“As Audible continues to expand its focus on premium audio storytelling and entertainment across all formats and genres, Brad’s highly successful track record, expertise and stellar relationships in the entertainment community will be integral to our aggressive content efforts and plans,” said Audible CEO Bob Carrigan in a statement. “Brad brings not only a wealth of experience but an unwavering focus on innovation, creativity and customer delight. I am confident Brad will spearhead the next chapter in Audible’s evolution as a global digital entertainment leader.”
At ViacomCBS-owned Pop TV — where Schwartz has been since 2013, when it was still known as the TV Guide Network — he oversaw its re-branding, shepherded the launch of breakout comedy “Schitt’s Creek,” and brought over the fan-favorite “One Day at a Time” reboot from Netflix. Previously, he spent time as a top exec for MSG Media’s Fuse, CTV and MTV, specializing in turning around media brands. He has served as senior vice president of operations at Fuse, where he worked on re-branding the network, as well as general manager of MTV Canada and seven other youth and pop culture brands, where he steered the launch of “The Hills After Show.”
Schwartz’s move to Audible comes just months after Viacom and CBS sealed the deal to merge the two companies. The integration’s goal of achieving $750 million in synergies over the next three years has translated to layoffs across a number of the media properties now under the ViacomCBS umbrella, including at Pop TV.
In a note to staff in late February, Schwartz praised the Pop TV staff for having “built something very special” and accomplishing “the impossible.” “In less than five years, we went from being a TV Guide Network with a listing scroll still on 30% of our screens, to an Emmy-nominated network with a million+ viewer hit, a breakthrough brand, and two of the most critically praised and culturally-significant shows on television,” he wrote then.
In a statement shared Thursday, Schwartz said that as a years-long Audible member he is “enormously excited and inspired” by the audiobook producer’s strategy for the future.
“Audible continues to forge new paths in bringing premium storytelling and original IP to the ever-expanding audio segment of our industry,” said Schwartz. “Audible’s creative leadership, commitment to innovation, future-leaning focus, customer-centricity and ability to give artists of all kinds the opportunity to tell stories that matter are at the center of its success. With projects recently released or in the pipeline from Kevin Hart, Colin Kaepernick, Laura Dern, Jesse Eisenberg, Blake Griffin, Common, Meghan McCain and Neil Gaiman, I couldn’t think of a better time to join this senior management team and help drive our incredible growth ahead.”