Hulu's New Content Boss Is Warner Exec Craig Erwich

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins to Give First Public Talk at Ad Age Digital on Wednesday

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Hulu's new senior VP and content head Craig Erwich
Hulu's new senior VP and content head Craig Erwich

Hulu's new CEO Mike Hopkins has added a content chief as he continues to fill out his executive roster.

Hulu has appointed Craig Erwich as senior VP and head of content, the company announced Monday morning. Mr. Erwich officially starts with the company next Monday.

Mr. Erwich had most recently served as executive VP at Warner Horizon, a division of Warner Bros. TV group. For the past seven years, he had oversaw the studio's primetime reality and scripted cable programming, which include NBC's "The Voice" and ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars." Mr. Erwich left Warner Horizon in January.

"Craig is ready to hit the ground running and lead us as we increase our overall content offerings, and continue to invest in original first-run TV programming, last night's TV, and great library TV from the U.S. and other markets," Mr. Hopkins wrote in an email to Hulu employees posted to the company's blog.

Hulu's senior VP-content position has been vacant since Andy Forssell was promoted from the role to become interim CEO in March 2013. Mr. Forssell replaced the company's founding CEO Jason Kilar and eventually left the company when Mr. Hopkins was named CEO in October 2014.

Since taking over as chief executive, Mr. Hopkins has appointed new finance, technology and distribution chiefs and hired former NBCUniversal digital ad sales boss Peter Naylor as Hulu's senior VP-advertising. Mr. Hopkins will give his first public talk as Hulu's CEO on Wednesday at the Ad Age Digital Conference in New York.

The former president of distribution at Fox Networks, Mr. Hopkins has been effectively serving as Hulu's content head with a number of execs splitting the duties. David Baron has held the VP-content position but is considered to be more focused on content operations like managing content relationships and incorporating partners' content into the service, according to former colleagues. Alex Kruglov had led content acquisition and reported directly to Mr. Forssell and then to Mr. Hopkins but left Hulu in January 2014. As head of development for Hulu's original series, Charlotte Koh has become the face of Hulu's content business during Mr. Hopkins tenure.

The core of Hulu's content remains the syndication of TV shows, such as those from parent companies Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal. But the company has been adding original series as a way to differentiate itself from cable companies' video on-demand services. It rolled out more than 20 original series last year and expects to double the figure over the next few years. In January Hulu announced three new original shows to premiere this year and twelve renewals.

Hulu featured more than 3,040 TV series on its service. Originals only account for 5% of viewing on Hulu, Mr. Forssell said last September at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX conference. That share is eventually expected to hit 10% to 15%, he said.

Hulu said late last year that it expected to close 2013 with $1 billion in revenue, up from $695 million in 2012. Thirty million people use Hulu each month, and 5 million people pay $7.99 a month to watch the service's content on mobile and connected TVs.

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