×

Refinery29 Hires MTV Vet Joanna Bomberg as Head of Talent (EXCLUSIVE)

Refinery29, a digital media company focused on young female audiences, has hired Joanna Bomberg — who spent two decades at Viacom’s MTV — as senior VP and head of talent.

In the newly created role at Refinery29, Bomberg leads talent initiatives across video and editorial programming and live events, overseeing the company’s talent division, Here & Now.

Bomberg most recently was senior VP of MTV’s music and talent department. While at the MTV, she was part of the leadership team that managed creative direction and production of several of its biggest franchises including the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, Unplugged, MTV documentaries, and the Artist to Watch campaign.

“We are forming meaningful partnerships with talent that aligns with Refinery29’s overall mission and drives inspiration and entertainment to our viewers,” Justin Stefano, co-founder and co-CEO of Refinery29, said in announcing Bomberg’s hire. “Joanna’s experience and relationships will be a great asset as we continue to expand.”

Based at the company’s New York headquarters, Bomberg reports to chief content officer Amy Emmerich, who joined the company two and a half years ago. Bomberg had been doing strategy consulting work since leaving MTV in November 2015, including with Refinery29. The company brought her on full-time as head of talent effective June 21.

Popular on Variety

Bomberg’s charter at Refinery29 will be to integrate traditional celebrity talent — from music, television, film and other domains — as well as digital talent directly into short and long-form programming. She also will work with Refinery29’s commercial talent division to augment the role of celebrity talent in the branded-content space across live events, appearances, casting, content creation and product collaboration.

“I was a fan of the brand to begin with – I really enjoy and respect their content,” Bomberg said in an interview. “I was hoping for this opportunity.”

Refinery29, has struck partnerships with talent including Willow Smith, Kesha, Zosia Mamet, Gabourey Sidibe, Jenn Im, Evan Rachel Wood and Sasheer Zamata. “They focus so much on highlighting these powerful women in front and behind the camera,” Bomberg said. “The company offers such a wide range of opportunities to work with talent.”

The company, whose investors include Turner, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Hearst, also recently announced a partnership with WME as part of expanding its focus on development of originals and long-form video. Refinery29’s L.A. office now has 40 employees following SVP of global video strategy Stone Roberts’ relocation and the recent hire of Erica Winograd as VP of West Coast development.

Previous campaigns executed by Refinery29’s Here & Now unit have included partnerships with Keds and Smashbox, as well as more than 900 influencer bookings across branded programs in 2016 (up from 600 in 2015).

More Digital

  • delete Me

    Viaplay Orders Young Adult Series 'Delete Me' From Norway (EXCLUSIVE)

    Viaplay, Scandinavia’s leading streaming service, has ordered “Delete Me,” a Norwegian form series skewing young adults and headlined by cast of up-and-comers. Written and directed by Marie Kristiansen (“Young and Promising”), the series uses innovative narrative techniques to explore vital contemporary topics such as cyber-bullying, hacking and exclusion. Each episode of 20 minutes is told [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    How to Watch the Nevada Democratic Debate Online

    The ninth Democratic presidential debate will take place Wednesday as six hopeful candidates take the stage ahead of the Nevada caucus on Feb. 22. NBC and MSNBC will broadcast the debate on their networks from 6 p.m. PT/ 9 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. PT/ 10 p.m. ET. Those wanting to tune in can also [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings' New Book Title, Release Date Announced

    Reed Hastings promises to share the untold story about how Netflix’s culture helped it pivot from a DVD-by-mail company to a streaming giant more than a decade ago in a new book due out this spring. “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” is set to be released May 12, 2020. The 320-page [...]

  • A-ha - Take On Me Video

    A-ha's 'Take on Me' Tops 1 Billion YouTube Views, Second '80s Video to Hit Milestone

    Norwegian synthpop trio A-ha’s “Take On Me” has joined YouTube’s billion-views club. The iconic video from A-ha, which combines live action with pencil-sketch animation, is only the second song from the 1980s to reach the elite YouTube milestone, after Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” crested the one-billion-views mark last fall (and currently has [...]

  • Terms and Conditions

    YouTube Drives Into Feature Doc Space With Brian Hill's 'Terms and Conditions' (EXCLUSIVE)

    YouTube is driving into the feature documentary space with a bold new film on drill music from one of the U.K.’s most celebrated documentarians. The controversial genre represented in the Brian Hill-directed “Terms and Conditions: A U.K. Drill Story” has become inadvertently associated with violence and knife-crime in the U.K., and marks a daring step [...]

  • America Ferrera Gentrified Variety

    With ‘Gentefied,’ America Ferrera Brings a Series Unlike Any Other to Netflix

    America Ferrera had directed before, but not like this. She and her crew were shooting scenes from a massive burner party — think a miniature Burning Man, complete with drugs and costumes and bad dancing — for Netflix’s upcoming series “Gentefied.” Though she wouldn’t appear on camera, Ferrera was dressed for the occasion in a [...]

  • Alamo Drafthouse LA

    Alamo Drafthouse Unveils Monthly Subscription Service

    Alamo Drafthouse, the Texas-based cinema chain that popularized in-theater dining, is offering a subscription service to rival the AMCs and Regals of the exhibition industry. The company unveiled Season Pass, a monthly program that will be available to patrons in its 41 locations across the country. Season Pass will provide one regularly priced ticket per [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content