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Participant Media Boosts Exec Ranks With Jim Hu, Melinda Arons (EXCLUSIVE)

Participant Media is hiring veteran media executives Jim Hu and Melinda Arons as senior vice presidents to bolster its executive team, Variety has learned exclusively.

The company, which made the announcements Thursday, is also promoting Shelly Hance to senior VP to lead its human resources department.

Participant Media scored recent festival wins for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” (Golden Lion winner in Venice) and Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” (Toronto’s People’s Choice Award winner). The company also had its highest-grossing release ever with the $300 million-plus worldwide box-office hit “Wonder,” in addition to Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” Academy Award winner “A Fantastic Woman” and documentary “RBG,” which grossed more than $15 million worldwide.

Hu is a digital media veteran who has led strategy, operations and monetization teams across global digital brands including Instagram and Yahoo. Prior to Participant, he was senior VP and general manager at the Los Angeles Times. Hu started his career as a business news reporter at CNET,

Arons spent 12 years at ABC News as a producer for “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” where she became the chief political producer and senior producer. While at ABC she won a Peabody and was nominated for multiple Emmys. In 2013, she joined Facebook to help build their media partnerships and left in 2016 to join the Hillary For America presidential campaign as director of broadcast media.

Reporting to Participant CEO David Linde, Hu will oversee the design and implementation of the company’s long-range strategy across film, television and digital media in both domestic and international markets. He will also oversee the evaluation of business development prospects and strategic partnerships.

Arons is Participant’s first key hire under Holly Gordon, the company’s chief impact officer to whom Arons will report. In this newly created role, Arons will help build campaigns in support of the company’s social impact strategy.

“I’m thrilled that Jim and Melinda have chosen to join the company and that Shelly has so fully embraced her expanded role here,” Linde said. “Jim’s dual experience in both digital and traditional media businesses will be a great asset as we continue to expand our content and digital footprint. Melinda provides great insight from her dynamic career that will help Participant deliver on its mission. And Shelly will continue to be an even more instrumental component of the makeup of our company as we plan for continued growth.”

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