AOL Appoints Head Of Programming

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AOL on Monday appointed Amber Lawson to the newly created position of Head of Video Programming. With a special focus on the company's consumer audience, Lawson will be responsible for procuring, programming and promoting all of AOL's original video content.

Reporting to Ran Harnevo, SVP of AOL Video, Lawson will lead a team that oversees AOL Studios, AOL Video hub, AOL.com and third-party production houses to build a slate of original programming.

Lawson comes to AOL from Babelgum, where she oversaw the international comedy business, developing, producing, packaging, marketing and distributing original series across Babelgum's IPTV, fixed and mobile platforms. In 2010, Lawson is credited with expanding Babelgum's comedy division, launching more than twenty new series and rolling them into Film and TV properties.

Closely aligning video with its overall content push, AOL has aggressively sought to establish itself in the space over the past year. Between July and November, AOL video streams increased from 192 million to 566 million -- an increase of 195%, according to comScore.

In particular, "You've Got..." -- the video series that launched on the new AOL.com in November -- generated nearly eight million views in its first month. Appearances by President Obama, Matt Damon, and Kelly Ripa helped the show's cause.

In the second half of 2010, AOL has closed deals with more than 20 premium content partners and digital studios to deliver a mix of programming.

To continue its momentum, AOL announced several new video franchises, including partnerships with Vuguru, Ben Silverman's Electus, Telepictures Productions, and the Ellen DeGeneres Show Web site.

Other video franchises across AOL properties include AOL Sessions; The Engadget Show; Tanslogic on AOL Autos; a number of shows on Cambio.com -- Cambio Connect, Cambio Style, and Cambio Goes Home; and The Secret Millionaire's Club on AOL Kids.

Prior to Babelgum, Lawson served as VP of programming and ultimately EVP of branded entertainment for maniaTV where she worked with various brands including ATT mobility, Wrigley's, Doritos and Samsung.

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