Los Angeles Business Journal

Maker Snags Yahoo Executive

By Tom Dotan Monday, November 11, 2013

Maker Studios has poached an executive from Yahoo to serve as its new chief content officer.

The Culver City online video network announced Erin McPherson will be joining the company in a position that sees her reporting directly to company Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz.

While at Yahoo, McPherson was head of Programming and Originals and oversaw the site's expansion into video content. She's had a hand in many of Yahoo's video efforts, including co-producing Web series such as "Burning Love" and "Electric City" as well as picking up streaming rights to the entire "Saturday Night Live" library.

Maker, one of the so-called "multi-channel networks," is among the most viewed channels on YouTube, where it brings in 4 billion views a month. It is in the process of expanding its reach into other distribution platforms.

Since Maker's launch in 2009, the company's strategy has been to contract with and aggregate YouTube talent and increase their value by helping them scale. The studio has recently been organizing its mass of channels into four main categories – men, women, family and entertainment – and will build future programming across that spectrum.

The studio has raised $65 million in funding, including a $26 million round in September led by French pay-television company Canal Plus.

"Erin is one of the most respected executives in original online video content and has a track record of developing popular programming across a variety of categories; she understands large-scale online video production," Kreiz said in the release. "This is a key position for Maker as we plan to break the mold on traditional programming concepts and produce and distribute a large slate of original video content across our vertical hubs."