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NBCU Digital Hires Ex-YouTube Exec Laura Lee to Oversee BuzzFeed, Snap and Vox Partnerships

NBCUniversal has hired Laura Lee, who once led YouTube’s media partnership efforts, as executive VP of content, strategy and operations of NBCU Digital Enterprises where her duties will include overseeing the media conglomerate’s partnerships with Snap, BuzzFeed and Vox Media.

Lee will report to Maggie Suniewick, president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. She will be based in New York and starts June 19.

“Laura’s deep experience in the digital space will be a great asset as we continue to create new monetization and premium content opportunities across NBCUniversal and expand our partnerships with new media and technology companies,” Suniewick said in announcing her hire.

NBCU has invested more than $1 billion in the trio of digital-media firms. It has plowed $400 million into BuzzFeed and $200 million into Vox Media, and acquired a $500 million stake in Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, in its March IPO.

Lee spent eight years at YouTube, where she expanded the video giant’s North American media business via partnerships across TV, film, sports, and news with over 300 companies including NBCU, Vice Media, Discovery Networks, Frederator Studios, Lionsgate, Univision, Sony Pictures, CBS and Scripps Networks Interactive. In addition, she led the launch of YouTube’s Rentals product, which marked the company’s first foray into the transactional video business.

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Most recently, Lee served as president and chief digital officer of Margaritaville Media, responsible for all content and digital efforts for Jimmy Buffett’s lifestyle brand, which she joined in 2015 before leaving last fall.

Prior to joining YouTube in 2007 — one year after Google’s acquisition — Lee served in various business development, production and development roles at MTV, VH1, Spike TV and Time Warner. Lee began her career as a media investment banker at J.P. Morgan.

Lee serves on the advisory board of the Made in New York Media Center by IFP as well as the advisory board of Womensphere.

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