Astronauts Wanted (a joint venture between Judy McGrath, former Chairperson/CEO of MTV Networks, and Sony Music Entertainment) announced that veteran branded entertainment executive Jonny Blitstein has joined the leadership team of the youth development and production company. Based in the company’s New York office, Blitstein joins as Vice President Business Development, Branded Entertainment. Blitstein is a dual report to McGrath, President, Astronauts Wanted, and Nick Shore, Chief Creative Strategist.
This appointment by Astronauts Wanted takes the company’s core strategy -- creating zeitgeist premium content that resonates with contemporary youth audiences -- and broadens it out into the brand storytelling marketplace.
McGrath: “Putting the branded entertainment powerhouse team in place, of first Chris Murphy (SVP Branded Entertainment) and now Jonny, speaks to our commitment to innovate and head the pack in this medium of branded storytelling. Additionally, it demonstrates our desire to partner with the world’s leading and most forward-thinking brands.”
A seasoned pioneer in the art of brand storytelling, Blitstein comes to Astronauts Wanted from Maker Studios/Disney, where he managed sales and content distribution strategy for branded entertainment video and social media campaigns, starring YouTube’s biggest creators. With more than 15 years experience in the field, he has partnered on branded entertainment with clients such as Wendy’s, Walmart and Sprint. Prior to Maker/Disney, Blitstein co-created and led the agency partnerships team for CrowdTwist, a loyalty/audience/influence tech startup, and stewarded their first integration with P&G. His early career work as a writer, director, and producer has been seen and distributed worldwide in festivals, theaters, on cable, Netflix and VOD platforms.