William Sledd, the fourth-most subscribed YouTube member, is the latest web video star to score a job for his efforts, taking his Ask a Gay Man series to Bravo’s gay-themed web portal. He joins singer Ysabella Brave (see update below) and comedian Sherry Sirof in scoring major media company production deals as a result of their homegrown web-efforts.
The L.A. Times had reported that Sledd — a 23-year-old Kentucky native who had recently been name-checked as a fashion expert on The View — had signed a contract with NBC, and now he’s turning up on its Bravo.
The deal is notable because it appears that Sledd — who has quit his job in retail at the Gap to make videos full-time — will be retaining the show he created for YouTube, rather than joining the cast of a network projects, like Little Loca and Lisa Nova did. “Webisode themes will include thought-provoking topics from the summer mani-pedi to dressing to beat the heat,” said Bravo in an emailed press release.
However, it’s a web-only deal, with Sledd lined up to start posting weekly to OUTzoneTV.com starting in mid-June. It’s unclear if the deal arrangement is exclusive. While Sledd is getting paid by Bravo, he would stand to lose many a viewer if he made the switch off YouTube.
Bravo also announced today three more web-only series to premiere this summer, including two cooking shows and one starting tonight called My Life on the Z-List.
Yesterday NBC announced it had signed up three web stars of its own for its DotComedy humor site. MySpace impressionist Phillip Wilburn, YouTube comedian Sherry Sirof, and actress Cara Jedell (who supposedly formerly vlogged at Heavy.com, but I can’t find her there) will all be contributing to the site.
Amidst a near-constant barrage of web show and network announcements in our inboxes, it’s great to see media companies looking to self-made web stars for direction — and rewarding them with some cash in the process.
Update: How did we miss this? Ysabella Brave, our favorite YouTube chanteuse, has been signed by Warner Music’s Cordless Recordings, as reported by the L.A. Times over the weekend. Check out her ecstatic video announcement (embedded above).