OTF founder’s streamer WaterBear Network reveals senior team

Ellen Windemuth

Soon-to-launch nature streamer WaterBear Network has named its management team ahead of its launch later this year, with roles for a number of execs from ZDFEnterprises-owned distributor Off The Fence.

The free, interactive VOD service is dedicated to supporting life on earth and is being launched by Ellen Windemuth, who founded factual-focused OTF more than 25 years ago and sold the company to ZDFE last year.

The digital platform and mobile app will showcase documentaries, original programming and live streaming to increase awareness of environment issues, with content inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Windemuth, who is CEO at the streamer, is joined at WaterBear by OTF MD Victor Eckard, who is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and general management of the VOD service. He was previously director of strategy and business development at OTF and before that head of content at ShowMax.

Head of content & production, responsible for the strategic direction, creative execution and production management of WaterBear content, is Andrea Walji, who previously ran her own production company, Triangle Monday, in London.

Entertainment industry veteran Justin Steel joins as head of planning & distribution, having previously worked with brands including Bloomberg News, Comedy Central, Fox and Insight TV, while Bracken Hollings is head of partnership content, with a remit to create short films with WaterBear’s NGO partners.

Sam Sutaria, previously general manager of The European Nature Trust, joins as head of strategy, while OTF alum Pierre Le Gaudu is head of technical. Louis Botha becomes head of finance, Lisa Rose joins as head of impact, while head of marketing & publicity is Poppy Mason-Watts, who previously worked at Insight TV and FOX Networks Group Asia and National Geographic.

Windemuth said: “As we prepare for launch, we are creating an inspirational showcase of purpose-focused content paired with unique technology for our global audience to interact with the causes they care about.”

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