PRWeek and MM&M hire NBC exec for custom content role

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Haymarket Business Media has brought on senior custom content, multimedia, and news executive Maia Samuel to spearhead an investment in its fast-expanding custom content unit.

Samuel founded and led the NBC News/CNBC/Today/MSNBC Brand Studio, creating custom content for clients including Nasdaq, Walmart, EY, T-Mobile, L'Oreal, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Quaker, and Chase.

"I'm thrilled to join Haymarket Media to build on the excellent custom content PRWeek and MM&M's teams have already created for their clients," she said. "We're going to create a studio focused on in-depth brand journalism with a uniquely creative spark. I'm looking forward to working with marketers to innovate with us in telling the story of their brands."

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This year, the Haymarket Content Lab has produced high-profile custom activations for brands including eBay, Cision, Klick Health, Intouch Solutions, Burson-Marsteller, Zignal Labs, and Rx EDGE. Haymarket is also hiring an associate editor for the Content Lab to concentrate on MM&M custom projects, reporting to Samuel.

Prior to setting up NBC's Brand Studio, Samuel was a multimedia executive and journalist for more than 20 years, with NBC, ABC, CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN. She covered 9/11 from Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. In 2000, she conducted a clandestine interview with Aung San Suu Kyi and smuggled the tapes out of Myanmar in the soles of her sneakers.

She also covered the death of Princess Diana from Paris and the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. She won an Amnesty International Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, and was nominated for two Emmys.

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Bernadette Casey has been promoted to executive director of Haymarket Business Media's Content Hub production, art, and web unit, which supports the MM&M and PRWeek editorial teams as well as the custom content lab.

Samuel, Casey, and MM&M editor-in-chief Marc Iskowitz report to Steve Barrett, who took on the role of VP, editorial director for PRWeek and MM&M in August this year. He also continues to be editorial director of PRWeek Global and editor-in-chief of PRWeek US.

"Bringing someone of the caliber of Maia on board represents a huge statement about the power of PRWeek and MM&M, as well as the custom content growth potential of the brands moving forward," said Barrett. "Bernadette's promotion is well-deserved recognition of the key part she has played in establishing Haymarket's centralized, digital-first Content Hub structure."

See also: Haymarket Media acquires digital agency Group DCA

Haymarket Business Media encompasses computer security specialist SC Media and long-term care brand McKnight's, as well as MM&M and PRWeek.

The division's chief revenue officer, Mike Medwig, said: "As our customers are increasingly looking for innovative ways to connect with our audiences through the creation of custom content activations, it is an ideal time to expand our capabilities in these areas.

"I am excited that Maia will lead our growing team and bring a new level of experience, creativity, and sound business management to our organization."

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