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Viacom exec replaces Harnevo at AOL Studios

Media company has replaced AOL Studios president Ran Harnevo with a veteran Viacom executive.

Dermot McCormackDermot McCormack (pictured) will lead online video channels platform AOL On, branded content wing BE On and AOL’s original production and distribution division, AOL Studios, reporting into AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong and AOL Platforms CEO Bob Lord.

He joins the online firm as Harnevo exits “to pursue other opportunities”, though the latter will remain as executive producer on AOL’s first long-form production, Connected.

Harnevo joined AOL in 2010 when the media giant acquired his video platform 5min Media. Since then, he has overseen the roll out of short-form shows Park Bench with Steve Buschemi and The Future Starts Here, and the move into long-form.

“Building 5min Media as a small start-up and then getting acquired four years later to keep going full speed and reach our vision, was the best experience in my professional life,” he said.

“Dermot is the right person to lead AOL On forward and it’s time for me to return to my entrepreneurial roots.”

McCormack joins after sox years at Viacom, where he was most recently head of Viacom Music & Logo’s Connect Content Group, the unit that leads all non-linear brand initiatives for MTV, HV1, CMT and Logo.

Prior to that, he was senior VP, interactive product management at US cable firm Cablevision, and was also an early executive at iVillage.com.

AOL is now a top three player in video and we owe much of this success to exceptional leadership from Ran Harnevo and the team he developed. “Dermot is a game changing talent with experience exactly where we need it – building audiences through engaging programming – and is the person I expect to take AOL’s video efforts to the next level, building on our significant success to date and increasing the pace of our innovation and growth,” said AOL chief Armstrong.