Meet the Frederators: Matt Gielen
Say hi to Frederator’s very own Programming Poobah, Matt Gielen (everyone should have one) in the first of a three part series on Matt and programming. Matt joined the company in 2013. Initially based in NYC, Matt recently moved to our Burbank, CA offices.
What is your job at Frederator?
I am the Director of Programming and Audience Development. I oversee the growth of and set the programming strategy for the Channel Frederator Network, coordinate with my colleague Carrie Miller on the programming of Cartoon Hangover and our other owned and operated properties, and I manage all of our Google/YouTube TrueView campaigns.
Did you always want to be in media or entertainment?
For the most part yes. When I started out in college I thought I wanted to be on the financing side of feature films. After my first film class in my sophomore year, I fell in love with the art of film and realized I wanted to make movies. When I made my first feature, The Graduates (2008), with my brother after graduating, I had another realization, which was making a movie is really really really hard work. When we began self-distributing the film, I quickly realized that finding audiences and seeing their enjoyment of the work, marketing and programming essentially, was really the thing that got me the most excited to get out of bed each morning.
How did you find your way to Fred and Frederator?
After distributing our feature film I began looking to apply my new skill set more broadly and got a job with a start up looking to build a company in the digital video space. After 3 years with this company, building out multiple divisions of the company and creating a network of YouTube channels with 120mm annual video views and 1.5 million subscribers network wide, I was ready for a change. Vanessa Pappas & Ryan Nugent, formerly of Next New Networks and now at YouTube’s Next Lab, made an introduction to Fred. I was a little wary at first because I hadn’t even watched a cartoon in probably five years, but soon it was very clear that principals of programming and audiences are for the most part universal, which Fred really showed me to be true.
Why are you well suited for your job at Frederator?
Probably because I am highly motivated to succeed, I have an insatiable thirst/curse for figuring things out and I’m highly competitive.
What most excites you about your job?
It’s a combination of being on the cutting edge of a new industry where we’re literally blazing this trail every day, and we’re lucky enough to have the mentorship and wisdom of a guy like Fred who has done this multiple times in multiple industries.
What was your first job ever?
Other than producing the feature film with my brother, my first job was 2nd 2nd AD on an indie film called “Peter & Vandy”.
What was your favorite cartoon character growing up?
Wolverine from the X-Men probably doesn’t count, since it was a comic book before it was a cartoon (I also had every X-Men card ever made back when that was a thing). I’m going to have to go with Yakko from Animaniacs. Yakko or Pinky & The Brain.
Off the top of your head – don’t blink – your favorite Quentin Tarantino movie moment is…?
The Bride vs. The Crazy 88s.
Do you own a tie?
Do I own a tie (said in a sarcastic rhetorical tone of voice)? I own the only tie a man needs to own: