×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter Reorgs Content-Partnerships Group, Folds Live-Video Team Into Regional Structure (EXCLUSIVE)

Global video-partnerships head Todd Swidler, head of news Peter Greenberger are leaving the company

Twitter has disbanded the live-video business unit responsible for deals with programming partners like Disney/ESPN, MLB and BuzzFeed, moving to consolidate those functions under its content-partnerships team, Variety has learned.

The move is part of a larger reorganization under Kay Madati, Twitter’s global head of content partnerships, to adopt a regional management structure rather than the previous one based on categories like news, sports and live video.

Madati announced the changes in an internal memo Monday, which was obtained by Variety. Under the new structure, the global content partnerships team will be run by execs for five regions — the U.S.; Latin America/Canada; Europe/Middle East/Africa; Japan/Korea; and Asia-Pacific — each reporting directly to Madati, who joined the company last fall from BET.

A Twitter rep confirmed the changes. In a statement, the company positioned the restructuring as a way to streamline its content strategy.

“Over the past year, our global content partnerships team has made significant progress in bringing the best selection of content to Twitter, helping our partners better extend, scale, market, and monetize,” Twitter said in the statement. “To further accelerate this positive momentum, we’re taking steps to streamline this organization to enable increased efficiency around the world and better align with our global strategy and vision.”

In the staff memo, Madati announced Laura Froelich as the new head of U.S. partnerships. A four-year veteran of the company, Froelich previously was global director of sports partnerships. David Grossman, formerly Twitter’s global head of entertainment, is now head of U.S. entertainment, reporting to Froelich.

With the reorg, Peter Greenberger, formerly Twitter’s head of global news, is exiting Twitter.

In addition, Todd Swidler, the former Bloomberg Media exec Twitter hired to lead the live-video group one year ago, also is leaving the company. The lead members of the live-video team (Katie Wells, Nick Sallon and Bo Han) are moving into Twitter’s Content Partnerships group. Meanwhile, Lara Cohen — who rejoined Twitter this past February as global partnerships solutions leader — remains in the same role, reporting to Madati.

As part of the overhaul, Twitter is looking to hire a head of global live program management to oversee a centralized team focused on live-video operations as well as Twitter’s Live Brand Studio for live-streaming branded content campaigns. Twitter also is looking to hire leads for U.S. sports and news, and the company plans to hire new execs to cut live-programming deals in international markets as well, according to Madati’s memo.

The move by Twitter to integrate the standalone live-content group into the regional-focused structure comes after the company announced around 30 new or expanded video pacts at its 2018 Digital Content NewFronts event Monday in New York City.

Those include deals with NBCUniversal, Disney/ESPN, Viacom, Vice Media and Will Packer Media. The partnerships span entertainment, news, lifestyle, music, gaming and sports, including expansions of existing deals with Live Nation Entertainment, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

While Twitter says it’s not shifting gears on its video push, insiders say the reorganization reflects disagreement among Twitter’s top leaders on how hard to drive into live premium programming. Ex-COO Anthony Noto, who left the company in January and had hired Swidler in May 2017, was bullish on live video as driving overall user growth and engagement for Twitter. But CEO Jack Dorsey is said to be less enamored with the strategy.

Last month, signaling a pullback in its live-video streaming investments, Twitter shut down video-based apps for Roku, Android TV devices and Microsoft’s Xbox. Twitter is maintaining apps for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

At the same time, video has become increasingly important to Twitter’s business. In announcing Q1 2018 results, Twitter said video now accounts for more than half of its ad revenue and was again the fastest-growing ad format in period. In its presentation to Madison Avenue buyers in April, Twitter said video views have nearly doubled in the past year, but it declined to provide specific numbers.

Under the Twitter content partnership group’s new regional structure, Madati also announced managers for the non-U.S. territories: Theo Luke is interim head of EMEA; Christopher Doyle is interim head of LatAm/Canada; and Jennie Sager is interim head of APAC and Japan/Korea (in a role that will eventually be split into two separate positions).

More Digital

  • crunchyroll logo

    Crunchyroll Raises Subscription Price to $7.99

    AT&T-owned anime subscription video service Crunchyroll is raising its monthly subscription price from $6.95 to $7.99 a month, it announced in an email to members Friday. It’s the service’s first price increase ever, according to a spokesperson. The new pricing will go into effect on May 1 for new subscribers, while existing members will see [...]

  • StyleHaul

    StyleHaul Shuts Down U.S. Operations, Lays Off About 65 Employees

    The axe is falling on StyleHaul: The fashion, beauty and lifestyle digital media and marketing company owned by RTL Group is shuttering U.S. operations, resulting the layoff of around 65 employees. StyleHaul offices in L.A., with about 55 employees, and in New York City, with around 10 staffers, are closing. RTL said StyleHaul’s U.K. operations, [...]

  • Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown Platform Acquires Hypebot, MusicThinkTank

    Bandsintown, a leading platform for letting music fans know about upcoming concerts by their favorite artists, has acquired Hypebot, a news site publishing stories about the music industry and technology, and its sister site MusicThinkTank. “I’m proud to share that Hypebot and MusicThinkTank have been acquired by Bandsintown,” wrote Bruce Houghton, the founder of the [...]

  • Star-Wars-The-Clone-Wars

    Netflix Will Lose Disney's 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars,' James Bond Movies in April 2019

    More Disney content is about to roll off Netflix: The 2008 “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” animated movie as well as six seasons of the subsequent “Clone Wars” series are among the titles set to leave the streaming service next month. According to Netflix, the original Lucasfilm movie along with “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” [...]

  • Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’

    Vertigo Games Believes ‘Location-Based Virtual Reality’ Is Future of VR

    As virtual reality becomes more and more available, many developers are looking for new frontiers to expand the experiences offered by the tech. For Netherlands-based Vertigo Games, that next frontier is what they call “location-based virtual reality.” It’s essentially high-quality VR experiences where players aren’t tethered to a PC or even to the confines of [...]

  • GDC 2019: Google's Play For Gaming

    GDC 2019: Google's Play for Gaming Ubiquity, Rise of Ray Tracing, Store Wars

    The Game Developers Conference finished up Friday evening, wrapping one of the most exciting GDCs in recent memory with Google’s splashy entrance into AAA video gaming, the emergence of real-time ray tracing as a compelling technology for film, TV, and games, and the growing war between two global estore powerhouses: Valve’s Steam and the Epic [...]

  • Apple Video, TV, News Subscription Service

    Apple Ready to Raise Curtain on Video, TV and News Subscription Service

    The day has nearly arrived for Apple to show the world whether there’s any fire behind the smoke of its streaming service. Apple has kept a tight lid on most of the details of its upcoming service, even keeping its creative partners in the dark about how exactly their work will be distributed. What is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content