Multi-channel network Studio71 has reached into traditional television world to fill its newly-created post of head of unscripted television, hiring Ryan Seacrest Productions executive Rabih Gholam.
In his new role, Gholam will build Studio71’s television business and develop television opportunities and intellectual property for its lineup of YouTube stars and social media influencers, which include Lilly Singh (a.k.a. IISuperwomanII), Epic Meal Time, Viner Logan Paul, Rhett and Link and Snapchatter Shonduras. He will report to Studio71 board member Michael Green.
“More than ever before, we are seeing a clear merger between digital and traditional linear television,” said Gholam in statement. “Studio71 represents many of the top influencers in the digital space across YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat. To me, it’s one big casting call, and I’ve been charged with developing the right projects and formats for them, whether those projects live on TV or one of today’s many digital platforms”
Gholam joined Ryan Seacrest Productions as EVP, head of unscripted programming, in June 2014 and built a development slate that included two shows that went straight to series, “Becoming Us” for ABC Family (now Freeform) and “I Love Kellie Pickler” at CMT. Prior to that, he served as EVP of alternative programming at Endemol-owned production company 51 Minds, which he helped go from producing for a single cable network to churning out hundreds of hours of television for multiple outlets, including such shows as “Whodunnit?” (ABC), “Same Name” (CBS) and “Somebody Has to Go” (Fox).
Before coming to 51 Minds, Gholam was an executive producer at MTV, where he helped launch “The Hills.” Earlier in his career, he spent time in late night television as a producer on “The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn” and “Talkshow with Spike Feresten.”