A first-of-its kind content incubator

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Who we are

WaitWhat is a first-of-its-kind content incubator that invests in, develops and nurtures original media properties until they achieve great scale. For a combined 16 years, WaitWhat co-founders June Cohen and Deron Triff led TED’s media organization, growing TED Talks from zero to 1 billion views/listens each year through launching TED.com, the TED Open Translation Project, TED Radio Hour on NPR, TED in Cinema, and nearly 100 distribution partnerships around the world. Cohen was previously VP of Content at Wired Digital; Triff was previously VP of Digital Ventures at PBS.

 
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June Cohen
Founder & CEO

June joined TED as employee #5 and built its digital media operations from the ground up. In 2006, she launched TED Talks on the Internet. And in 2009, she introduced the TED Open Translation Project, the largest subtitling effort in the world, with 120 languages, 20K translators and 100K translations. She also co-hosted the annual TED Conference with Chris Anderson and co-founded TEDWomen with Pat Mitchell. Under her leadership, TED’s media efforts earned 17 Webbies, 8 iTunes Best Podcast of the Year and a Peabody. Prior to TED, June was VP of Content at HotWired.com, the pioneering website from Wired Magazine, which introduced many of the conventions now commonplace on the web. Before that, as a student, she led the Stanford team that developed the world’s first networked multimedia magazine in 1991. June holds a BA from Stanford, where she was Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily.

June [at] WaitWhat [dot] com

 

Deron Triff
Founder & Chief Business Officer

Deron served on the executive team at TED from 2011-2016 where he built nearly 100 partnerships that grew TED’s audience to over 100 million per month.  His love and unique skill set for creating successful partnerships resulted in hits like the TED Radio Hour on NPR, TED Weekends on The Huffington Post, TED in Cinemas with Fandango, TED Shows on Netflix,  TED English with National Geographic Learning, and international collaborations throughout Asia, Latin America, The Middle East and Europe. Deron negotiated significant funding for TED Ed from Google and a joint venture with Simon & Schuster to relaunch TED Books, among other collaborations that brought millions of dollars in new annual revenue. Prior to TED, Deron served as Vice President of Digital Ventures for PBS where he launched the kids cable network, Sprout. He holds an MBA degree from McGill University in Montreal.

Deron [at] WaitWhat [dot] com

 

Jai Punjabi
Head of Development & Production

Jai is a rare blend of content production and product development talent — adept at architecting complex and elegant web-based systems as well as producing award-winning video content. Jai produced the feature film PATANG (The Kite), which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, played in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, earned a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and 4 Stars from Roger Ebert. Alongside his career in film, Jai established himself as a sought-after Head of Product, supporting the growth of major digital media companies including Vimeo, TED and Major League Baseball.  

Jai [at] WaitWhat [dot] com

 
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Dan Kedmey
Editor

Prior to joining Wait, What? as Editor, Dan was a business and technology reporter for TIME Magazine, staff writer for the highly-regarded TED blog, and assistant producer for NPR's Planet Money. Dan has a Master's degree in literary reportage from New York University and a Bachelor's in economics from Carleton College.

Dan [at] WaitWhat [dot] com

 

Rafeena Ahmad
Research

Rafeena’s passion for media began when she nabbed her first internship at the Queens Ledger as a high school sophomore. From there she went on to intern with Vice Magazine, NPR, and National Geographic. Prior to joining Wait, What? she served as a senior associate at a communications firm and was a marketing/advance assistant for a music venue in D.C. She earned a double bachelor's in literature and philosophy and a master's in literature at American University. 

Rafeena [at] WaitWhat [dot] com

 

Original Series

 

Masters of Scale

Masters of Scale is an original podcast hosted by LinkedIn Co-Founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman showing how companies grow from zero to a gazillion. The series unfolds like a music-infused detective story as Hoffman tests his theories with famous founders, including Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Reed Hastings (NetFlix), Sara Blakely (Spanx), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) and many more. It's also the first American media program to commit to a 50-50 gender balance for guests. Masters of Scale is a WaitWhat original series in association with Stitcher. 

Sincerely, X (TED)

This original audio series features the first-ever anonymous TED Talks.  Hosted by WaitWhat's June Cohen, the series goes in search of ideas in hiding — powerful ideas that can only be shared in secret. The series launched February 2017 on Audible, in partnership with TED, and will premiere on iTunes in June 2017.