‘What’s Trending’ Hires Former DeFranco Creative Exec James Haffner

By 02/09/2015
‘What’s Trending’ Hires Former DeFranco Creative Exec James Haffner

In 2015, What’s Trending is looking to expand, and in order to accomplish that goal, it has turned to an experienced online video executive. James Haffner, formerly the Executive Producer of Philip DeFranco‘s DeFranco Creative, is the new Chief Operating Officer of What’s Trending.

Haffner will take a newly-created position at What’s Trending, which delivers daily videos to its 165,000 YouTube subscribers and receives 20 million views a month across a distribution network that also includes Dailymotion, Yahoo Screen, and The Huffington Post. What’s Trending videos often focus on Internet culture and offbeat news, two categories Haffner knows well; several channels within the DeFranco Creative network, including The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed, tend to hit on similar topics.

With Haffner on board, What’s Trending has outlined four key growth areas for the coming year. According to a release, those focal points are editorial content and media partnerships; original content development and branded entertainment; co-productions; and international expansion.

“Our goal is to aggressively grow the What’s Trending brand in 2015 and who better to help us make that happen than James Haffner, who has an amazing track record having previously built successful media properties and digital businesses,” said What’s Trending co-founder Shira Lazar in the release.  “I am really looking forward to working with James. He’s the perfect candidate to help elevate What’s Trending to new heights.”

“Shira has built What’s Trending into one of the most recognizable brands in our industry,” added Haffner. “I believe there is tremendous opportunity for the company in 2015. I am really excited about diving in with her and the team to scale the brand and further build a creative, innovative and thriving business in the digital space.”

Haffner spent more than five years at DeFranco Creative. Among other milestones, he helped For Human Peoples, the company’s merchandise division, achieve more than $1.2 million in sales. Discovery acquired DeFranco Creative in May 2013.

What’s Trending has already debuted one of its first key projects of 2015. It teamed up with Marriott to launch a travel series that features five prominent YouTubers. The series, which is available on Marriott’s YouTube channel, arrived on February 6th.