Zola Mashariki, a veteran of both BET Networks and Fox Searchlight Pictures, has just been named the head of Audible Studios.
In her new role at the Amazon-owned platform, Mashariki will be in charge of the creation of all of Audible’s original programming. This involves the entire production pipeline from conception to release. In addition, she will oversee studio production, which includes the implementation and development of content strategy.
Mashariki, who will be based in Los Angeles, will report to Rachel Ghiazza. Ghiazza, a former executive at Spotify, is the current Executive Vice President and head of US content at Audible.
Ghiazza believes that by working with Mashariki, Audible will be in an ideal position to conquer this vital moment in audio. Right now, originality and creativity are at a premium, and it’s crucial to reimagine what audio experiences can become for audiences.
Mashariki already has a track record of developing award-winning, breakout hits. She also has unmatched expertise, and she has a firm grasp of the intersection of quality content and audience appetite.
For her part, Mashariki is excited to be part of a team that will amplify unique voices and delivers immersive audio narratives.
For 15 years, Mashariki worked at Fox Searchlight Pictures—which is currently just Searchlight Pictures.
In that time, she worked as the Senior Vice President of Production, where she oversaw a plethora of international and independent productions.
Some of Mashariki’s most successful productions were projects like “The Last King of Scotland”, “The Secret Life of Bees”, “Antwone Fisher”, and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. She also worked on Oscar darlings like “12 Years a Slave” and “Slumdog Millionaire”.
In 2015, she became BET’s head of original programming. In this role, she oversaw programming and was in charge of the creative team.
She was the executive producer and developer of “The New Edition Story”, which was the network’s highest-rated show in the previous decade.
She also worked with Lawrence Fishburne on “Madiba”, a limited series based on Nelson Mandela’s life, along with “Rebel”, a series she worked on with the late John Singleton.
In a shocking turn, BET fired Mashariki in 2017 while she was on medical leave. Naturally, she filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination against them, and they settled out of court.
In her new position, Mashariki is certain to help Audible produce award-worthy content that should pull in way more subscribers than it already has. She has the talent and the resolve, after all.