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Hollywood’s New Leaders 2018: Digital

Each year Variety’s New Leaders feature profiles the most prominent up-and-comers in the entertainment business. To determine this year’s worthies, Variety looked across disciplines, from television, digital, music and film, to law and finance, as well as content creators. They were proposed by their bosses and peers who have worked with them and seen their rise. All are age 40 or under, and Variety has measured them by the progress of their career trajectories: do they take calculated risks? How fast have they risen in their companies? Are they innovative and employ solutions to problems that are creative? As part of the salute to the qualities that keep the town humming, filmmaker/producer Travis Knight, who founded Laika Studios and is finishing up the anticipated “Bumblebee” for Paramount, as well as Variety‘s 10 Assistants to Watch along with the New Leaders will be recognized Oct. 17, at the Jeremy Hotel rooftop in West Hollywood.

Sarah Amos

VP of Development for Marvel’s New Media team, 35

Amos oversees content for Marvel.com and third-party platforms, working with Marvel Entertainment’s other businesses to develop and create content to support various company properties. Previously, she was EP of Live Products for ABC News Digital, and oversaw editorial strategy and production for live-streaming on ABCNews.com’s multi-stream platforms and social channels. “Starting my career in journalism was amazing training in storytelling. If you can craft a compelling narrative about holiday travel, you can make any story engaging.”

Robin Chacko

Senior Vice President of OTT and Product Marketing for Starz, 39

Chacko manages a digital marketing budget of nearly $100 million for Starz video-on-demand/DTC services and overhauled the Starz app to improve engagement and viewership; churn has been reduced and efficiency has increased. An inspired innovator who’s proud to have “done every job under the sun” because it helps him understand what other groups struggle with, Chacko says “the big challenge facing the industry today is that the distribution systems, the products and the customer base are all changing — and changing very rapidly.”

Steve Cousineau

Vice President, the Chernin Group, 33

A key player whose role encompasses nearly all aspects of TCG’s businesses, Cousineau often serves as point person across all major transactions, including deals in the Otter Media timeline (from the first investment in Fullscreen to acquiring Crunchyroll, forming Otter and acquiring Rooster Teeth, and ultimate sale of Otter to AT&T in August) and many seed/venture investments including Headspace, Scopely, and Uncharted Supply Co. “Surround yourself with the smartest people you can find. And take the job you’d want to do for free, but never let anybody know that fact.”

Jonathan Hunt

Senior VP Digital Strategy & Audience Development, National Geographic Partners, 33

Leads digital editorial and video, VR and 360 strategies and audience growth across social platforms and web products. Restructured Nat Geo’s social and digital teams, spurring digital content engagement growth to more than 8 billion. Diversified cross-platform content and organized the brand’s digital and social channels around four key themes; social-driven revenue has jumped 70% year over year. “I’m constantly inspired by the evolution of the industry, and I feel very optimistic about the future.”

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