Facebook hires a Hollywood veteran to head entertainment partnerships

Facebook has been ramping up efforts to encourage more posts and updates by and about Hollywood celebrities, movies and TV shows.  Now it’s hired a former executive from Ryan Seacrest’s production company to serve as head of “entertainment partnerships” for the giant social network.

Sibyl Goldman was executive VP for new media at the American Idol host’s Ryan Seacrest Productions, according to Variety, which broke the story of Goldman’s hire on Monday. Goldman will join a growing team of Facebookers, based in the West L.A. district of Playa Vista, that works on efforts to get studios and celebrities to share significant updates on the social network.

Her hiring is part of a broader effort by Facebook to compete with Twitter and other social sites to be seen as THE place where users can get news and share their opinions about public events, including news, sports and entertainment, as they happen. As we’ve written before, these “real-time” discussions are viewed as ripe for advertisers who want to target consumers with timely commercial messages geared to topics they’re interested in.

Facebook reportedly has been working with celebrities to coach them on the best ways to share their thoughts on the social network, as digital advertising reporter Peter Kafka, now with re/code, reported last spring. It’s also working to pitch networks and studios on ways of combining Facebook’s ad-targeting capabilities with other marketing efforts on the social network.

Goldman will report to Nick Grudin, Facebook’s director of partnerships.  The company told Variety:

“The entertainment industry and Facebook are increasingly intertwined, and Sibyl is a welcome addition to the team focused on creating great experiences for people on Facebook to connect with everything from TV shows to talent.”

(Image of Facebook’s “trending topics” feature courtesy of Facebook)

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (350 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.