Hearst Magazines Digital Media is expanding its video production and distribution unit, Hearst Originals, with the hire of a new director and launch of five new weekly series on Facebook Watch.
Eric Leven has been named director of Hearst Originals to develop and create original programming for all platforms. Leven, a reality TV and documentary producer, has previously worked at Tribeca Shortlist, Vice News and MTV.
Hearst Originals creates a range of original videos across fashion, beauty, comedy and food. It is led by Brian Madden, VP of audience, and Michael Mraz, executive director of partnerships.
“We’ve gone from zero to more than a dozen original series in production over the past four months, and we don’t see that pace slowing down anytime soon,” Mraz told Publishers Daily.
The publisher has also formed a new team of five employees dedicated to Hearst Originals; it plans to expand its presence in Los Angeles.
Three weekly series will debut on Facebook Watch this week from Hearst Originals.
“Beauty Battle” features two make-up artists who have to create a look using a “secret ingredient” beauty product. “Pet Me Please” is cowritten and created by Cosmopolitan.com’s senior video producer Jason Ikeler and editor Amy Odell. A couple meets three pets to adopt and chooses one.
“The Mash-Up” features Delish editor Joanna Saltz and a celebrity guest to create a recipe from two different dishes, such as S’mores and nachos.
Two more series are slated to launch in December.