James Haffner

What’s Trending adds James Haffner as COO

Haffner comes to the company from millennial-focused online news source DeFranco Creative to assume the newly created post.
February 10, 2015

Multi-platform media company What’s Trending announced on Monday that James Haffner joins the company in the newly created position of chief operating officer.

Working with What’s Trending co-founder Shira Lazar, Haffner will focus on expanding the company’s brand in four key areas – editorial content and media partnerships; original content development and branded entertainment; co-productions; and international expansion.

Launched in 2011, What’s Trending produces content ranging from short-form Trending Now short videos and What’s Trending variety shows to long-form live specials from CES, SXSW and award shows. It currently receives more than 20 million views per month across a variety of digital outlets, including YouTube, Dailymotion, Yahoo Screen, iHeartRadio, ClearTV, Complex and The Huffington Post.

Haffner comes to the company from DeFranco Creative, a millennial-focused online news source owned by Discovery Communications with more than 6 million subscribers and 2 million unique daily views. As executive producer, he oversaw business strategy and content development, helping build the company’s For Human Peoples merchandise division, which has sold more than $1.2 million in branded posters, T-shirts and cellphone cases annually.

During his tenure, he helped scale the company from a team of 4 to 45 employees and launched SourceFed and SourceFedNerd in 2012 as part of YouTube’s Original Channel Initiative in 2012.

In October 2014, What’s Trending expanded to India in partnership with Mumbai-based production company Culture Machine. With Haffner on board, it plans to expand to other territories around the globe with digital and traditional broadcast partners.

About The Author
Todd is StreamDaily's U.S. West Coast Correspondent. He has written for a wide range of publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, NylonGuys and, yes, even the Weekly World News. Earlier in his career, he served as senior editor for the pioneering alternative movie magazine Film Threat. You can reach him at toddrlongwell[at]gmail.com or on twitter @toddlongwell1

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