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Amazon Hires Ex-ABC Marketer Mike Benson to Head Advertising for Original TV Series

Amazon.com has hired Mike Benson, former ABC marketing boss and chief creative officer at Time Warner Inc., as head of brand marketing and creative development for Amazon Digital Video.

In his new role, Benson will be responsible for overseeing marketing and advertising for Amazon’s original TV series. He will work out of Amazon’s Santa Monica, Calif., offices, reporting to Michael Paull, VP of Amazon Digital Video.

Benson most recently was president of Hurryback, an L.A.-based entertainment marketing and consulting company. Prior to that, he was chief creative officer at Time Warner Global Media Group from May 2011 to February 2014.

As exec VP of marketing at Disney/ABC Television Group for 12 years, Benson oversaw marketing, advertising and promotion for ABC primetime, latenight and ABC Studios programming. He was responsible for marketing TV shows including “Modern Family,” “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Bachelor” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Benson has plenty of work cut out for him. Last week, Amazon Studios ordered five new original series — including alternate-history thriller “The Man in the High Castle” based on the Philip K. Dick novel and dark comedy “Mad Dogs” — and renewed drama “Mozart in the Jungle” for a second season.

Amazon Studios previously announced three original series to debut in 2015: “Hand of God,” from Marc Forster and Ben Watkins; comedy “Red Oaks,” from Steven Soderbergh, David Gordon Green, Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi; and kids’ series “Wishenpoof!” from Angela C. Santomero and Out of the Blue Enterprises.

In addition, Amazon Studios has inked a pact with Woody Allen for the filmmaker’s first TV series. The company in 2015 also expects to produce or acquire up to a dozen original movies for theatrical release and early-window distribution on Prime Instant Video.

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