Chalk up another coup for digital media hiring as the media company mitú, focused on digitally distributed content for Hispanic audiences, has managed to score the longtime entertainment executive Herb Scannell as its new chief executive.
Scannell comes to mitú from BBC Worldwide, where he served as the president of its North America division, overseeing BBC America and sales for the huge library of BBC content.
Scannell, who stepped down from the role in 2015, previously served as the chief executive and co-founder of Next New Networks, which was sold to YouTube in 2011. Most famously, Scannell helmed Nickelodeon, launching shows like Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Rugrats.
Under Scannell’s leadership, Nickelodeon was the top-rated cable channel for 10 years. He was also vice chairman of MTV networks at the time, looking after networks like Spike and TV Land.
The longtime media executive is taking over at an interesting point in mitú’s development. It’s already managed to grab 650 million monthly views from 100 million unique viewers and is the only Latinx-targeted channel on Snapchat Discover.
The company has other projects in the works, including a Netflix comedy special, “They Can’t Deport Us All with Chingo Bling,” “Cholos Try” on Comcast Watchable and “What’s good in Your Hood” and “Mom’s Movie Review” for Facebook Watch.
“As the son of a proud Puerto Rican mom, mitú’s promise speaks to me professionally and
personally,” Scannell said. “I have long advocated that the Latino market is underserved.
Within a generation, Latinos are projected to represent the majority of youth in the U.S. and the most influential and sought-after audience in entertainment. So when the chance to run the fastest growing digital media company in the sector came up, I was very excited to join Beatriz and the team.”
The company’s founder and former president, Beatriz Acevedo, will remain at the company and take over content production, talent development and the company’s efforts around social responsibility.
Roughly one quarter of America’s youth market is Latinx, and it’s the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. It’s also one that’s more active in media and pop culture, buying more movie tickets, using mobile phones more and consuming more online video and social media than other demographics.
Plus, mitú is tapping into a global audience of Spanish speakers, which is larger than the number of English speakers worldwide.
“It’s rare to find somebody who was at the top of industry in traditional media and has also
run a successful internet startup that was sold to YouTube,” said Mark Suster, Managing
Partner of Upfront Ventures. “Herb is a genius at leading the creation of new content
formats. The fact that he’s also Latino was just incredible.”
Upfront already believes in the mitú mission. The startup has raised $40 million from Upfront and other investors, including AMC Networks, Advancit Capital, QueensBridge Venture Partners and (TechCrunch’s parent company) Verizon Wireless.