How Maria Menounos Is Building the ‘ESPN of TV Talk’ With AfterBuzz TV

CEO and co-founder on new network that's breaking all the rules of advertising and engagement

Menounos has helped hundreds of new hosts get started.
Headshot of Nadine Dietz

Maria Menounos is a host, an author, a podcaster and even a wrestler, but she is also the CEO and co-founder of a new type of network, AfterBuzz TV, which produces more than 150 hours of programming each week and helps develop the careers of hundreds of new hosts each year.

Maria Menounos (l.) with Nadine Dietz

Growing up as the daughter of Greek immigrants who didn’t speak English, Maria quickly learned the value of hard work from the age when she could first pick up a broom to help with her family’s janitorial business. As she began to dream of Hollywood, she pursued every possible angle to get her foot in the door, from studying journalism to accepting early roles as a high school news reporter. Once in L.A., she earned roles at Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, the Today show and more. Today, she runs AfterBuzz TV, a first-of-its-kind online broadcast network, that gives superfans a chance to keep conversations about their favorite TV shows going, has earned billions of downloads worldwide and is creating a new model for brands to engage with fans.

Menounos also is committed to helping others succeed. While quarterbacking her mother’s stage 4 brain cancer care, Menounos discovered she herself had a brain tumor and faced a pivotal point in her life and career. After her surgery, she decided to focus on how she could help others and has not only helped hundreds of new hosts get started but also provides tips for improving health and well-being on her website, mariamenounos.com.

Here, Menounos tells her story and takes note of the new media network that is breaking all the rules of old-school advertising and engagement.


nadine.dietz@adweek.com Nadine Dietz is chief community officer at Adweek and host of the CMO Moves podcast.