Former WGN America head of scripted Jon Wax is joining YouTube as head of Drama, Scripted & Current Programming. He is one of two high-profile new executives hires by the Google-owned online video platform tied to the company’s YouTube Red Originals, along with former Fox Broadcasting Chief Marketing Officer Angela Courtin, who has been named Global Head of YouTube TV & Originals Marketing.
The appointments, along with a promotion for Dustin Davis to Head of Comedy Development and Current Programming, come as YouTube is ramping up its original programming slate under Global Head of Original Content Susanne Daniels.
Wax and Davis round out YouTube’s senior programming team that also includes previously announced Ben Relles, Head of Unscripted Programming, and Alex Carloss, Head of International Originals. All four report to Daniels. Courtin reports to Jodi Ropert who leads subscription marketing for YouTube.
Wax’s YouTube hire comes on the heels of his former boss, WGNA president Matt Cherniss, also leaving traditional media for a high-level job at an upstart programming operation of a Silicon Valley giant, Apple. Both Cherniss and his lieutenant Wax are well respected and had been courted by multiple companies following WGNA’s programming strategy shift away from homegrown original dramas.
As Head of Drama, Scripted & Current, Wax will be responsible for building YouTube’s drama development slate, including drama-themed movie acquisitions in the U.S. He will be starting in the coming months.
As EVP of Scripted Programming at WGNA and Tribune Studios, a position he held for the past four years, Wax built WGNA’s scripted programming slate from the ground up with his former mentors at Fox, Peter Liguori and Cherniss, and helped put WGNA on the original programming map with such dramas as Salem, Manhattan, Underground and Outsiders. Prior to WGNA, Wax spent nearly 15 years on the Fox lot, where in various roles at both TCFTV and FBC he helped shepherd such series as Prison Break, Bones, 24, Malcolm in the Middle, and Firefly.
Davis, who is being upped to Head of Comedy Development and Current Programmin, joined YouTube Red as Head of Current Series a year ago from ABC Network where he oversaw shows such as Black-ish, Happy Endings and Last Man Standing. At YouTube, Davis has been working to bring more traditional talent to the service, overseeing Rawson Thurber’s Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television, Rob Huebel’s Do You Want to See A Dead Body?, and the recently announced Cobra Kai starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka.
New Global Head of YouTube TV & Originals Marketing Courtin joins YouTube from the Fox Broadcasting Co., where she served as the EVP and Chief Marketing Officer for year and a half before exiting in March. Previously, Courtin served as Chief Marketing Officer of Relativity Media, where she was responsible for all film, television and sports marketing initiatives as well as all branding and advertising campaigns across the company.