Tech

First Media Names Chris Athanassopoulos CFO, Jocelyn Johnson as SVP of Brand

First Media, the media company focused on millennial women audiences whose brands include BabyFirst TV, announced two new members of its executive team as it eyes expansion in 2019.

Chris Athanassopoulos, previously Twentieth Century Fox’s VP finance for worldwide TV distribution, has joined First Media as its chief finance officer. (First Media’s previous CFO, Karl Knepley, retired in 2018 after 13 years with the company.) Additionally, First Media has hired Jocelyn Johnson as the company’s first senior VP, global brand.

The company’s first property was BabyFirst, which launched as a cable channel over a decade ago and currently reached 60 million U.S. households. L.A.-based First Media also operates social brands So Yummy (food), Blossom (life hacks), and Blusher (beauty), which together with BabyFirst online reach 115 million users worldwide and generate 1.5 billion videos views per month. In the past year, First Media has expanded with teams in New York, Chicago, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles.

“We’ve been growing at a record pace, and now is a crucial time to install departmental heads who can take us to new heights as we expand our digital, television and licensing divisions,” First Media CEO Guy Oranim said in a statement.

Athanassopoulos, prior to joining Twentieth Century Fox in 2016, worked at News Corp in London as SVP finance responsible for group finance and M&A. Before that he held a range of finance positions with companies in media and other sectors including Menzies Aviation, Arqiva, TI Automotive and Toyota Australia.

Johnson joins First Media after selling digital-media news site VideoInk to TheWrap in 2018 and previously ran her own PR agency. At First Media, she is tasked with developing audience and new market opportunities around DIY lifestyle, licensing and consumer products, social media and brand experiences.

Other recent hires by First Media include Charles Gabriel, the company’s first chief revenue officer (formerly of AOL’s video business and Disney’s Maker Studios); Christen Mahlmeister, VP of brand partnerships in Chicago (who previously worked in sales at CafeMedia, Meredith Interactive and Condé Nast); and editor-in-chief Gina Vaynshteyn, who was formerly editorial director at Hello Giggles.

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