Vox is promoting three executives — Joe Posner, Emily Anderson and Mona Lalwani — on its Video team as the Explained and Glad You Asked producer looks to double down on TV and streaming.
Posner (pictured left), creative director, executive producer and co-founder of Vox Video, becomes VP, creative development, Vox Video and TV, while Anderson (right), previously executive director of TV and longform, takes on the role of VP, Vox Video and TV.
Lalwani, meanwhile, moves to the role of editorial director and executive producer, Vox Video and TV.
“We’re thinking about Vox Video and TV as a holistic unit. The work that Joe and the team did well before I even got here is really what has laid this amazing foundation for all of our TV work,” Anderson tells Realscreen. “My remit is to live up to that standard, to live up to the work that the team has already done, and keep helping to grow, keep pushing it, and keep figuring out new opportunities and new partners for us to work with.”
The restructure sees Posner work principally as a hands-on creator again, while also ensuring creative consistency in TV projects at Vox and beyond at Vox Media Studios. He will also play a key role in development and pitching new projects.
Anderson will ensure consistency and quality across Vox projects and oversee the transition of producers and other staffers to and from various projects, as well as budget requirements.
Lalwani continues to oversee YouTube — with Vox’s channel closing in on 10 million subscribers — in addition to taking on a key role in Vox TV projects.
She will instill Vox editorial and journalistic values in projects, help with training, and, on occasion, take an active role as EP or co-EP on TV projects. The exec will also work with Anderson to help set goals and expectations for staffers as they navigate projects across YouTube and TV.
“We’re setting it up more so people can really flow between creating content for the YouTube channel. As a young producer, when you produce for YouTube, you have this really immediate connection with the audience — you see the numbers, you see the comments, you see people reacting and you’re creating for this huge ecosystem,” Anderson says. “We’re also creating more opportunities for people on the team to produce for the TV shows — to potentially produce an episode of Explained or to help develop a new show or to help with the launch of a new show.”
The Video team is growing its distribution footprint with under-wraps projects for streamers and networks including HBO, as the fifth mini season of its Explained series — Money, Explained — heads to Netflix May 11, with a third full-length season in production and set to premiere later this year.
“Because Emily is helping unify the TV and YouTube universe, I’m able to dive deeper on to the next series that we’re working on, which is probably for later this year. I’ve just been really focused on that, continuing to build the next thing,” Posner says.
Anderson added: “It’s like bringing our style and aesthetic and experience, but then working with the different partners, different platforms, slightly different formats and that helps us grow — thinking about new ways to integrate animation with character and different lengths. It’s sort of endless honestly, but that’s the exciting part… How do we keep pushing ourselves as journalists, as storytellers, exploring those different formats? And then, how do we help people as well, to think about the different formats and the different approaches?”
Money, Explained will weave personal finance service journalism, with a heavy dose of psychology, and a deeper documentary dive into the subject, featuring narrators Tiffany Haddish, Bobby Cannavale, Edie Falco, Jane Lynch and Marcia Gay Harden.
“These new kinds of projects allow for creators on the team to get new experiences,” Posner says. “We’re working with new folks from outside who otherwise wouldn’t have been working with Vox if we weren’t doing this TV series… These are chances for us to keep building on that. I really think that we’re just scratching the surface on what explanatory documentary can be. We’ve been so lucky to get to be part of building a new generation of documentary, and this is our shot right to just keep doing that.”
Vox Media Studios, the production arm of Vox Media, produces premium non-fiction and scripted programming for TV, OTT, podcasts, films and brand partners.
The studio has produced for platforms including Hulu, Apple TV+ and CNN, and works in partnership with Vox Media’s editorial networks: Curbed, The Cut, Eater, New York Magazine, Polygon, The Verge, Vox and Vulture, among others. Vox’s Missing Chapter video series, produced by Ranjani Chakraborty, returns May 10, while season two of the Emmy-nominated Glad You Asked – produced by Vox and Vox Media Studios — bowed on YouTube Originals March 30.
Anderson previously led the news team on the Peabody- and Emmy-winning Netflix series Patriot Act. She additionally worked on HBO’s Vice News Tonight, and set up the first New York-based video team for Buzzfeed. She’s also produced docuseries for CNN and MTV.
Posner, meanwhile, co-founded Vox Video in 2014 as part of the launch team of Vox, helping to build its approach and team as head of video for its YouTube Channel.
He pitched the series that became Netflix’s Explained, and helped to launch Vox’s first daily show Answered on the now-shuttered streamer Quibi. He serves as EP on Glad You Asked for YouTube Originals and additional shows in development.
Posner created the series Op-Video for Newsweek/The Daily Beast and animation for documentary films such as Freakonomics, Point and Shoot and the Oscar-nominated If a Tree Falls.
Watch the trailer for Money, Explained below: