Turner gets Courageous with branded content studio

Courageous, headed by former OgilvyEntertainment creative director Otto Bell (pictured), will create content for brands ranging from multimedia "super stories" to longer-form flagship series.
June 8, 2015

Turner Broadcasting has officially unveiled its branded content studio, dubbed Courageous, which will create “culturally significant brand narratives” which can then air on its global news brands, CNN and HLN.

Courageous will be led by vice president and group creative director Otto Bell (pictured), who came to CNN from his previous post as creative director at OgilvyEntertainment (Escape Fire, Truckers in the Wild), and will have an in-house team of producers, editors, videographers and data scientists.

Bell and his team, which will include current and newly hired employees, will report to Michael Shapira, SVP and head of integrated marketing for CNN Ad Sales. Turner’s overall branded content strategy is overseen by Dan Riess, EVP of integrated marketing and branded content.

All Courageous content will be clearly labeled as sponsored content, says Turner, to uphold the news organizations’ editorial integrity.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.