Nickelodeon has hired former Disney Channels Worldwide exec Paul DeBenedittis as EVP Programming and Content Strategy. In his new position, DeBenedittis will lead content and programming strategies, partnerships, acquisitions and media planning for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nicktoons and TeenNick across platforms including linear, digital, branded apps, VOD channels, DTO and wireless. DeBenedittis, who also will work with Nick’s global channels to support worldwide programming and content strategy, will be based in the Burbank, California, studio. He replaces Elizabeth Murray, who was EVP, Programming and Content Strategy, Nickelodeon Group, who is leaving the company.
“Paul has extensive expertise in programming and leading content strategies that reach and resonate with youth audiences,” said Nickelodeon President Brian Robbins, to whom DeBenedittis will report. “He’s one of the most dynamic executives in the kids and family space, and we’re happy to have him on board as we forge a new Nickelodeon for today’s audience.”
DeBenedittis was most recently Senior Vice President, Programming Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide, including Disney Junior and Disney XD. Among his other responsibilities, he handled programming across their TV and digital portfolio, working with franchise properties such as The Descendants, Camp Rock, Star Wars Rebels and The Mickey Mouse Club House. He also oversaw the Disney Channel Worldwide Programming Strategy team.
Prior to The Walt Disney Company, DeBenedittis spent 10 years at MTV as Executive Vice President, Multiplatform Programming, Content Strategy and Scheduling. DeBenedittis led the programming strategy and content windowing for hit series and events including Laguna Beach, Jackass, The Osbournes, The Real World, Total Request Live, The MTV Video Music Awards and The MTV Movie Awards. He was also responsible for curating the network’s various programming destinations, including MTV’s primetime originals block, The 10 Spot, and the channel’s weekday afternoon and weekend slates. Earlier, he was Director of Programming, Acquisitions and Scheduling at USA Networks and Lifetime Television.