USA Today Network announces three new video positions across editorial, revenue and product
Russ Torres, formerly head of Yahoo! Studios, will joins Gannett’s USA Today Network as vice president of digital video content and strategy
MCLEAN, Va. – September 13, 2016 — The USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co., Inc. , announces plans to expand on its video foundation by building a best in-class video organization, starting with three new video positions across editorial, revenue and product that will work closely together with the goals to distribute quality and engaging video content, improves users’ experience across platforms and scale across USA TODAY NETWORK’s iconic USA TODAY and its 109 local properties.
The company, which predicts it will hit 1.2 billion video views across all of its platforms this year, will focus on enhancing video within its franchises such as HumanKind and I Am Sport, across verticals encompassing News, Life, Money, Tech, Travel and Sports, and social platforms including Facebook Live. This will also include the NETWORK’s efforts in virtual reality across editorial, specifically the first weekly VR news show ‘VRtually There’; innovative advertising solutions, such as the first ad unit native to VR, the Cubemercial, industry-leading Gravity unit and its Hi-Vu player; and the NETWORK’s creative studio, GET Creative’s branded VR content.
Russ Torres, a NAACP award-winning broadcast news producer and journalist, will join as vice president of digital video content and strategy on September 26th and will be responsible for overseeing the video production, programming and strategy for the USA TODAY NETWORK across multiple platforms and audiences. Reporting to chief content officer, Joanne Lipman, Torres will work with the NETWORK’s award-winning editorial teams as well as product, revenue and other departments to drive best practices through the organization.
As head of Yahoo! Studios, Torres was responsible for developing original video content for Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! News and a dynamic slate of lifestyle properties, overseeing the execution of 40+ digital video programs and LIVE productions across all of Yahoo!. Torres brings with him over two decades of experience in network broadcast television holding positions at BET, NBC and CBS.
Kent Laird, will join the Product team as director, video product management, reporting to the chief product officer, Daniel Bernard. In this role, Laird will be focused on our video products across the NETWORK, and specifically on leveraging video inside our native apps. He’ll collaborate with stakeholders across the organization to grow video consumption and reach for the NETWORK by pioneering multi-screen products while also delivering value to advertising partners.
Laird is an accomplished digital video product manager, online/video editor, and product marketing professional with 19 years of experience overseeing strategy, design and execution of global interactive projects and products. He spent nine years at Microsoft, where he served in Product Management and Executive Producer Functions for MSN Movies, TV and Video. More recently, Laird served as the director of video digital strategy at BroadbandTV, where he created a new approach to video that, in seven months, moved BBTV from #3 to #1 Multichannel Network on YouTube by reaching 14B monthly impressions.
Michael Krinzman has been promoted to vice president of video strategy and revenue, reporting to chief revenue officer, Kevin Gentzel. Krinzman has been with the company for over three years working under digital video and programming. In his new role, he will work closely with Russ and Kent to build our video business and help solve the needs of our customers. Krinzman has over 15 years of experience in the media industry, holding producer and managing editor roles at NBC and Fox News Channel.
These positions will build on the USA TODAY NETWORK’s video success across editorial which is currently publishing an average of 110 videos daily across all channels and platforms.