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Maker Studios' Will Keenan joins Endemol digital venture

Programming executive Will Keenan has joined Endemol North America as president of its newly funded digital unit, Endemol Beyond USA.

Keenan spent the last two years as vice president of vertical development and network programming at Maker Studios.

Endemol plans to create a global network of digital channels and has earmarked $40 million for the effort. The Endemol Beyond USA unit expects to develop its own productions as well as acquire programming from other producers.

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Keenan has been charged with launching the ambitious effort, which is intended to capitalize on the traction and popularity of established digital giants as Google's YouTube and Yahoo.

Endemol said its digital business currently has about 100 YouTube channels worldwide. Endemol is one of the world's largest TV producers, boasting such shows as "Big Brother," "Fear Factor" and the daytime talk show "Steve Harvey."

Keenan will report to Cris Abrego and Charlie Corwin, co-CEOs of Endemol North America.  In a statement, Keenan said he was "looking forward to leading a first-of-its-kind premium channel network venture and a digital dream team that will transform the way digital content is experienced and delivered."

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