Further demonstrating belief in the platform’s potential, Ben Silverman’s Electus today confirmed that Bruce Seidel has been named CEO of the multimedia entertainment studio’s upcoming food-centric YouTube channel.
Seidel reports directly to Electus chief operating officer and head of Digital, Drew Buckley, and is responsible for interfacing with advertising clients in addition to leading all creative, programming, scheduling, production and marketing. The new venture is scheduled to officially launch in July.
The as-yet unnamed foodie channel was conceptualized in partnership with Creative Artists Agency and will incorporate the online and mobile audience of Urbanspoon.
Seidel most recently was senior vice president of Programming for Scripps Networks Interactive’s Cooking Channel. Before that he was senior vice president of Program Planning and Special Productions at The Food Network, where he developed and oversaw Iron Chef America along with other top-rated programs including The Next Food Network Star and Worst Cooks in America. In addition to localizing Japan’s hit Iron Chef, Seidel also imported British culinary programs like those featuring Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson. His previous work includes development roles at Animal Planet, where he built co-productions with the BBC, and Discovery Communications.
Ben Silverman, chairman and founder of Electus: “Bruce Seidel’s life-long talent and passion for food, cooking and entertainment, combined with his outstanding work rebranding the Food Network and launching Cooking Channel, both online and offline, was a driving force behind our decision to ask him to lead this charge. Bruce is uniquely qualified to build and popularize our slate of food programming in a way that hasn’t been done on the Web.”
Robert Kyncl, global head of Content for YouTube: “Great talent moves like this exemplify the relentless commitment by our partners and the overall velocity of the online video space. We look forward to collaborating with Bruce and the entire Electus team in the months ahead.”
Seidel: “Electus is at the forefront of creating cutting-edge programming for all platforms including the web, and I am so pleased to join their team and lead this exciting new initiative. It is thrilling to invent a new digital television food model for a new generation, using the tried and true lessons of mainstream networks, while also being able to really push the boundaries.”
Photo by Flickr user La Grande Farmers’ Market, used under Creative Commons license