Raze, the digital media company co-founded by Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, has named Mari Urdaneta as SVP and chief content officer. She will report to CEO Emiliano Calemzuk, who is also a partner in the operation along with Latin World Entertainment founder Luis Balaguer.
Urdaneta will lead all creative and production efforts on the long-form side for Raze, which is expanding production activities into television and OTT platforms. She will also manage the programming and production strategy for the Raze digital video platform and its remote teams.
Raze was founded in January, 2017 to target under-served and bilingual Latino users that watch video stories via mobile phones. It also creates Latin-centered content for advertisers. The company launched the mobile and social-first storytelling platform Raze TV last June.
“We are thrilled that someone with an extensive production experience and long-standing relationships in the creative business as Mari is joining the ranks of Raze,” said Calemzuk. “Mari is a consummate professional and a tastemaker that will help Raze shape the future of the Latino brand within the U.S. mainstream.”
Urdaneta was formerly a Raze content partner through her production house, Dhana Media, where she developed some of Raze’s most successful programs, including the hit bio-series “Su Nombre Era Dolores, La Jenni Que Yo Conocí,” (“Her Name Was Dolores: The Jenni That I Knew”), the story of the late banda diva Jenni Rivera, which aired on Univision with high success.
In addition, she was the head of talent management and development executive at Latin World Entertainment, a company founded by Sofia Vergara and Luis Balaguer, where she continued to grow and manage the careers of top A-List crossover talent.
Urdaneta’s credits over her 25 years experience include the first short-format reality series, “The Lab”; the documentary “Fuerte, La Historia de Lilian Tintori,” (“Strong, the Story of Lilian Tintori”); and the biopic about the life of soccer player Diego Armando Maradona, currently in pre-production. As an Executive Producer, she just completed production of the Spanish-language comedy “¡He Matado A Mi Marido!” (“I’ve Murdered My Husband!”) for the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets.
Before that, Urdaneta was as producer for Telemundo and Promo Films’ first reality show for the US Hispanic Market, “Protagonistas de Novela,” (“Novela Leading Stars”), followed by “Protagonistas de la Musica” (“Music Leading Stars”) and “Temptation Island.” She was also a leading executive in charge of the re-launch and re-development of NBCUniversal’s cable network, mun2, and was the producer of the daily live urban music show, “The Roof,” the network’s flagship property.