Broadcast and Digital News Veteran Joins Former Newsy CEO Blake Sabatinelli in Building Out News Division of Industry’s Fastest-Growing Streaming TV Start-Up
Atmosphere, the worldwide leader in streaming TV for businesses, announced today it has named Micah Grimes as Vice President, News. Grimes brings broad local, national and international news industry experience to the role, most recently serving as Head of Social Media for NBC News and MSNBC where he and his team provided breaking, 24-hour coverage across 70 social accounts.
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Grimes is the second TV and digital news veteran to join Atmosphere this year following the March appointment of former Newsy CEO Blake Sabatinelli as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. At Atmosphere, Grimes will oversee the company’s newly formed news division and the upcoming launch of its Atmosphere News channel. This will include developing the editorial roadmap, managing the newsroom and building a storytelling language for presenting the news in Atmosphere’s unique, audio-optional format. His hiring comes on the heels of Atmosphere’s recent $25 million Series B funding round, which valued the company at $275 million.
“Micah has covered every major news story of the past ten years, demonstrating a phenomenal ability to quickly understand how a story is unfolding, how it should be covered, and what resources will be required to make the coverage stand out,” said Sabatinelli. “His experience leading news efforts across multiple platforms, all with their own specific storytelling features and constraints, will be hugely useful in developing an impactful news experience that works on the Atmosphere platform. We are thrilled to welcome him as we continue to expand our programming and reach.”
Optimized for viewing in public spaces, Atmosphere’s streaming platform provides short-form, audio-optional TV programming to more than 13,000 restaurants, bars, gyms, hotels, doctors’ offices and other venues across the country. The company streams an aggregate of more than 250,000 hours of programming per day across 51 channels of both owned and partner content, reaching over 17 million unique viewers every month. Atmosphere retail clients include Westin, Taco Bell, Texas Roadhouse and thousands of other businesses of all sizes.
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“Atmosphere has pioneered an entirely new approach to streaming TV, bringing high quality programming to out-of-home spaces with content that consumers really respond to,” said Grimes. “We have a great team of smart, passionate people here and I’m excited for the mission of reimagining TV news for this new type of streaming environment.”
Atmosphere, which became profitable in Q4 2020, provides the hardware and free programming to businesses, monetizing its content through its proprietary advertising platform and through paid subscriptions, which allow venues to run their own house ads between the programming. The company’s vertically integrated distribution model offers highly attractive unit economics by owning the customer relationship, device, content channels, product delivery, and ad tech.
Prior to NBC News, Grimes worked at ABC News as a social media editorial lead, served as an assignment editor at ABC affiliate WFTS-TV, as well as a web and social media editor at Spectrum’s Bay News 9 cable channel. He received his B.A. in broadcast journalism from Troy University where he was also a member of the school’s Division I football team.
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