Ellen DeGeneres’ Digital Business Taps Ex-Disney Exec Michael Riley as General Manager

Michael Riley is the new general manager of Ellen Digital Ventures, a joint initiative between talk-show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros. Digital Networks.

Riley takes over the role from Jill Braff, who departed Ellen Digital Ventures last summer and joined digital-media and commerce company Brit + Co. last month as president.

Riley formerly was president of Disney’s ABC Family (now known as Freeform). Most recently, he served as president and CEO of KCETLink Media Group, the independent public-media organization serving Southern California. Prior to joining Disney in 2008 as GM of Radio Disney, Riley worked for Turner as SVP and GM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and VP of business development for Europe.

Riley will report to the Ellen Digital Ventures board, working alongside “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” executive producers Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin, Andy Lassner and Kevin A. Leman II. He’s responsible for leading the strategic vision and management of Ellen’s digital businesses, which include all owned-and-operated sites and apps, all related social media activity from “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” EDV’s digital content studio, and Ellen’s digital games business.

“Michael is a smart, thoughtful and strategic leader,” said Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks and WB Television Group’s president of business and strategy. “His strong track record evolving businesses and digital expertise make him an invaluable part of Ellen and Warner Bros. Digital Networks, and we’re thrilled to have him join the team.”

Riley holds an MBA from the U.K.’s London Business School and an bachelor of arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

  • Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes. Professional wrestlers

    Listen: Brandi and Cody Rhodes Give Wrestlers’ Perspective to AEW

    Wrestlers and husband and wife duo Brandi and Cody Rhodes bring an inside the ring perspective to their executive roles at the nascent All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Cody Rhodes, executive vice president, and Brandi Rhodes, chief brand officer, spoke on Variety’s “TV Take” podcast with Joe Otterson about their new wrestling league.  AEW will put [...]

  • Ms Marvel She Hulk and Moon

    Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk Series Ordered at Disney Plus

    Marvel debuted three new series it has ordered for streaming service Disney Plus at D23 Expo: a live-action Ms. Marvel series, as well as two additional series based on Moon Knight and She-Hulk. “That’s three new series coming to the MCU, that’s what Disney Plus is allowing us to do,” said president of Marvel Studios [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Opposition Candidate Blasts Writers Guild Tactics Over Agencies

    Opposition candidate Nick Jones Jr. has condemned the tactics of the Writers Guild of America in its battle against Hollywood agents. “I believe we’ve disrupted ourselves more than we’ve disrupted the Big 4,” he said. Jones, who’s running for the secretary-treasurer post as part of Phyllis Nagy’s Writers Forward Together slate, is running on a [...]

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend -- "Yes, It's Really

    Emmys: Netflix, 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Take Early Wins as TV Academy Announces Juried Awards

    Netflix is taking the early lead at this year’s Emmys race, with six wins, thanks to the Television Academy’s juried award winners for animation, choreography, interactive programming and motion design, which were announced on Friday. The outstanding individual achievement in animation category, a “juried” prize that means several, one or no winners could be named, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content