Turner International and Warner Bros. Digital Networks appoint Kerensa Samanidis as General Manager, FilmStruck, International
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Turner International and Warner Bros. Digital Networks today announce the appointment of Kerensa Samanidis, as General Manager, FilmStruck, International, the new premium movie streaming service which launched first in the UK last month in a joint venture between Turner’s Digital Ventures & Innovation group and Warner Bros. Digital Networks, with plans to expand to additional markets in 2018 and beyond.
Samanidis will be responsible for the overall development, management and operations of the service, for the UK and as the service rolls out into additional markets. Samanidis reports to the FilmStruck International Board comprised of executives from both Turner’s Digital Ventures & Innovation group and Warner Bros. Digital Networks. On a day to day basis, she will report to Christopher Sodergren, VP Digital Ventures, International.
In this new role, her responsibilities will include oversight of programming, product, branding, marketing, subscriber acquisition and retention, and community management. She will also manage third-party vendor relationships and will lead on liaison with key Turner and Warner Bros. stakeholders as required.
Aksel van der Wal, Executive Vice President Digital Ventures & Innovation, Turner, said: “Kerensa has a huge depth of experience through her 20 years of conceiving, developing and delivering a range of award-winning digital initiatives in the consumer electronics, entertainment and publishing sectors which makes her perfectly suited to this role. FilmStruck is a significant milestone for us as part of our commitment to develop new businesses to engage new audiences and we’re delighted to have found a General Manager of Kerensa’s exceptional calibre to take the service forward.”
Samanidis joins Turner from the British Film Institute (BFI) where she was Head of Digital Products and Distribution for the past few years overseeing its digital strategy in both the B2B and D2C space. Prior to the BFI she held a range of new business and digital business development roles at Hearst Magazines, HMV and Sony. She was also with Turner some years ago in a business development role.
FilmStruck is your essential and new subscription on-demand service that offers film lovers an eclectic selection of films across many categories - mainstream, cult, independent, classic, art house, British, foreign and documentary film. FilmStruck offers instant streaming access to critically acclaimed films, hard-to-find gems, and cult favourites from the extensive Warner Bros. library and the Criterion Collection, as well as other global and local content partners, which in the UK include Curzon Artificial Eye, Park Circus and Kew Media Group, giving you access to some of the world’s greatest films, shown uncut and commercial-free, just as the director intended.
FilmStruck’s UK service, FilmStruck Curzon, is available on Amazon Fire, Web, iOS and Android devices and Apple TV.
About Turner International
Turner International operates versions of core Turner brands, including CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM Turner Classic Movies, as well as country- and region-specific networks and businesses in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. It manages the business of Pay- and Free-TV-channels, as well as Internet-based services, and oversees commercial partnerships with various third-party media ventures; it teams with Warner Bros. and HBO to leverage Time Warner’s global reach. Turner operates more than 180 channels showcasing 46 brands in 34 languages in over 200 countries. Turner International is a Time Warner company.
About Digital Ventures & Innovation
Digital Ventures & Innovation (DV&I), is part of Turner International. Turner International operates versions of Turner brands including CNN, TNT and Cartoon Network across the world, whilst also focusing on digital-only brands. DV&I drives innovation, develops new revenue streams and is responsible for managing and growing Turner’s existing multi-platform suite of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT. It develops new digital direct-to-consumer businesses and consumer-centric products. The group is also charged with identifying new opportunities for Turner through technological product innovation and acquisitions.
About Warner Bros. Digital Networks (WBDN)
Founded in 2016, Warner Bros. Digital Networks is the fast-paced, growing team responsible for building and operating the Studio’s digital entertainment offerings, producing digital native content and harnessing the power of social media through Machinima. WBDN’s current direct-to-consumer-centric portfolio includes Boomerang (a partnership with Turner), DramaFever, FilmStruck (a partnership with Turner), Machinima, Stage 13, Uninterrupted (a partnership with LeBron James), Ellen Digital Ventures (a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres) and a DC-branded digital service debuting in 2018. Warner Bros. Digital Networks’ premium programming and digital offerings put fans at the center of entertainment, sports, gaming and pop culture, reaching audiences anywhere, across any platform.