Bleacher Report Names Sam Toles as Chief Content Officer
Bleacher Report has named senior digital media executive Sam Toles as Chief Content Officer for the leading digital destination for millennial and Gen Z sports fans. Toles will lead a group currently reaching an audience of more than 250 million highly-engaged fans across the Bleacher Report site, app, and social channels with marquee IP including House of Highlights, Game of Zones, and sports reporting. His appointment comes on the heels of of an announcement to develop sports betting content from a B/R branded studio in the Caesars Palace Las Vegas sports book, along with a significant expansion period for B/R Football and its coverage of UEFA Champions League. The announcement was made by Howard Mittman, Bleacher Report CEO.
“B/R is the most powerful voice in sports media today when it comes to capturing, reflecting, and defining the relationship between sports and culture, while delivering it to fans wherever they are: social, mobile, or online,” says Mittman. “Sam is going to help us amplify this voice and develop a disciplined system through which we can create new, compelling content and support our amazing talent pool of creators.”
“There is no company positioned as well as Bleacher Report to capture and captivate young audiences hungering for a fresh perspective on the sports and culture they crave,” adds Toles. “I could not be more excited to build upon Bleacher Report’s amazing success and will be laser-focused on serving deeply passionate audiences by connecting them to diverse, multi-talented creators across all forms of media and distribution.”
Toles comes to Bleacher Report from MGM where he was Senior Vice President of Digital & New Platforms, leading the studio’s efforts around digital native content development and distribution to create a variety of new programming customized for the needs of emerging platforms. Among his accomplishments were developing a successful original programming strategy for MGM’s direct-to-consumer platforms, including Stargate Command. Sam spearheaded the effort to secure the first-ever original programming slate for Walmart’s Vudu platform.
Prior to MGM, Toles was Senior Vice President, General Manager of Vimeo’s Entertainment Group where he directed all aspects of programing for the global video sharing platform, with a reach to over 250 million unique viewers each month. Under Sam’s leadership Vimeo launched its first slate of original programming including HBO’s High Maintenance, the Emmy-nominated Garfunkel and Oats: Trying to be Special, and the Oscar-nominated animated short Pear Cider and Cigarettes.
A 20-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Toles’ career began in theatrical marketing at New Line Cinema and Warner Bros., followed by home entertainment marketing roles at Paramount Pictures and Rhino. He then joined FremantleMedia as Vice President of Business Development overseeing media licensing for their extensive stable brands including American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The Price Is Right. Toles also served as Vice President of Content Strategy for Gaiam, where he built the foundation and content strategy for the company’s widely distributed digital SVOD service, Gaia.
Toles is based in Bleacher Report’s New York office.