By Darah Hansen
Disney-owned Maker Studios has parted ways with its chief content officer, Erin McPherson.
News of McPherson’s departure was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Disney-owned multi-channel network August 24.
“Erin McPherson is no longer with Maker Studios per mutual agreement with the company. Maker does not have any immediate plans to replace her role,” the rep confirmed in an email to Kidscreen sister pub StreamDaily.
McPherson began her career as an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood, with big-name clients including Halle Berry, Kevin Spacey and Zachary Quinto. She made the move to Maker two years ago from Yahoo, where she worked as VP and head of video programming and originals.
At Maker, she has overseen all aspects of original content, series development across platforms, strategic programming partnerships and talent relationships across the MCN. It was no small job. Maker is among the largest digital networks in the world, with 55,000 creators worldwide generating 10 billion views every month, according to the network. The company has signed some of the biggest digital stars in the business, including gaming sensation PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg), whose subscriber base of nearly 39 million puts him well ahead of any other digital influencer.
Under McPherson’s leadership, Maker now has more than 270 shows in various stages of development and 40 active productions.
Disney paid US$500 million for the MCN in 2014, with another US$450 million promised to shareholders if the company met certain performance-based targets. The company is growing, however, there are reports that indicate the MCN has fallen short of those performance targets, and that an executive shake-up was predicted to occur sometime this year.
Along with McPherson, Maker has reportedly also split with its head of marketing, Jeremy Welt. At press time, however, Welt’s departure remained unconfirmed.