CNN names new chief creative officer for marketing department

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Otto Bell has been named senior vice president and chief creative officer of CNN Worldwide, overseeing the creative marketing department.

Bell joins CNN after eight years as founder and CCO of Courageous, the commercial brand studio for CNN.

He now oversees on-air and off-channel brand and marketing for all CNN Worldwide businesses, including CNN, CNN International, CNN Digital and CNN en Español.

In his eight years at Courageous, Bell worked closely with numerous CNN teams to deliver hundreds of campaigns for hundreds of advertisers, all while pioneering profitable new revenue streams such as brand-funded short form documentaries, events and experiences, VR and AR, live advertising, high impact digital takeovers, podcasts, feature films and series.

Prior to Courageous, Bell helped found and lead Ogilvy’s Entertainment practice. As creative director he developed new media models and produced numerous brand-funded television series with partners such as BBC World News, CNBC, Nat Geo and Discovery. Before that, Bell worked in brand positioning, brand planning and copywriting roles over three years in London, Paris and Shanghai as part of WPP’s prestigious “Fellowship” scheme.

In addition to his work in the corporate world, Bell is also an acclaimed independent Documentary Director and Producer. His debut feature “The Eagle Huntress” premiered at Sundance and sold to Sony Pictures Classics. It became the highest grossing documentary of the year, was nominated for BAFTA, PGA, DGA Awards and shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar. Bell’s other work includes “The Toxic Pigs of Fukushima” which premiered at Telluride, sold to Vice, and was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy. He is currently in post-production on his next documentary feature, “The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu” based on the NYT bestseller of the same title.

Bell has won every major creative award in the advertising industry – including over 300 while at Courageous. He has spoken on-stage at CES, SXSW, Cannes Lions, MIPCOM and TEDx. He was named one of “10 Directors to Watch” by Variety, a “Young Influential” by Adweek, a “Resident Fellow” of The Explorers Club, received a Murrow Award for “Innovation in Journalism” and became a Naturalized Citizen of the USA for his “Outstanding Contributions to American Arts and Media.” Bell holds a Masters in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.

Bell is based out of CNN’s New York bureau and will report to Kristine Coratti Kelly, the executive vice president and head of global communications.

Bell’s hire comes after the network’s scandal with CEO Jeff Zucker and chief marketing officer Allison Gollust having a consensual workplace romance that was not disclosed as per company regulations. Since then, the network has been making strategic hires for its marketing and communications team.