Television banner Bunim/Murray Prods is ready to expand its efforts in new media, tapping John P. Roberts as chief digital officer.
As part of the move, Kesila Childers has been promoted to VP at BMP Digital. She formerly was director of digital media, and now reports directly to Roberts, continuing to oversee the digital iterations of “The Real World,” “The Challenge,” “Best Ink” and “Bad Girls Club,” as well as original digital content and social media initiatives.
Roberts leaves Endemol, where he spent the past two years, most recently as senior VP of digital media and commercial ventures.
At Endemol, Roberts developed new digital and commercial business opportunities in North America and oversaw original digital productions, interactive TV, social games and mobile apps.
He recently produced the reality competition series “Azeroth Choppers,” a tie-in with Blizzard Entertainment’s “World of Warcraft” game franchise.
“With our continued commitment to innovation and engaging, ground-breaking storytelling, we are thrilled to bring John on board to lead BMP Digital,” said Gil Goldschein, president of Bunim/Murray Prods. “His extensive experience in digital and multi-platform production will help us continue to grow our digital initiatives and overall media footprint and extend our brands across multiple platforms.”
Roberts will specifically focus on increasing the company’s original productions for the web, mobile devices and other digital platforms, and explore digital business and investment opportunities.
“Bunim/Murray is the best in the business when it comes to storytelling,” Roberts said. “They laid the foundation for unscripted TV and were pioneers in shining a spotlight on relatable, everyday people. This created the groundwork for much of the content that’s thriving on digital platforms today. My goal is to continue to build momentum and guide BMP Digital to the next level of content creation across all platforms including video, games and social media.”
Before joining Endemol, Roberts spent two years as senior VP of digital content and cross-platform entertainment at The Hub, a joint venture between toymaker Hasbro and Discovery Communications. Venture recently was renamed Discovery Family.
He also was head of digital media at Lucasfilm, senior VP of digital media and interactive entertainment at GSN, and established Fox.com at News Corp.
Childers co-executive produced the digital-to-television crossover show, “BRKDWN,” which features pop culture news, as well as “SOS: Stylist on Set,” starring Johnny Wujek, “Best Ink Redemption,” and two seasons of “The Controller.”
L.A.-based Bunim/Murray recently opened a New York office, headed by reality vet Rob Bagshaw, and launched a Spanish-language division early last year. The company has been in expansion mode since it was acquired in 2010 by French production conglom Banijay Group.