Veteran entertainment executive and former Epix unscripted head Rachel Brill has joined WarnerMedia sports brand Bleacher Report as SVP and GM of its nascent production outfit, B/R Studio.
In the new posting, Brill will be tasked with leveraging her industry connections to develop partnerships with leading storytellers, producers and filmmakers for unscripted sports-related projects targeted toward Bleacher Report’s millennial and Gen Z audience, estimated at 200 million users.
She will also build programming for B/R’s owned and operated channels, as well as opportunities to cross-pollinate stories within the Turner Sports and WarnerMedia ecosystems.
Based out of Bleacher Report’s New York offices, Brill reports directly to Sam Toles, B/R chief content officer.
Her appointment comes as Bleacher Report, a sport- and sports culture-focused website, ratchets up its commitment to building out its original, premium mid- and long-form content pipeline.
The recently created B/R Studio has quietly taken shape over the last few months and has shaped its focus on premium video, narrative audio and “high impact journalism.” The studio’s current content portfolio includes such sports titles as Ditch the Playbook with Adam Lefkoe, Untold Stories with Master Tesfatsion, How Hungry Are You? with Serge Ibaka, Your Fantasy Fire Drill, The Champions, and the recently launched Battlestations, a B/R Studio original production that spotlights the gaming lives of today’s top athletes.
Brill most recently served as SVP and head of unscripted original programming at Epix. She joined the MGM-owned premium pay TV network in March 2018 and was responsible for the development and production of all Epix documentaries and unscripted series.
Her recent production credits include premium boxing series The Contender; Wanda Sykes’ comedy series Unprotected Sets; and music-focused docuseries Punk from Iggy Pop and John Varvatos.
Prior to joining MGM’s Epix, Brill co-created and executive produced the docuseries Ritual in partnership with ACE Media and the NFLPA for Amazon Prime Original’s NFL Thursday Night Football, and Viceland’s Nuts + Bolts featuring rapper Tyler, the Creator.
The executive began her career at All3Media prodco Zoo Productions, where she spent 10 years. While there, Brill led all development and branded content efforts, including Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? and Girls Behaving Badly.
“Rachel brings exactly the right mix of an impressive track record developing ultra-premium content coupled with a digital first storytelling sensibility that aligns perfectly with our ambitions. She’s an avid sports fan and will rapidly focus our newly formed B/R Studio team towards developing and producing a wide range of original content,” said Bleacher Report CEO Howard Mittman in a statement. “Looking at her most recent project, NFL Films’ NFL: The Grind for Epix, leaves no doubt that she has superb storytelling instincts and will be massively impactful to B/R’s future success.”
“In a distribution landscape that is evolving faster than players demanding trades after one loss, the key is original IP, talent and a point of view,” added Brill. “Through the storytelling prowess of the B/R verticals, we will unlock the viral relevance of the B/R voice for distinct audiences, in long, mid and short-form narrative and formats, across all media.”