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Raze Expands Leadership Team With Media Veterans

Deadline logo Deadline 3/23/2017 Liz Calvario
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Raze, a new media company focused on Latin-centered stories, is expanding its leadership team and board of directors. In new moves, Rafael Sandor has been named Raze’s Chief Creative Officer, Daniel Hernandez was tapped as head of Raze News, and producers D. Matt Geller and David A. Stern were appointed co-heads of scripted programming. Longtime Discovery Communications President of Sales Joe Abruzzese also joins the board of directors.

“Raze was founded to tell the stories of a generation that has often been underserved by creating content that speaks from a unique Latin voice,” said Emiliano Calemzuk, co-founder and CEO, Raze. “We have taken an important step towards this goal with the additions of Rafael, Daniel, Matt, David and Joe. They are some of the best media and development talent who are experts in their respective fields and truly understand how to connect with audiences.”

Sandor will set a clear creative vision for the company’s brand and content. He brings decades of experience developing successful entertainment properties to Raze. Most recently he served as head of TV marketing and creative at Viceland and prior to that he was EVP of marketing and creative for the international divisions of FOX and National Geographic. Sandor spent 15 years in various roles at Fox International where he led the creative teams to grow the company’s international channels from a small regional network to a global empire with no fewer than 300 channels.

Hernandez will lead the development of news related content. He is an award-winning journalist, editor, author and correspondent with more than 15 years of experience covering U.S. Latinos, as well as Latin American news and culture. He most recently served in a variety of roles at VICE, including as a producer and correspondent for VICE News Tonight on HBO. Prior to this, Hernandez worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, serving in its Mexico City Bureau.

Geller and Stern will spearhead the development and production of English-language scripted television and feature films. Geller produced the critically acclaimed motion picture Remember, starring Academy-Award winner Christopher Plummer and recently completed production on the first season of off-beat comedy Four in the Morning for the CBC. Stern is currently Executive Producer on Amazon’s The Last Tycoon, set to premiere this summer, and the BBC/Starz miniseries Howards End, written by Academy Award winner Kenneth Lonergan.

Abruzzese most recently oversaw all advertising sales for Discovery’s suite of U.S. networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, ID: Investigation Discovery, Discovery Family Channel and more. Under his leadership the Discovery Communications advertising sales teams consistently ranked as the #1 cable sales organization.  Before joining Discovery, he spent over a decade as head of ad sales at CBS, holding key positions in entertainment, sports, daytime, news, late night and UPN networks. Earlier in his career, Abruzzese spent 10 years at NBC holding positions ranging from sports sales, planning to business affairs. He holds numerous honors including being inducted to Broadcasting & Cable’s “Hall of Fame” and being named a “Media Maven” by Advertising Age.

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