Verizon hires former CBS reality chief Castallo as head of development for Go90—which is still here

Chris Castallo(CBS Corp.)

Verizon has announced the hiring of former CBS alternative programming chief Chris Castallo for its long-gestating mobile video programming service Go90.

Castallo will report to Ivana Kirkbride, chief content officer for Go90, Verizon’s struggling ad-supported mobile-first programming service. 

Castallo joined CBS in 2007, rising to head of “alternative” programming in 2013 and somehow reinvigorating impossibly tired franchises like “Survivor” and “Big Brother.” 

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Castallo joins Go90 after yet another period of volatility for the platform. Over the spring, former NBCUniversal executive Chip Canter left his position as general manager of Go90. Steve Woolf, formerly head of networks at AwesomenessTV, was subsequently hired as head of programming for the platform. And former DirecTV executive Ryan Blood was named director of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon Media. 

The entire Go90 platform is now overseen by Brian Angiolet, Verizon’s senior VP and global chief media and content officer.

The personnel moves came as Verizon once again reorganized its content strategy for Go90, creating different network brands based on demographic profiles: Go90 XO, Go90 Zone, Go90 Session and Go90 Saga. 

Castallo will lead the development of content for those channels. 

Verizon has not released any usage figures on Go90. 

The Go90 news comes amid reports that Verizon is struggling to negotiate program licensing deals as it seeks to compete with virtual MVPD platforms with its own over-the-top service.