Rise Studios, the Dubai-based firm launched by former OSN execs Emad Morcos and Amel Farag and Warner Bros. Discovery alum Amanda Turnbull last month, has appointed one-time Google and YouTube exec Diana Baddar as MD of digital content and development.
Baddar will be responsible for driving the nascent company’s digital content strategy and business, building relationships with major platforms and identifying regional talent, focusing on bridging the gap between long and short-form content.
She spent eight years at Google where she spearheaded the growth of YouTube in the MENA and Turkey markets. Baddar also launched and grew female creator representation through YouTube Batala, a hub for female creators to showcase their talent on the platform.
During her time there, Baddar relaunched Sesame Street in Arabic after a 20-year hiatus, set up YouTube Space Dubai, and achieved a Guinness World Record for the most viewers of an Iftar Livestream on YouTube.
Launched in October, Rise Studios aims to drive investment into content and talent in the Middle East and North Africa to create local productions for regional and global platforms. It is backed by Great Mountain Partners, a global in the media and entertainment sector, which has previously in Concord, Confluential Films, AiMi and A24.
Rise Studios CEO Turnbull said that Baddar is “well positioned to drive our digital content strategy, championing the rich talent we have in the region.”