The Guy Who Helped Make Jimmy Fallon A Hit (On YouTube And TV) Is Heading To Vox

By 10/17/2016
The Guy Who Helped Make Jimmy Fallon A Hit (On YouTube And TV) Is Heading To Vox

Vox Media controls a network of well-established, category-specific brands and has hundreds of millions of dollars of venture capital in its coffers. Now, with those assets in play, the media company has hired an experienced executive to help continue its push into the online video world. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gavin Purcell, who previously served as a producer for The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, is Vox Media’s new head of video.

In his new position, Purcell will oversee the video productions undertaken by Vox Media’s brands, which include sports hub SB Nation, food destination Eater, and the eponymous news source Vox. The resources Vox has invested in video have risen considerably since the March 2015 launch of a programming division called Vox Entertainment. In particular, the main Vox channel has rode a series of slickly-produced mini-docs to more than 1.3 million subscribers.


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With Purcell steering the ship, Vox looks to further increase its online video profile. “Part of what we were looking for was someone who not only understood how to grow a video brand, but someone who understood how to do it in a way that was high-quality and worked with talent to tell great stories,” Vox CEO Jim Bankoff told The Hollywood Reporter.

Bankoff is right to peg Purcell as someone who tells great stories. During his two years at Fallon, he played a big role in shaking up the late-night TV landscape by fostering the growth of the Tonight Show’s YouTube channel, which has received more than six billion views today. Most similar programs have followed Fallon’s lead, and digital video is now such an important part of the late-night ecosystem that hosts like James Corden don’t even pay attention to ratings anymore, opting to keep an eye on YouTube views instead.

It would be asking too much of Purcell to expect him to catalyze the same sort of paradigm shift in the publishing world as the one he helped bring to late-night TV. Nonetheless, he’s undoubtedly a smart hire for Vox, and the media company’s digital channels will be worth watching in the coming months.

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