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Verizon Hires Ex-YouTube Exec Ivana Kirkbride as Go90 Content Chief

Ivana Kirkbride, a former YouTube executive who most recently worked at video startup Vessel, has joined Verizon’s Go90 as chief content officer.

L.A.-based Kirkbride will lead the development of original programming for Go90, which the telco launched last fall. She reports to Chip Canter, Verizon’s GM of digital entertainment and Go90, according to a rep for the telco. Kirkbride’s move to Go90 was first reported by Recode.

Kirkbride had worked for YouTube since 2011, when she helped launch its first original channels initiative, then shifted to other roles including head of investment strategy before she was put in charge of YouTube’s unscripted original series in 2014. Last September she joined Vessel, headed by former Hulu chief Jason Kilar, as VP of content acquisition. “We wish Ivana well in her next adventure with Go90 and are very thankful for the time Ivana invested in serving creators here at Vessel,” Kilar said in a statement.

Verizon describes Go90 as a “mobile-first” ad-supported video service, aimed at millennials, available via apps and go90.com with future platforms on tap. Content on the service includes a mix of licensed TV shows, programming from digital partners including AwesomenessTV, BuzzFeed, Defy Media, Fullscreen, Maker Studios and Vice Media, and with originals such as reality-competition show “The Runner” from executive producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, a 30-day event that premiered July 1.

To pump more content into Go90, Verizon acquired a 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV, majority-owned by DreamWorks Animation with a stake held by Hearst, and has a deal with AwesomenessTV to launch a new premium programming brand.

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