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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva, Greg Wind

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On the Heels of NBCUniversal News Group Partnership, NowThis News Hires New President and VP of Social Media

NowThis News, the first video news network built for mobile and social, today announced the appointments of two senior executives to help grow the digital news organization. Sean Mills, formerly President of The Onion, has been brought on as President of NowThis News and Ashish Patel, who led social efforts at VICE as the Global Head of Social Media, has been hired as VP of Social Media. These senior appointments are in line with NowThis News’s continued growth, including the recent partnership with NBCUniversal News Group to co-produce original short-form news videos targeted at the mobile and social generation.

“Both Sean and Ashish will add an enormous amount of leadership and creativity to NowThis News. Mobile and social is the future of news,” said Kenneth Lerer, co-founder of NowThis News. “With their extensive experience and success in building digital brands, they will lead and execute our approach in producing short-form video content developed specifically for social properties. We are very, very excited they’ll be joining the company.”

As President of NowThis News, Sean will be responsible for leading the company. He brings substantial experience in building digital media businesses with distinct voices including his tenure as President of The Onion. For eight years, Sean helped grow the publication from a regional newspaper to a global brand with over ten million readers, a leading web video operation, an extensive social following and five times the revenue. Following The Onion, Sean moved to Nerve Media as CEO, where he continued to use his digital savvy to grow the brand.

Ashish Patel holds a dual role as VP of Social Media for NowThis News and Executive-in-Residence (EIR) at Lerer Ventures. At NowThis News, Ashish will be in charge of connecting the right content to the right people. As an EIR at Lerer Ventures, Ashish works with Lerer portfolio companies and helps with their social strategies. Prior to his current position, Ashish was the Global Head of Social Media at VICE for nearly three years where he led, created and managed global social media strategy and activation for all VICE media publishing properties. Using a strategy based on analysis of social metrics and constant optimization, Ashish helped increase the reach and distribution of VICE content through social channels by over 1000%.

“The explosive growth of mobile and social media has impacted the media industry tremendously with new generations discovering and getting their news on the social streams that they’re actively using. These changes are pushing the definition of what news is in powerful ways,” said Sean. “NowThis News has developed a creative approach to reaching these new news consumers, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to help guide and further grow the first mobile and social news network.”

“NowThis News is using social media in an innovative way by producing platform-specific content for consumption directly in social feeds,” continued Ashish. “I’m eager to understand the audience’s usage habits and take advantage of real-time social metrics to assist in elevating NowThis News’s social strategy and ultimately enhancing the user experience.”

About NowThis News

Nowthis News is a Lerer Ventures startup and portfolio company that has produced over 10,000 original 6, 15 and 30-second news videos for a rapidly growing social and mobile audience. From studios in New York and Washington D.C., NowThis News produces over 50 daily video updates on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine and YouTube. Additionally, the NowThis News app is also available on Android and iOS as well as the mobile web

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