"Magna has a heritage as one of the top producers of branded content, and as the media landscape continues to fragment, the need for strategic programming that meets advertiser needs has become increasingly important," Bill Cella, Magna Global chairman-CEO, said in a statement. "Bill Hilary has a proven track record in developing quality original programming in the U.S. and internationally. That experience, coupled with his close ties to the creative community in New York and Los Angeles make him the right person to ... lead Magna Global Entertainment in its next phase of growth."
In the newly created position as head of Magna Global Entertainment, Mr. Hilary will create custom branded-programming opportunities for clients, as well as develop programming independently for multiple clients. Past projects out of Magna Global Entertainment include the Emmy Award-winning Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentation "Door to Door," as well as the NBC reality series "The Restaurant." Magna Global works with marketers including Sony Corp. and Coca Cola Co.
"I am excited about the opportunity of working with some of the biggest and most influential brands in the world," Mr. Hilary said. "I am looking forward to, and to exploring, new ideas and developing new ways of connecting with the consumer."
In the position, he will also oversee international sales and develop the unit's role in creating content for digital media.
Getting 'ahead of the game'
"There are endless opportunities in an ever-evolving media landscape," he said. "The challenge is to be able to bring together the best creative ideas, the most suitable advertising brands and the most relevant means of distribution ... to be ahead of the game."
Mr. Hilary's start date has not yet been determined. He comes to Magna Global, which is part of Interpublic Media, from BBC America, where he has served as president-CEO since 2004. There he has been responsible for the creative and financial management of the BBC's international channel.
Prior to joining BBC America, Mr. Hilary served five years as exec VP-general manager of Comedy Central, where he built and managed a creative team that oversaw development, programming, marketing, digital media, research, acquisitions and international sales.
Mr. Hilary has also served as head of the Independent Commissioning Group for BBC TV, worked for four years as the head of comedy and entertainment at Grenada TV and was the commissioning editor of youth and entertainment at Channel 4.