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Mitú Taps Former Nickelodeon Exec Herb Scannell as CEO

Chief exec oversaw launch of ”Rugrats“ and ”SpongeBob SquarePants“

Mitú — the Latino-influenced digital media company that reaches 100 million viewers in the U.S. each month — has tapped former Nickelodeon President Herb Scannell to be its new Chief Executive Officer.

During his time at Nickelodeon, Scannell oversaw the launch of landmark shows like “Rugrats,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Dora the Explorer,” while guiding the network to the top of the cable ratings for a decade straight. The New York native has also held high-level positions at MTV Networks, BBC North America and Next New Networks, an online content network that was sold to YouTube in 2011.

“As the son of a proud Puerto Rican mom, mitú’s promise speaks to me professionally and personally,” said Scannell in a statement. “I have long advocated that the Latino market is underserved. Within a generation Latinos are projected to represent the majority of youth in the U.S. and the most influential and sought-after audience in entertainment.”

Since 2012, mitú has attracted its young audience by harnessing several digital platforms. It recently partnered with Snapchat to offer the app’s only Latino-focused Discover channel, and has also launched shows like “Chingo Bling: They Can’t Deport Us All” on Netflix and “What’s Good in Your Hood” on Facebook Watch.

Scannell pointed to mitú’s President and co-founder Beatriz Acevedo as one of the key reasons he’s coming aboard, calling her a “dynamo” in a phone interview with TheWrap. Acevedo, who will remain with the company and have an expanded role leading content production, talent development and social impact efforts, reciprocated the kind words.

“I have so much respect for Herb and for the legendary brands and franchises he built,” said Acevedo in a statement. “I am incredibly excited to now have the opportunity to partner and work alongside him and build our mitú brand as the voice of this generation.”

Scannell told TheWrap the objective is clear for mitú: “Our job is to celebrate Latino talent.” He pointed to Def Jam as a template for success, as it stemmed from an authentic African-American viewpoint and helped shape pop culture. With nearly 60 million Latinos living in the States, he sees the same opportunity for mitú. With English as its primary language, Scannell aims to have mitú’s content appeal to not only young Latinos, but Americans of all backgrounds. (He pointed to a PWC report that shows 90 percent of Hispanics stream content online, with 58 percent of third-generation Hispanics preferring English as their video language.)

Scannell is starting immediately at the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, looking to build on the company’s 650 million global viewers.

Mitú has raised more than $40 million from investors, including Upfront Ventures, Comcast, WPP and Verizon.