studio Show on Yahoo Sports

    Coming next week: a new NBA primetime show — delivered over the internet — covering all the live action and storylines of the evening. The NBA is teaming with Turner Sports and Yahoo to produce a live nightly show designed for mobile viewers in a three-hour block, slated to run five nights per week on [...]

  • Ikea Sonos

    Ikea Plans to Launch Its Sonos Speakers in August

    Furniture giant Ikea is getting ready to roll out its Sonos-powered smart speakers later this year: The company revealed in a video Friday that it will launch its Symfonisk line of smart speakers in August. Ikea and Sonos first announced their collaboration in late 2017. Under the plan, Ikea will build internet-connected speakers that are [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Farewell to Concubines: China Tightens Restrictions on Short-Form Videos

    Bad news for some of China’s 600 million users of short-form video platforms: No more content depicting foot fetishes, spoofs of the national anthem or sympathy for extramarital affairs, according to new regulations. Worse news for the companies that serve such consumers: They’re now expected to step up their censorship efforts and assume responsibility for [...]

  • How Meta Struggled to Make AR

    The Story Behind Meta, the AR Startup That Just Had Its Assets Sold to a Mystery Buyer

    “It’s a pretty dramatic moment in my life.” To say that Meron Gribetz, co-founder of the augmented-reality headset startup Meta, has had a busy couple of months is an understatement. Meta made headlines in September when it furloughed most of its workforce after an investment round from China failed to go through. Since then, Gribetz [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger

    Netflix Claims 'Fortnite' Is a Bigger Competitor Than HBO

    It may be mostly gamesmanship to downplay looming threats, but Netflix says it’s not really focused on rival streaming-video services from Amazon, Hulu, Disney, WarnerMedia or other big players as much as improving its own service to win share of consumers’ attention. “We compete with (and lose to) ‘Fortnite’ more than HBO,” Netflix told investors [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content