Hot List: Brett Bouttier
Name: Brett Bouttier
Title: Senior VP, digital, Warner Bros. Television Group
Big Break: Being promoted to his current title in May 2007.
Who Knew?: Mr. Bouttier did the interview for this piece from Cedars-Sinai two days after he and his wife welcomed their newborn son into the world.
The worlds of television and digital media may be blurring, but Brett Bouttier is navigating the murky waters just fine.
As senior VP of digital at Warner Bros. TV Group, Mr. Bouttier has overseen the transition of Web properties to television—the successful launch of TMZ.com as a syndicated TV show—and TV properties onto the Web.
Last August, Warner Bros. TV Group brought The WB network and its kids programming block to the Web with the launch of TheWB.com and KidsWB.com. Mr. Bouttier and the WBTVG team secured DailyMotion, Joost, Sling Media, TiVo and Veoh Networks as distribution partners, as well as TV talents such as Josh Schwartz, McG and “The Colbert Report’s” Rob Corddry to create original content for TheWB.com. The Web site has become a destination for digital watercooler conversations and TV writer-producers looking for the freedom that the Web allows. It’s even attracting interest from the networks.
“Several of the original shows on TheWB.com have generated interest from television networks,” Mr. Bouttier said. “They saw an audience start to follow the programming and now want to develop it into a television show. We have people coming to us.”
Meanwhile, “KidsWB is growing at an immediately fast clip, reaching tons of kids and boys through the D.C. side of it.”
Mr. Bouttier also oversaw the launch of another digital venture—MomLogic.com, a content site and ad network aimed at mothers that could one day make the leap to TV.
“All of those [ventures] share the same DNA in that it’s about building great brands that connect with the user on a day-in and day-out basis, but in a digital way, which is on-demand,” Mr. Bouttier said.
The business, sales and distribution operations for all of these digital initiatives is a lot to manage, but Mr. Bouttier feels prepared to handle the responsibility thanks to an opportunity that turned into something more. While still a junior at UCLA, Mr. Bouttier’s internship at Studios USA/Universal Television turned into a full-time job as a research analyst.
“It was as if I got two degrees. One in economics and one in TV,” Mr. Bouttier said of the experience.