Ellen Digital Ventures, the joint venture between Ellen DeGeneres and Warner Bros., has hired digital-media veteran Nathan Brown as general manager.
Brown takes over the GM role at Ellen Digital Ventures after the exit of former general manager Michael Riley, who departed EDV last fall after less than three years to join Netflix as VP, global head of editorial and publishing.
Brown brings more than 20 years of experience in the business to EDV, including holding senior roles at Discovery, HuffPost and Complex Media.
As GM of Ellen Digital Ventures, Brown reports to the leadership of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television and the EDV board and he will work in partnership with “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” executive producers Mary Connelly, Andy Lassner and Derek Westervelt.
Brown is responsible for heading up strategy and management of DeGeneres’ digital business with full financial responsibility. He will oversee all owned-and-operated sites, including the Ellentube video platform, as well as EDV’s digital content studio, its games business and DeGeneres’ social media presence. Additionally, Brown is tasked with developing EDV’s podcasting and experiential business initiatives and working with the e-commerce team to expand DeGeneres’ presence.
“We spent some time looking for the right mix of digital leadership, creativity, people management, and an understanding of his hugely important platform and the Ellen brand,” Mike Darnell, president of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, said in announcing Brown’s hire. “From the first meeting, Nathan hit all of those marks and blew us away with his sheer passion and excitement. We look forward to this next successful chapter for EDV.”
Brown commented, “I have admired EDV for years as they have methodically built one of the most successful digital media brands in the industry. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience to further grow their already impressive presence, innovative content, and immensely talented team in the digital space.”
Most recently, Brown was co-founder and CEO of Tomorrow Never Knows, a AR/VR content, research, and technology startup, where he executive-produced projects premiering at film festivals worldwide, including Tribeca Film Festival, Venice Biennale and Sundance Film Festival. Additionally, he served as chief business officer mobile entertainment and experiential studio Tactic.
Prior to TNK and Tactic, Brown was president of Discovery Digital Networks’ Seeker, where he helped lead the merger of Discovery Digital Networks with Thrillist, the Dodo, and NowThis Media to form Group Nine Media. He also led Discovery’s virtual-reality platform and studio. Before that, he was GM and SVP of video at the Huffington Post (when it was part of AOL) and was the founding GM of video and TV for Complex Media, which was acquired by Verizon and Hearst. Earlier in his career, Brown co-founded Rehab Media, a film company producing short- and long-form videos, branded entertainment, commercials, music videos and documentaries.
Ellen Digital Ventures was formed by DeGeneres and Warner Bros. in 2014.