Ocean MacAdams Steps Down as Thrillist President (EXCLUSIVE)

Ocean MacAdams has departed Group Nine Media’s Thrillist, the lifestyle digital media brand covering food, drink, travel and entertainment, after two and half years, Variety has learned.

With MacAdams’ exit, Thrillist will be headed by chief content officer Meghan Kirsch, a former Vice and A&E exec who joined the company last summer. It’s not clear at this point what MacAdams, an alum of GoPro, MTV, Warner Music Group and MSG Networks, plans to do next.

In a statement Ben Lerer, CEO of parent company Group Nine Media, said: “Ocean has done an incredible job solidifying Thrillist as a leader in the food, drink and travel space. After 181 cross country flights since he started here, I know he is eager to get back to the West Coast. Thrillist is in a great place and under Meghan’s leadership is well-positioned for the next stage of growth. I am confident the team is in great hands.”

MacAdams joined Thrillist in July 2017, replacing co-founder Adam Rich in the president role. He formerly served as head of entertainment at camera maker GoPro — which shut down its entertainment division at the end of 2016. Prior to that, he served as SVP of programming and acquisitions at MSG Networks and before that oversaw Warner Music’s partnership with YouTube. He briefly served as head of programming for Current TV, after working for 12 years at MTV Networks, most recently as SVP of MTV News.

Lerer founded Thrillist in 2004. In 2016, the site was merged into Group Nine Media, a roll-up formed with a $100 million investment from Discovery that combining three startups backed by Lerer Hippeau Ventures — Thrillist, NowThis Media and the Dodo — with Seeker (formerly Discovery Digital Networks). In 2017, it raised a $40 million follow-on round from Discovery, Axel Springer and Lerer Hippeau and banked $50 million last fall from Discovery and Axel Springer.

Last October, Group Nine acquired female-focused lifestyle brand PopSugar in an all-stock deal.

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