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Bleacher Report Taps Epix’s Rachel Brill to Head B/R Studio

Rachel Brill is departing Epix to join WarnerMedia’s Bleacher Report as senior VP and general manager of B/R Studio, the digital sports division’s recently formed original programming arm.

As head of B/R Studio, Brill is tasked with building a slate of mid- and long-form content aimed at Bleacher Report’s millennial and Gen Z-skewing audience. She will be based in New York City and report directly to Sam Toles, Bleacher Report’s chief content officer.

Brill will look to build programming for B/R’s owned-and-operated channels as well as opportunities to bring content to other WarnerMedia properties.

Most recently, Brill was senior VP, head of unscripted original programming for MGM’s Epix. Her projects for the premium TV network included “NFL: The Grind” from NFL Films; boxing series “The Contender”; Wanda Sykes’ comedy series “Unprotected Sets”; film critic Elvis Mitchell’s “Elvis Goes There”; “Punk,” a history of punk rock from Iggy Pop and John Varvatos; and the upcoming podcast adaptation “Slow Burn.”

“Rachel brings exactly the right mix of an impressive track record developing ultra-premium content coupled with a digital first storytelling sensibility that aligns perfectly with our ambitions,” Howard Mittman, Bleacher Report’s CEO, said in announcing her hire. Plus, he added, she’s an “avid sports fan.”

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Prior to joining Epix in March 2018, Brill led premium programming at Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries as head of digital studio through originals and live series for SiriusXM, Disney, CMT/TV Land, and the Kardashians and Jenners celebrity families. She co-created and executive produced “Ritual,” a docu-series with ACE Media and the NFL Players Association for Amazon Prime Video, and Tyler, the Creator’s “Nuts + Bolts” for Viceland. Earlier in her career, Brill led an unscripted portfolio at TNT and TBS working with partners including Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Dwayne Johnson. Prior to that, Brill spent 10 years at Zoo Productions developing shows including “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and Chelsea Handler’s “Girls Behaving Badly.”

B/R Studio’s team comprises existing staffers and new hires. The group recently released its first project, “Battlestations,” a series showcasing the gaming lives of top athletes.

Bleacher Report’s current sports programming includes “Ditch the Playbook with Adam Lefkoe,” “Untold Stories with Master Tesfatsion,” “How Hungry Are You?” with Serge Ibaka, “Your Fantasy Fire Drill,” “Take It There” with Taylor Rooks, “House of Highlights Live,” and animated series “Gridiron Heights,” “Game of Zones” and “The Champions.”

Brill, in a statement provided by Bleacher Report, commented, “In a distribution landscape that is evolving faster than players demanding trades after one loss, the key is original IP, talent and a point of view. Through the storytelling prowess of the B/R verticals, we will unlock the viral relevance of the B/R voice for distinct audiences, in long, mid and short-form narrative and formats, across all media.”

Bleacher Report, a division of Turner Sports, says the B/R app has been downloaded by more than 20 million users and claims it reaches over 200 million young sports fans each month across multiple platforms. In addition to coverage of sports and culture, Bleacher Report has live-streaming rights to content from the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, and the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

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