Audible, a leading provider of audio storytelling, announced that Zola Mashariki will be serving as the Head of Audible Studios. Mashariki, who brings more than 20 years of experience to the brand, will oversee the development of content strategy while simultaneously managing the operations of the entire studio. Some of her most recognized work includes “The Last King of Scotland,” “Antwone Fisher,” “The Secret Life of Bees” and other popular book adaptations.
Founded in 1995, Audible is a digital platform that allows for the streaming and purchasing of spoken word content. Audible is currently the largest producer of audio content in the world and has housed projects from popular voices such as Mahershala Ali, Yara Shahidi, and Trevor Noah. The company also maintains more than 600,000 audio programs from publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, and information providers along with original content. Most notably, the company launched the Global Center for Urban Development in 2020. This center, based in Newark, New Jersey, prioritizes community-based initiatives that are geared toward advancing equality, racial justice, and economic empowerment within various communities.
Zola Mashariki has executed some of the most commercially successful content rollouts for television and film. She dedicated 15 years to Fox Searchlight Pictures as Senior Vice President of Production. It was under her lead that audiences received the widely acclaimed film “12 Years a Slave” based on the riveting accounts of Solomon Northrup who detailed his period of enslavement as a free Black man. Additionally, Mashariki was the former Head of Original Programming at BET/Viacom. While there, she executive produced the recording-setting mini-series “The New Edition Story,” which was the highest rated program for the network within the last ten years. The series won two NAACP Awards and became a model for storytelling within Black culture.
In her most recent role, she was the Chief Content Officer of One Community, formerly Good Films, where she played a major role in the release of the 2019 film “Just Mercy” which detailed the defining civil rights career of Bryan Stevenson.
On her new appointment, Mashariki stated “I’m absolutely thrilled to join a best-in-class team to lead content creation, evolve our strategy, amplify original voices – both emerging and established – and deliver imaginative, immersive, and high quality audio narratives to audiences everywhere.”
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Savannah M. Taylor is a native of Springfield, MA, and a graduate of Syracuse University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in African American Studies with a minor in Communication & Rhetorical Studies. Some of her many passions include storytelling through various mediums and bringing awareness to Black history and culture through the advocacy of the Black diasporic community. These passions led her to start her own initiative called The Silhouette Brand, a platform to provide access to resources, opportunity, and exposure for people across the African diaspora.