Voting Is Open for the 2023 Home Entertainment Media Play Awards

Consumer voting has begun for the 2023 Home Entertainment Media Play Awards. This is the 13th year of the annual home entertainment industry honors, and the sixth year they have been presented by Media Play News.

Through March 31, film and TV fans and home entertainment enthusiasts can visit to select their favorite home entertainment releases of 2022, as nominated by studios, distributors and home entertainment industry professionals.

The awards cover a wide array of home entertainment options, including streaming, from SVOD to AVOD and FAST; DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray; premium video-on-demand (PVOD) and digital sellthrough. 

The results of the consumer vote will be combined with ballots submitted by a panel of expert judges.

“Best of show” winners are then selected from among all eligible submissions for Packaged-Media Title of the Year, TV Disc Release of the Year and Best Blu-ray Disc. A “Fan-Favorite” trophy also will be awarded for the single title receiving the most consumer votes. Judges may also present awards based on special merit.

Winners will be announced April 17.

Last year’s Home Entertainment Media Play Awards saw Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition earn the top prize, voted Title of the Year.

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Home Entertainment Media Play Awards Ballot 2023

Please vote for what you think should win in these categories. Voting ends March 31. Consumer preferences will be combined with the judges scores to determine the winners, which will be announced April 17. Nominations are based on submissions by the studios. If you disagree with the choices you may write in your own, but these will be collected only for survey purposes and may not influence the outcome of the voting. Additional categories that did not have sufficient entries to advance to the ballot stage will also have winners announced.

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2023 Home Entertainment Media Play Award Nominees



Best New Movie Home Release       

The Batman (Warner)

Belle (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney/Marvel)

Elvis (Warner)

Encanto (Disney)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)


Best Catalog Movie on Disc  

E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial 4K (Universal)

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest — 30th Anniversary Edition (Shout! Factory)

The Godfather 4K (Paramount)


Best Recent-Season Disc Release     

1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story (Paramount)

Better Call Saul: Season 6 (Sony Pictures)

House of the Dragon: Season 1 (Warner)


Best Movie Boxed Set

All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror (MVD/Severin)

Belle: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

The Godfather Trilogy 50 Years Collector’s Edition (Paramount)

Halloween 4K Collection 1995-2002 (Shout! Factory)

The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection (Lionsgate)

Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Collection (Sony Pictures)


Best Complete-Series Set

Better Call Saul (Sony Pictures)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

Magnum P.I. Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

seaQuest DSV Blu-ray (Mill Creek)

Yellowstone Dutton Legacy Collection (Paramount)


Best 4K Ultra HD Disc

Belle: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

The Burning Sea (Magnolia)

Coraline 4K Steelbook (Shout! Factory)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (Lionsgate)

Heat (Disney/20th Century)

Poltergeist (Warner)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)


Best Audio/Visual Quality    

Coraline 4K (Shout! Factory)

Top Gun: Maverick 4K (Paramount)


Best Extras/Bonus Material  

Clerks III (Lionsgate)

Everything Everywhere All at Once (Lionsgate)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles 4K (Paramount)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)


Best Box Art

The Cabin in the Woods Steelbook (Lionsgate)

Coraline Steelbook (Shout! Factory)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

The Godfather Steelbook (Paramount)

Hell or High Water Steelbook (Lionsgate)

The Hurt Locker Steelbook (Lionsgate)

La La Land Steelbook (Lionsgate)

ParaNorman Steelbook (Shout! Factory)

Reservoir Dogs Steelbook (Lionsgate)

The Untouchables Steelbook (Paramount)


Best Packaging          

All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror (MVD/Severin)

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney)

Belle: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

The Godfather Trilogy 50 Years Collector’s Edition (Paramount)

Sony Pictures Classics 30th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Collection (Sony Pictures)

Top Gun 2-Movie 4K Steelbook Superfan Collection (Paramount)

Veni Vidi Depraviti: Caligsploitation Classics (Severin Films)


Best Extended Cut/Alternate Cut     

Jurassic World Dominion (Universal)

Star Trek: The Motion Picture — The Director’s Edition (Paramount)


Best Disc Upgrade

Coraline 4K Steelbook (Shout! Factory)

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest — 30th Anniversary Edition (Shout! Factory)

The Limey 4K Steelbook (Lionsgate)

The Paper (Retro VHS Blu-ray) (Mill Creek)

Pulp Fiction 4K (Paramount)

Reservoir Dogs 4K (Lionsgate)


Best Home Release From An Indie Studio   

Blood for Dracula (MVD/Severin)

The Changeling (MVD/Severin)

Frank & Penelope (Mill Creek)


Best International Release    

Alienoid (Korean) (Well Go USA)

The Last Romantic Lover (French) (MVD/Cult Epics)

Three Wishes for Cinderella (Norwegian) (Shout! Factory)


Best Restoration

Blood for Dracula (MVD/Severin)

Casablanca (Warner)

The Godfather (Paramount)

Singin’ in the Rain (Warner)



Best Steelbook          

The Cabin in the Woods (Lionsgate)

Clerks III (Lionsgate)

Coraline (Shout! Factory)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

The Godfather (Paramount)

Halo: Season One (Paramount)

Hell or High Water (Lionsgate)

House of the Dragon: Season 1 (Warner)

The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection (Lionsgate)

The Hurt Locker (Lionsgate)

La La Land (Lionsgate)

The Limey (Lionsgate)

ParaNorman (Shout! Factory)

Reservoir Dogs (Lionsgate)

Top Gun 2-Movie 4K Steelbook Superfan Collection (Paramount)

The Untouchables (Paramount)





Best Action/Adventure Release       

The Batman (Warner)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount)

Uncharted (Sony Pictures)


Best Animation Release        

Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm (Warner)

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (Warner)

Belle: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

Coraline 4K Steelbook (Shout! Factory)

The Deer King (Shout! Factory/GKIDS)

Dragon Ball Super: Series Complete Edition (Crunchyroll)

Encanto (Disney)

Ferngully: The Last Rainforest — 30th Anniversary Edition (Shout! Factory)

The Last Kids on Earth: Book One (NCircle)

Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Sonic Drone Home (Paramount)


Best Comedy Release

Clerks III (Lionsgate)

I Love My Dad (Magnolia)

The Lost City (Paramount)


Best Documentary Release   

Harry Potter: 20th Anniversary Return to Hogwarts (Warner)

JFK Revisited: The Complete Collection (Shout! Factory)

Last Flight Home (Paramount)


Best Drama Release  

1883: A Yellowstone Origin Story (Paramount)

Better Call Saul (Sony Pictures)


Best Horror/Thriller Release 

13 Fanboy (Mill Creek)

Alligator: Collector’s Edition (Shout! Factory)

Smile (Paramount)

You Are Not My Mother (Magnolia)


Best Kidvid Release   

Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon (Shout! Factory)

Sesame Street: Potty Time Plus! Getting Ready With Elmo (Shout! Factory)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Paramount)


Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Release  

Halo: Season One (Paramount)

House of the Dragon: Season 1 (Warner)

Jurassic World Dominion (Universal)

seaQuest DSV: The Complete Series (Mill Creek)


Best Superhero Disc  

Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons (Warner)

The Batman (Warner)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Disney/Marvel)

Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney/Marvel)




Best Premium-Video-on-Demand Release  

The Contractor (Paramount)

Orphan: First Kill (Paramount)


Best Fast Channel (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Channel)           

Alf (Shout! Factory TV)

Antiques Roadshow (Roku, Xumo, Plex) (PBS Distribution)

Chicken Soup for the Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

CineLife (Magnolia)

Farscape (Shout! Factory TV)

FilmRise Black TV (FilmRise)

FilmRise Forensic Files (FilmRise)

FilmRise Heartland (FilmRise)

FilmRise True Crime (FilmRise)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Shout! Factory TV)

Shout! Factory TV (Shout! Factory)

TokuSHOUTsu (Shout! Factory TV)


Best Niche Streaming Channel         

Chicken Soup for the Soul (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Magnolia Selects (Magnolia)

PBS Kids Prime Video Channel (PBS Distribution)

Shout! Factory TV (Shout! Factory TV)


Best Major SVOD Original Series

1923: Season 1 (Paramount+)

The Afterparty: Season 1 (Apple TV+)

Bel-Air: Season 1 (Peacock)

Cobra Kai: Season 5 (Netflix)

For All Mankind: Season 3 (Apple TV+)

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — Season 1 (Prime Video)

Murderville (Netflix)

The Offer (Paramount+)

The Orville: New Horizons (Hulu)

Pam & Tommy (Hulu)

Peacemaker: Season 1 (HBO Max)

Star Trek: Lower Decks — Season 3 (Paramount+)

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds — Season 1 (Paramount+)

Star Wars: Andor — Season 1 (Disney+)

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)

Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)

Wednesday: Season 1 (Netflix)


Best Niche-Channel Scripted Series 

All Creatures Great and Small: Season 2 (PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel)

Hotel Portofino: Season 1 (PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel)


Best Nonfiction Streaming Series or Movie 

Going From Broke: Season 3 (Crackle)

The U.S. and the Holocaust: A Film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein (PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel)


Best Binge Series       

Sanditon (PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel)

Sherlock (Crackle)





Nominations Now Being Accepted for Media Play News’ Second Annual ‘Indie Power Players’

Media Play News is getting ready to once again honor the top players in independent film distribution — and based on the overwhelming response to our inaugural Top Indie Power Players feature last year, we are expanding the list of honorees to 30 from 20 in 2022.

“Top Indie Power Players” 2023 will be published in the March print and digital edition of Media Play News, which hits the street on March 20. The feature also will run online a week later.

Once again, we will profile the key executives who are bringing to consumers an eclectic mix of groundbreaking new productions, cult classics and niche product from documentaries to music, horror and other genres. They’ve been doing multi-platform releasing for years, with a special focus on home audiences across the three core platforms we cover: streaming, disc and digital (TVOD and electronic sellthrough).

“Once again, we’re going to dig deep into what they do, how they do it and where the business is headed,” said MPN publisher Thomas K. Arnold.

Nominations are being accepted through Friday, Feb. 24. The official entry form may be accessed here.

Nomination Period is Open for 2023 Home Entertainment Media Play Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the annual Home Entertainment Media Play Awards, which for the sixth year is being presented by Media Play News.

Nominations for the awards — which honor the best movies, series and other content aimed at home audiences released during 2022, from streaming to TVOD to disc — are due from participating studios, distributors and content creators Feb. 17.

Winners in all categories will then be determined by a blue-ribbon panel of industry experts in conjunction with a consumer vote. Voting will take place in March and the winners will be announced in April.

The awards cover a wide array of home entertainment options, including streaming, from SVOD to AVOD and FAST; DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray; premium video-on-demand (PVOD) and digital sellthrough. 

Submit your entries for the 2023 Home Entertainment Media Play Awards here

“Best of show” winners are then selected from among all eligible submissions for Packaged-Media Title of the Year, TV Disc Release of the Year and Best Blu-ray Disc. A “Fan-Favorite” trophy also will be awarded for the single title receiving the most consumer votes. Judges may also present awards based on special merit.

Last year’s Home Entertainment Media Play Awards saw Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Middle-Earth Ultimate Collector’s Edition voted Title of the Year. The set also won Blu-ray Disc of the Year, Best Movie Collection and Best Packaging.

Funimation’s Robotech: Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Disc won TV on Disc of the Year, as well as Best Disc Release of a Vintage TV Series.

The Fan-Favorite Title of the Year was Paramount Home Entertainment’s A Quiet Place Part II.

On the digital side, Paramount’s Yellowstone: Season Four took Best Digital Sellthrough Release, while another Paramount release, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, was named Best PVOD Release.

Among stream­ing content, Apple TV+ took Best New Streaming Movie with CODA and Best Season of a Scripted Series with season two of “For All Mankind.”

PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel was named Best Niche Streaming Channel.

Overall, this is the 13th edition of the annual home entertainment awards.

OTT.X’s Final Live Event of the Year to Honor MPN’s ’40 Most Important People in Streaming’

Streaming trade association OTT.X will hold its final in-person event of the year Dec. 1 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles at which Media Play News‘ “The 40 Most Important People in Streaming” will be honored during a luncheon.

The streaming leaders will be profiled in the November issue of Media Play News, which becomes available in the print and digital editions on Monday, Nov. 14 at

The 2022 OTT.X Annual Industry Strategic Review & Analysis is a full-day event that will serve as a followup to the release of OTT.X’s annual industry report.

Representatives from leading research firms will dive into the current and future state of OTT, providing critical analysis touching all sectors of the streaming industry.

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with these research analysts.

The Annual Industry Strategic Review & Analysis will also feature an “Investment Advice and Opportunities” panel with leading venture capitalists and members of the financial community discussing growth strategies, mergers, acquisitions, exit strategies and what makes a partner attractive.

The event will also feature an executive lunch where “The 40 Most Important People in Streaming” by Media Play News will be recognized and celebrated.

For more information contact Steve Apple at

Women in Home Entertainment 2022: The Teams

The home entertainment industry is filled with smart, strategic teams that support the captains of the big studios and streamers.

Additionally, there are many other talented women leaders at independent content distributors; digital retailers who sell and rent movies, TV shows and other filmed content; streaming services; technology companies; and ancillary service providers.

Here are some of the standouts.



Lauren Anderson
Head of AVOD Original Content and Programming, Amazon Studios
Anderson oversees all programming, including creative development, production, licensing, scheduling, research, and strategy for Amazon Freevee and Prime Video’s ad-supported FAST linear channels. Additionally, Anderson recently assumed responsibility for the unscripted programming strategy across all of Amazon Studios, including SVOD and AVOD programming. She joined Amazon Studios in 2019 as the head of strategic content, managing such series as the “Savage X Fenty Show” for Prime Video. In 2020 she became co-head of content and programming for IMDb TV (now Freevee). Early accomplishments for Freevee included bringing the iconic Judge Judy Sheindlin to a streaming audience, shepherding Amazon’s first partnership with prolific creator Dick Wolf — his only half-hour crime procedural — and developing the AVOD spinoff of Prime Video’s longest-running series, “Bosch.” Before joining Amazon, Anderson was the chief content officer for Indigo Development and Entertainment Arts, the joint venture studio between NBCUniversal and Snapchat.

Julie Rapaport
Head of Movies, Amazon Studios
Rapaport leads the studio’s division focused on producing and acquiring a wide variety of high-quality, culturally relevant films for Prime Video’s global audience. She and the original movies team recently released and celebrated the critical and commercial success of films such as the Oscar-nominated Lucille Ball biopic Being the Ricardos, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, George Clooney’s coming-of-age drama The Tender Bar, the Chris Pratt-led action feature The Tomorrow War, and Coming 2 America starring Eddie Murphy. Some upcoming releases for Rapaport and her team include My Policeman, starring Harry Styles, the feature documentary Good Night Oppy, and The People We Hate at the Wedding. Prior to joining Amazon Studios in 2015, Rapaport worked at The Weinstein Company, where she rose to SVP of production and development.

Kelly Day
VP, International, Prime Video
Day serves as the leader for Prime Video’s SVOD, TVOD, and Channels businesses in all locales outside the United States. Overseeing a team of regional and country managers around the world, Day drives the content strategies, greenlights, and launches of Amazon Original movies and series across international. Prior to joining Amazon in 2022, Day served as president of streaming for ViacomCBS Networks International (now Paramount Global), where she was responsible for the international rollout and growth of Paramount+ and Pluto.

Marie Donoghue
VP, Global Sports Video
Donoghue oversees Prime Video’s global sports content business. She leads its global sports strategy, identifying and evaluating new opportunities, overseeing acquisitions, programming and production, and enabling customers to access original and live sports content on hundreds of devices in more than 240 countries and territories. This content includes Premier League in the United Kingdom, UEFA Champions League in Germany and Italy (U.K. starting in 2024), ONE Championship (United States and Canada), and the WNBA. Donoghue led the groundbreaking acquisition and production of “Thursday Night Football,” marking the first time a streaming service aired an exclusive national broadcast package from the NFL. Prior to joining Amazon, Donoghue was at ESPN for more than 18 years.

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Blu Digital Group

Paulette Pantoja
Pantoja founded Blu Digital Group in 2007, focusing on quality control for film and TV content distributed on physical media. The company has since created proprietary workflows and patented applications as a solution for content owners and platforms to deliver streaming content. Pantoja’s expansion of the localization division within Blu in 2021 further broadened the company’s ability to deliver international content to audiences around the world. She is an Ernst & Young Greater Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 finalist and this year is being honored with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment.

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BritBox International

Reemah Sakaan
Sakaan heads up the BBC and ITV backed streaming service and is responsible for the overall strategy and operations of BritBox globally, leading a world-class team over multiple regions. In her short tenure as CEO thus far, Sakaan has already implemented several global initiatives focused on a cohesive strategy across all territories. Having worked on growing the partnership between ITV and BBC since the beginning, Sakaan was responsible for the creation of the BritBox brand and global concept. Before becoming CEO, she served as chief creative officer for BritBox Global as well as the group director of SVOD for ITV, launching BritBox in the United Kingdom in November of 2019 and serving as a pivotal part of the leadership team behind BritBox Australia. Prior to this, she spent 18 months living in New York where she oversaw the growth of BritBox U.S. subscribers and worked on the expansion of BritBox into Canada in February 2018. Throughout her career at BritBox, Sakaan has greenlighted an impressive and ever-growing list of original commissions, including “The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco,” the revival of “Spitting Image” and “The Beast Must Die,” as well as the upcoming “Magpie Murders,” “Crime” and “A Spy Among Friends.”

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Amanda Edwards
SVP and Chief of Staff
Edwards is instrumental in the fluid operations, strategy and communications for the fast-growing company. She is the right-hand to the CEO and has been with the company for more than 10 years. Edwards supported the company through its IPO in 2017 and has been integral in every merger and acquisition transaction including the company’s acquisitions of Redbox, Crackle and Screen Media. Prior to her role as SVP and chief of staff, she worked for the company in a variety of roles in marketing, sales and social media. Prior to joining Chicken Soup, Edwards worked as a request-for-proposal writer for Clearbrook Investment Consulting and as a coordinator of sponsor management for dLife, a diabetes lifestyle and media company. Skilled in communications, strategy, operations and marketing, Edwards has also been published in five Chicken Soup for the Soul titles.

Elana Sofko
Chief Strategy Officer
Sofko joined Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in 2016 as the SVP of business development and distribution, and was named chief operating officer in 2017. She brings more than two decades of media and entertainment experience, always on the leading edge of innovation. Prior to joining Chicken Soup, Sofko focused on a range of digital business growth initiatives for World Wrestling Entertainment, including international expansion and localization of WWE’s digital properties, as well as supporting the launch and international expansion of WWE Network, a subscription-based OTT service. Sofko worked on the launch of satellite radio as part of the start-up team at the company now called SiriusXM, and has overseen strategic growth initiatives at ESPN, Nokia, News Corp. and A&E Television Networks.

Dara Cohen
VP, Scripted Entertainment, Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group
Cohen is a producer and executive with more than 20 years of experience in development, production and programming. She has worked in development at The Mark Gordon Company, Red Hour Films, Revolution Studios, USA Network, CourtTV, Island/Def Jam Records, Maker Studios and A+E Studios. She has collaborated with writers, directors, actors, producers, top recording artists and social media influencers to create engaging content across all platforms. She has extensive experience in sourcing material and IP, negotiating rights, and overseeing development through production and delivery of projects. While at CourtTV she developed, secured deficit financing, staffed writers and directors, and produced the network’s first scripted series, “Til Death Do Us Part.” She has produced 13 movies with the USA Network and Syfy channel, and executive produced Ring of Fire for Lifetime (nominated for four Emmys), “House of Joy” for NuvoTV, and the digital series “The Temp Agency” for Vuguru.

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Kim Staruk
SVP, Marketing
Staruk oversees the general partner relationships along with the overall business strategy for Cinedigm’s films. She is also responsible for managing and executing marketing and media across multiple channels to elevate the profile of each release. This also includes developing strategic partnerships and programs across all of Cinedigm’s distributing platforms, including digital, streaming, physical media and Cinedigm’s owned-and-operated digital networks. Prior to joining Cinedigm, Staruk spent six years at Universal Music Group Distribution/Vivendi Entertainment, and two years at Sony in SPT International Production.

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Michele Fino
Head of Branded Entertainment, Crackle Plus
A creative storyteller, Fino combines personal narratives with business objectives to create branded stories. She partners with like-minded organizations who embrace both action-driven content and innovative media distribution. Her career journey includes branded entertainment at a global productions company, content strategy at a national retailer, and marketing at various highly regarded nonprofits, including The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Her superpower is mixing the detailed intricacies of content production with the complex KPIs of a brand and sprinkling in the power of right time and right audience with the right platform partner.

Jennifer Gale
VP, Advanced Video Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships, Crackle Plus
Gale helps companies reach their customers in new and innovative ways within the AVOD space. She is responsible for media sales for Crackle Plus’s leading owned-and-operated ad-supported OTT networks Crackle, Popcornflix and Chicken Soup for the Soul, along with sales rights for a growing portfolio of premium streaming services including Redbox, Crunchyroll and Plex, combining to create one of the largest at-scale inventory sources for long-form OTT video. Additionally, Gale is responsible for driving custom branded entertainment sponsorships and integrating leading brands into original series, distributed at scale within the company’s streaming TV services.

Beth Galli
Regional Director Sales, East, Crackle Plus
Galli has 15-plus years of experience in the advertising business with strong agency and client relationships, developing a proven track record for increasing revenue and generating new business. Galli has been at Crackle Plus for more than three years. Prior to joining Crackle Plus, she spent 16 years at Scripps Networks, working as an account executive at HGTV and the DIY Network.

Kelly Burke Hopkins
VP, Sales Development and Advertising, Crackle Plus
Hopkins has more than 20 years of experience with marketing, media, brand content strategy, partnerships, programmatic, agency collaboration and client service. She is responsible for all ad solutions, focused on go-to-market, as well as custom solutions across Crackle Plus’s vast array of originals and premium video partnership sales strategy. For the past eight years she has specialized in OTT and video sales, with tenures at Yume (now Tremor), BuzzFeed, and currently Crackle Plus. Her career began on the agency side in a digital-media buying capacity.

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DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Marcy Magiera
Executive Director

An industry veteran who set editorial direction in coverage of digital media and entertainment at industry trades Advertising AgeVideo Business and Variety, Magiera became executive director of DEG in 2020 after working with the trade group in a series of progressively more responsible positions. She curates DEG’s newsletter, The DEN, four days a week and leads event programming and production. She played a key role in DEG’s pivot to online events at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, programming at least 15 virtual events per year in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, she assumed responsibility for DEG’s return to in-person events, with a hybrid strategy in which virtual events also continue. Magiera produced DEG’s inaugural EnTech Fest, a B2B trade and networking event in Los Angeles in which technology companies presented innovative products and services to DEG studio and platform members. She leads the team planning EnTech Fest 2023, scheduled for March 29.

Andi Elliott
Director, Sales and Membership Services

As DEG’s sales and sponsorship leader, Elliott brings new members to DEG and helps member companies make the most of their membership benefits. Since she joined the organization in 2017, DEG expanded its membership base to 90 member companies, the most in the group’s history. Elliott also creates opportunities for branding and exposure for members through sponsorship and branding at events.  Elliott is an industry veteran whose previous positions include sales director for Video Business magazine, conference sales manager at Variety and stints at Warner Home Video, 20th Century Fox and various independent labels.

Jean Levicki
Director, Community and Member Programs

Levicki oversees the Direct-to-Consumer Alliance (D2CA), a working community of DEG member companies focused on the DTC offering. She leads the Alliance’s AVOD Innovation Group; its Targeted Services and TV & Connected Devices committees;  and the LIVE Sports Council (currently in development). She also manages the organization’s Marketing and Communications (MARCOM) and Digital Finance & Accounting (DFAC) committees and is involved in the development and execution of DEG events. Prior to joining DEG, Levicki was with 20 Century Fox Home Entertainment, where she held positions in international and global publicity.

Beka Sturm
Senior Project Manager

Sturm oversees the technical committees within DEG’s Advanced Content Delivery Alliance. This includes the Localization and Supply Chain Efficiency & Security Committees, which are creating shared industry resources and socializing best practices in a variety of mediums and topic areas. Most recently, Sturm worked across DEG supply chain member companies to coordinate the second annual, and first in-person, DEG TechOps Awards. Before joining DEG, Sturm worked as a producer in television and film.


Liz Bales
Chief Executive, DEGI: The Digital Entertainment Group International/The British Association for Screen Entertainment
Bales has been a key part of the home entertainment industry for more than a decade. She is a driving force for digital and transactional home entertainment across the globe. In her role as chief executive of The British Association for Screen Entertainment, she champions the transactional home entertainment category in the United Kingdom, both physical and digital, playing a key role in maximizing growth and opportunities for the category and confronting the factors that may impede it. She also transmits the message of the DEGI — sister organization to the U.S. DEG — taking the best-practice initiatives and learnings into multiple territories worldwide, including managing campaigns across The Nordics, Germany and France in the past year. She leans into and supports existing in-territory bodies or manages processes where there are not. From cross-industry events and collaboration to growth campaigns that then travel the world via the DEGI, Bales is the leading voice of these two best-in-class trade bodies that empower both the United Kingdom and international markets.

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Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Platform Distribution

Lori B. LeBas
EVP, Platform Distribution Operations
As head of the business operations team for Platform Distribution, LeBas supports the development and distribution of products and services that create meaningful value for the company, its partners and its consumers. The business unit manages all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, affiliate marketing and affiliate-related business operations for all of the company’s direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks; content sales agreements for General Entertainment, Studios and Sports, as well as global theatrical film distribution; and management of Disney’s iconic El Capitan Theatre and the Disney Music Group. LeBas is focused on the design and implementation of business processes for efficient management and operation of all media distribution, including linear networks, SVOD, AVOD, transactional, syndication, audio and direct-to-consumer products. LeBas also leads the creation of cross-functional business requirements for new products, as well as oversight of all post-sales processes for content distribution across all platforms.

Lindsey Green
SVP, Content Sales
Green is responsible for licensing feature films and television content from Disney Studios Content and Disney General Entertainment. The lines of business that fall under her purview include domestic and global SVOD and AVOD platforms, West Coast-based cable networks and select pay-TV networks. She and her team also manage the company’s distribution of content to its direct-to-consumer streaming services — Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu — and its linear networks. Her client roster includes Amazon, YouTube, Starz, Roku and Tubi, to name a few.

Christen Harris
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Lauren Morrissey
SVP, Platform Distribution Sales
Harris and Morrissey negotiate key licensing agreements on behalf of the company across a wide array of media platforms and businesses, including domestic multichannel subscription distribution and global direct-to-consumer platforms. Among these substantial, high-profile agreements managed by their teams are in-home TVOD and direct-to-consumer app penetration among digital aggregators, MVPDs, devices, wireless providers and social media applications. They also pursue and negotiate wholesale marketing partnerships for the company’s direct-to-consumer streaming services. Between the two of them, they oversee more than 100 key accounts, such as Apple, Comcast, Google, Roku and Verizon.

Rebecca Black, VP, Business Affairs
Summer Imai, VP, Rights and Content Management
Brooke A. Johnson, VP, Platform Distribution Sales
Jane Kim, VP, Distribution Planning Analysis and Commercial Affairs
Ann Lee, VP, Distribution Planning and Analysis
Jennifer Lourie, VP, Product Management

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Disney Streaming Services/Disney+

Alisa Bowen
President, Disney+
Promoted to her current position in September, Bowen has led global business operations for Disney’s streaming platforms, including Disney+ since its launch in 2019. In this new position, Bowen will work closely with key leaders across The Walt Disney Co. for the forthcoming launch of the advertising-supported subscription-streaming tier, as well as multi-channel promotional support for Disney+ and its content slate. She most recently served as EVP of global business operations for Disney Streaming, overseeing the content and business operations, business development and planning, program management, and viewer experience functions for The Walt Disney Co.’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and Star+. Bowen joined Disney in 2017 as SVP, CTO and digital media lead for The Walt Disney Co.’s international operations, where she led a transformation of the Disney channel’s broadcast technology, content operations, and digital publishing across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Jaya Kolhatkar
EVP of Data, Disney Streaming Services
Kolhatkar oversees customer intelligence and all data- and analytics-related efforts at Disney Streaming. In her role, she is responsible for elevating customer intelligence, implementing strong data governance, and driving a culture of objective, data-driven decision-making. Kolhatkar previously served as the SVP of global data and analytics platforms at WalmartLabs, where she built data and analytic platforms that provided data and tools for making business decisions at Walmart. Kolhatkar joined WalmartLabs in 2013 as part of the acquisition of predictive analytics firm Inkiru, where she was the chief analytics officer and co-founder. Kolhatkar has also worked in analytics roles at PayPal, eBay and Amazon.

Molly Brady
SVP, Growth Marketing, Disney Streaming Services
Brady, who previously served as VP of customer acquisition, is responsible for growing the company’s streaming subscriber base. Prior to joining Disney, she worked at American Express, IBM and Bloomingdale’s. During her career, Brady has partnered with top brands, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Credit Karma, Nerdwallet, Delta, Starwood and JetBlue to deliver unique products and marketing programs. She has expertise in display media, social media, paid search, SEO, affiliate, site marketing, email, offline channels, new customer acquisition, product management and consulting.

April Carretta
Head of Communications, Direct to Consumer
Carretta leads communications globally for Disney’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses. She oversees proactive and integrated communications, including consumer, content publicity, international, crisis communications, and incident management, as well as internal employee communications. Carretta joined Disney in 2019 through its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. She initially led communications for Disney’s Platform Distribution organization, playing a key role in shaping communications across all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, content sales agreements, affiliate marketing for direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks, global theatrical film distribution, and other Disney properties including Disney Music Group and the El Capitan Theatre.

Andrea Roxas
VP, Content Planning and Scheduling, Disney+
Roxas is responsible for determining the premiere and release strategy for content on Disney+ in partnership with programming and marketing teams around the world. Roxas joined The Walt Disney Co. in 2011 as an editor for the Disney Digital Network. Prior to working on Disney+, Roxas led content strategy and programming for Disney’s digital portfolio of brands targeting millennial and family audiences, including Oh My Disney, Disney Style Guide, Disney Family and Babble.

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Ayisha Emerson
Business Manager, Content
Emerson is a business development professional at Dolby, where she is a content industry strategist helping to steer Dolby’s roadmap across traditional and emerging content categories. Having started with a focus on television production and streaming, Emerson now also leads the global business strategy for podcast content creation to inspire and expand the creative palette with Dolby Atmos. Previously, Emerson started her career in film at studios such as 20th Century Fox, Disney and DreamWorks Animation, and most recently worked at Quibi. Emerson is continuously pushing the convergence of entertainment and technology to better the consumer experience.

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Eileen Rivera
Senior Director of Production and Development, Rotten Tomatoes
Rivera heads up all video development and production for Rotten Tomatoes, part of NBCUniversal’s Fandango portfolio. Her team is responsible for the creative execution of all original video content across OTT, online, YouTube and social channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). Rivera successfully spearheaded the launch of the Rotten Tomatoes OTT/FAST channels, featuring 24/7 linear programming available on Peacock, Roku, Samsung TV and Xumo TV. The production team continues to further the companies’ content reach by helping produce and program more than a dozen originally produced shows and nearly 600 hours of premium long- and short-form video content.

Alejandra Brizuela
VP of Product Management, User Experience and User Interface
Brizuela directs all product management and user experience, user interface functions across Fandango’s home entertainment, ticketing, e-commerce, and publishing portfolios, including Vudu, Fandango, Flixster, and Rotten Tomatoes. She oversees products that reach more than 60 million monthly consumers in the United States and abroad. Throughout her career, Brizuela has successfully shaped and launched best-in-class experiences across iOS, Android, Web and TV applications. A native of Argentina, Brizuela has held roles at top e-commerce subscription services such as Disney Mobile, eHarmony and eSalon.

Kristine Lopes
Director of Integrated Marketing, Vudu
With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, strategic planning and execution, Lopes leads integrated marketing for Vudu, Fandango’s leading on-demand streaming service. Lopes has been a marketing guru and instrumental part of the Vudu family since 2014, prior to its acquisition by Fandango. As a resourceful veteran of the home entertainment business, Lopes develops comprehensive business plans and works cross-functionally to drive marketing campaigns, go-to-market capabilities and partnership opportunities. Prior to her work at Vudu, Lopes was the senior manager of customer engagement for Advanced Auto Parts, online marketing manager for Symantec, and product marketing manager for Bank of the West.

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Giant Interactive

Meri Hassouni
EVP, Global Business Development
Hassouni is an entertainment executive with 20-plus years of industry experience and has pivoted with the industry as it evolved from physical media to digital media, to the growth of streaming platforms, AVOD and FAST channels. Hassouni has played an instrumental role in the significant growth of Giant (recently acquired by Testronic Labs) on the studio side as well as on the servicing side, working with independent distributors to deliver content and execute channel launches in the TVOD, SVOD and AVOD spaces. She was responsible for negotiating the preferred vendor relationship with Pluto, resulting in Giant’s collaboration with 50-plus Pluto partners and delivery of 1,000-plus hours of content monthly for clients, including BBC, AMC, Toei Animation and PBS. Hassouni has been a member of DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group since 1999, and when the Canon Club expanded in 2019, she became the vice chair of that DEG organization.

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Christina Kim
Head of AVOD Licensing/FAST and TVOD, YouTube and Google TV
Kim oversees business development and partnerships for AVOD licensing/FAST for YouTube as well as Google’s transactional movies and TV (on YouTube and Google TV). Before joining Google in 2014, Kim worked in content acquisition at Amazon and PlayStation Video.

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Barrie Gruner
EVP, Marketing and Publicity, Hulu Originals
Gruner oversees marketing strategy, creative, events, media, social and communications for all Hulu original series (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Nine Perfect Strangers,” “The Kardashians,” “Only Murders in the Building,” etc.). Since joining Hulu in 2013, she has helped guide the company from plucky challenger to established player. She drove both communications and the awards strategy that helped launch “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which went on to dominate the 2017 Emmy Awards, including the award for Outstanding Drama Series that cemented Hulu in history as the first streaming platform to take home the prestigious honor. Over the past year, Gruner led marketing campaigns for several marquee titles, including “Only Murders in the Building,” leading it to become the most-watched comedy in Hulu history, and “The Kardashians,” leading it to become the most-watched unscripted series and premiere in Hulu history.

Reagan Feeney
SVP, Live-TV Content Programming and Partnerships
Feeney is responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction for live-TV distribution, including managing partnerships with national channels, regional sports networks and local broadcast affiliates. Her team also leads the strategy and execution of live news, sports, events and programming made available for Hulu on-demand subscribers, along with premium add-ons, ESPN+ on Hulu, and ABC News Live specials. Previously, Feeney was VP of content at AT&T’s DirecTV, where she was responsible for identifying and negotiating general entertainment and sports programming acquisitions, as well as maintaining external business relationships for linear cable channels, out-of-market sports subscription packages, regional sports networks and on-demand sports content.

Lauren Tempest
SVP, Content Partnerships, Acquisitions, Scheduling
Tempest leads the department that manages Hulu’s robust content portfolio across TV, film, kids and family, anime, and currents, through third-party acquisitions and in close partnership with The Walt Disney Co.’s content studio, and then strategically schedules title launches to showcase the breadth, depth and exclusivity that Hulu uniquely offers. She previously served as VP of content partnerships, and led Hulu’s licensed-television acquisitions group. She first joined Hulu in 2015, after working for six years at NBCUniversal’s USA Network.

Angie Kang Park
Deputy Chief Counsel
Park oversees legal matters for all areas across the company, including content, content acquisition, Hulu + Live TV, product and marketing. Since starting at Hulu about a decade ago, Park has led numerous high-profile deals and initiatives that have grown Hulu’s content library to include some of the most in-demand premium content in the market. Over the past two years Park has played an instrumental role in Hulu’s efforts to bring unique content, pricing and promotional offerings to the Hulu service. She oversaw the launch of the NFL Network on the service and led deals for on-demand content such as Nomadland and The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which won six Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award, respectively.

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Level 33 Entertainment

Alisa Bunting
SVP, Marketing and Product Management
Bunting manages all content onboarding, platform marketing and product management. She has overseen the releases of more than 100 independent feature films across all windows from physical product to the ever-evolving world of video on demand. Bunting excels at everything from interacting with independent filmmakers and sales agents to managing external vendors and platform partners. She maintains a positive attitude and rises to the occasion with any challenge presented across a diverse slate of content delivered to a growing global consumer base. Bunting’s keen sense of the marketplace helps drive the visibility of Level 33 content over the multitude of entertainment outlets, platforms and channels that make up the modern distribution landscape. Prior to joining Level 33 in 2012, Bunting served as director of marketing and operations at Playboy Entertainment Group. She began her career at The Walt Disney Co. in the Buena Vista Home Video division working on brand marketing for Touchstone/Hollywood Pictures product.

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Chase Brisbin
EVP, International Television and Digital Distribution
Brisbin leads the international SVOD and AVOD distribution team at Lionsgate, focused on strategy and sales across all content types, including TV and film, both library and first run. Her focus is to navigate and shape the company’s approach to an expanding international marketplace as heavyweights and newcomer services compete. Recently, Brisbin negotiated new creative deal structures on Pay 1 and Pay 2 outputs and packages in response to the pandemic. She joined Lionsgate in 2012 and has negotiated some of its most innovative deals.

Kate Nexon
EVP, Domestic Television and Digital Distribution
A 13-year Lionsgate veteran, Nexon is responsible for licensing the studio’s TV and film properties across AVOD, SVOD and linear platforms. She leads domestic sales, overseeing strategic planning and execution of multi-platform initiatives. In the past year she negotiated the sale of the Emmy-award winning series “Schitt’s Creek” to Hulu and played an integral role in the sales of “The Continental” to Peacock, hit comedy “Ghosts” to Paramount+, and Lionsgate’s Pay 2 theatrical output deals with NBCUniversal and Roku, as well as a multiyear film deal with Tubi.

Susan Posner
EVP, International Sales Strategy and Planning
Posner was promoted to EVP in April. She oversees a hub of sales and operations planners who help the team manage inventory, including the growing number of output deals and go-to-market on broad strategic initiatives. A consummate team player, she works closely with marketing, research, legal, rights and other teams to strategize and communicate the plans for Lionsgate’s healthy film and TV slates. Since joining in 2019 after 11 years at MGM, she has helped negotiate some key title reversions for the team to sell, leading to additional sales.

Jill Anderson
SVP, Home Entertainment Sales
Anderson leads Lionsgate’s home entertainment packaged-media business for retail’s largest accounts. She continually challenges herself and her team to drive higher reach and scale for Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and TV library as well as for its world-class film business. Anderson is a consummate team player who is driven by continual learning and growth, leading by example, mentoring others within her network, and giving back to the community. She’s extremely proud to be a 19-year veteran of Lionsgate’s entrepreneurial culture, its commitment to innovation, and its passion for bold, original, relatable entertainment.

Jennifer Caprow
SVP, Domestic Sales Strategy and Planning
Born and raised in California, Caprow graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, before joining Lionsgate in 2011. Starting as a sales planning coordinator in the TV Distribution Group, she is now an integral member of the executive team and was recently promoted into her present position after serving for two years as VP of sales planning and TV distribution, and, before that, executive director. She collaborates with teams across Lionsgate and is constantly engaged with how the ever-changing TV/streaming landscape evolves.

Erin Carter
SVP, Marketing
Carter is a 14-year veteran of Lionsgate and predecessor company Anchor Bay, part of the studio’s acquisition of Starz. She oversees the marketing and distribution strategy for Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and television library, one of the largest in the world. She continues to be at the forefront of content licensing initiatives to an expanding array of new and traditional buyers around the world. Carter also spearheads content lifecycle planning for Lionsgate’s distribution partners, including Roadside Attractions, Grindstone Entertainment and A&E Television. She joined Lionsgate in 2017 from Anchor Bay, where she spent a decade leading the company’s strategy for its independent theatrical releases.

Kenya Hart
SVP, Procurement and Inventory Operations
Hart oversees the daily operations of the materials management, inventory reconciliation and procurement/demand planning teams to ensure timely finished good product delivery in support of new-release, catalog and promotion deadlines for U.S. and Canadian distribution. As the SAP super user/departmental systems manager, she works closely with IT to test, implement and validate systemic upgrades and enhancements. Additionally, she handles cost analysis and business acquisition onboarding.

Amelia McPartlon Rogers
SVP, Marketing, Global Content Strategy
Rogers oversees overall marketing strategy in the limited theatrical and digital distribution space. She leads her teams to develop a full 360-degree marketing strategy for Lionsgate’s entire limited theatrical and multi-platform release slate, as well as for the company’s vast library and third-party distribution companies.

Kathy Arendain, VP, Digital Strategy and Engagement
Lauren Bixby, VP, Acquisitions
Maria Chung, VP, Digital Creative
Tiffany Olivares Girardi, VP, Global Earned and Media Communications
Lindsay Lefrancois, VP, Procurement
Kara McKinney, VP, Global AVOD

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Movies Anywhere

Elissa Brown
VP, Business Operations
Brown leads day-to-day operations, developing and executing key business and platform strategies to drive growth and deliver operational efficiencies across all facets of Movies Anywhere. This includes finance, strategy, business development, partner management, business intelligence/analytics, customer care and program management.

Beth K. Baier
Assistant Chief Counsel
Baier leads all day-to-day legal and business affairs matters and serves as the senior legal advisor to the company’s business teams. She actively participates in legal analysis, modeling, negotiations and drafting of new strategic business models and high-profile deals involving emerging digital-distribution technologies, distribution platforms, technical operations and marketing strategies. She was instrumental in developing the product’s Screen Pass and co-viewing features that were launched during the pandemic, including advising on compliant functionalities, business rules, branding and consumer messaging. Baier also provides legal support for new business strategies for the Disney Digital Media team, including FAST channels, e-commerce initiatives and search engine optimization.

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Paramount Pictures

Melinda Froelich
SVP, International Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Froelich is responsible for international marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions and the release strategy for all transactional windows post theatrical. She also oversees global marketing for all worldwide television partners. Froelich joined the studio in 2005, having previously worked at The Walt Disney Co. for eight years.

Hilarie Hildebrandt
SVP, Digital Customer Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Hildebrandt oversees customer marketing for global digital accounts with a focus on aligning strategic initiatives across new-release, catalog and television product, optimizing the retailer execution of joint home entertainment transactional and Paramount+ streaming efforts. Hildebrandt and her team’s responsibilities include executing multinational consumer-focused programs with each retail client to maximize sales and leverage the continually evolving digital retail environment to ensure Paramount and its partners reach their core objectives. Hildebrandt previously served as VP of retail marketing at 20th Century Fox and also held sales director positions at Fox and Polygram Filmed Entertainment in Canada.

Alanna Powers
SVP, Brand Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment
Powers leads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of new releases, acquisitions and library titles. She and her teams develop campaigns for physical and digital distribution channels that align with cross-divisional partners to maximize the studio’s full portfolio of titles. Prior to joining Paramount, Powers held senior marketing positions at Redbox and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment after starting her career at FCB.

Aubrey Thomason
SVP, Business Affairs and Legal, Paramount Pictures
Thomason’s primary focuses are acquisitions for distribution primarily through television and home entertainment channels, related security agreements, interparty agreements and theatrical services agreements, as well as domestic video sublicensing matters. Prior to joining Paramount, Thomason from 2000 to 2005 was an associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, where she primarily worked on corporate finance and real estate transactions, but also served as outside counsel to Paramount Pictures between 2003 and 2005.

Nancy Pope
SVP, Human Resources, Paramount Pictures
Pope is responsible for supporting the home entertainment, theatrical marketing and TV licensing divisions. Early in her career she worked for AT&T as both an operations manager and HR professional. Upon earning her master’s degree in industrial psychology, Pope left AT&T and joined Nestle USA, where she became the director of training and development. In 1999 she joined EMI Music North America to become the VP of human resources, and in 2007 she joined Paramount Pictures. For the past several years Pope has been involved in various nonprofit organizations and most recently has become a member of the Jewish Family Service’s Board of Los Angeles, which is a multi-service agency with the goal of strengthening and preserving individual, family and community life by providing a wide range of needed human services to people in the community.

Erin Carey, VP, Digital Distribution, Paramount Home Entertainment
Boh Clancy, VP, Digital Distribution, Asia Pacific, Paramount Home Entertainment
Rachel Crang, VP, Worldwide Production Management, Paramount Home Entertainment
Micol Green, VP, Legal Affairs, Paramount Home Entertainment
Sandra Hiestand, VP, Sales Planning and Reporting, Paramount Home Entertainment
Michele Rumain, VP, Advertising (Media), Paramount Pictures
Pamela Sivula, VP, Financial Planning, Paramount Pictures

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Paramount Streaming/Paramount+ /Pluto TV

Nicole Clemens
President of Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ Original Scripted Series
Clemens joined PTVS in 2018 and added the Paramount+ position to her portfolio in 2021. Her primary responsibility at Paramount+ is to shepherd original series and formulate programming strategy for the streaming platform. Paramount+ projects include the global hit series “Halo,” “The Offer” and the “Star Trek” franchise — “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” “Star Trek: Picard” and “Star Trek: Discovery” — as well as “SEAL Team,” “Evil,” “The Good Fight” and “The Game.” Upcoming series include “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Criminal Minds.” In addition, as president of PTVS, Clemens oversees a robust slate of shows for buyers across multiple platforms, including Emmy Nominated “Station Eleven” for HBO Max; “Reacher” and “Jack Ryan” for Amazon Prime; “American Gigolo” for Showtime; “Defending Jacob,” “Shantaram” and “Time Bandits” for Apple TV+; and “The Haunting” anthology series for Netflix.

Tanya Giles
Chief Programming Officer, Paramount Streaming
Giles oversees and executes a holistic programming strategy for the global content offering across the company’s streaming services Paramount+ and Pluto TV, maximizing mix, prioritization, timing and impact of Paramount resources, franchises and brands to drive sustained audience acquisition and engagement. With more than 20 years of experience, Giles is widely respected across the entertainment industry and has a proven track record of applying research-driven insights to make high-impact programming decisions. Prior to joining Paramount Streaming, Giles served as GM for the MTV Entertainment Group, where she led content strategy, programming, and research and insights for leading entertainment brands such as MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land and others.

Catherine Houser
EVP, Worldwide Human Resources, Paramount Pictures and Paramount Streaming
A trusted leader in the Paramount Global family for 25 years with deep HR experience in film and television, Houser has managed human resources teams in the entertainment industry for 30 years. Prior to overseeing Paramount Pictures HR, she served as EVP of human resources for Viacom Media Networks. where she led the company’s HR strategies and practices. In that role, she was responsible for all of MTV Networks’ HR initiatives globally. Before joining MTV Networks, Houser was SVP of human resources and operations for Orion Pictures.

Elizabeth Wright
EVP and CFO, Direct to Consumer Segment, Paramount Global
Wright steers the global financial strategy for both Paramount+ and Pluto TV. Prior to becoming CFO of the direct-to-consumer segment, Wright served as SVP of finance for CBS Interactive. In that role, she oversaw the entire finance organization, ran annual budget processes, managed monthly key performance indicators, and drove initiatives for new business partnerships for the CBS digital division. Prior to joining CBS in 2007, Wright worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers and started her career in public accounting.

Amy Kuessner
SVP, Content Strategy and Global Partnerships, Paramount Global
Kuessner is responsible for growth strategies, partnerships, content licensing and international expansion for Pluto TV and focused areas of Paramount+. In this role, Kuessner brings her expertise, creative vision and strategy to identify, bridge and scale symbiotic content partnerships across the multiple streaming platforms. Since its onset, Kuessner has been instrumental in the development and oversight of Pluto TV’s content acquisitions team, responsible for establishing nearly 400 global content deals with major Hollywood studios, TV networks, distributors, major sports leagues, news organizations and publishing outfits. Prior to joining Pluto TV, Kuessner spent over two decades in entertainment, specializing in emerging digital technologies, including AVOD, linear, MVPDs and digital cinema. She has decades of experience in marketing and business development, with prior roles at NBCUniversal, Liberty Media, Sony Corp. and DirecTV, in addition to startups including National CineMedia/Fathom Entertainment and ByExperience.

Susan Lundgren
SVP, Communications, Paramount Streaming
Lundgren oversees all external and internal communications and events efforts for the division, as well as its streaming services Paramount+, Pluto TV and Noggin. She has more than 20 years of communications experience working with some of the top brands within tech and media. Prior to joining Paramount Streaming, Lundgren was with Apple, where she was responsible for managing global strategic communications for legal, government affairs and industrial design. Before that, Lundgren led corporate communications efforts for key technology clients of Porter Novelli, a global communications agency.

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PBS Distribution

Andrea Burton
Senior Director, Business Development
With more than 20 years of experience in the media and communications industry, Burton leads PBS Distribution’s global business development efforts and manages key partner relationships with Amazon, YouTube and others. She has launched partnerships with Pluto, Tubi, Roku, Freevee, Xumo and Peacock, and launched two FAST channels in the United States with a third on its way and two in the United Kingdom, as well as four YouTube channels. Prior to joining PBS Distribution, Burton was the director of sales at HBO.

Lori Galkowski
Director, National Sales
A home entertainment veteran with 30-plus years of experience, Galkowski has extensive knowledge in multiple channels of business supporting Blu-ray and DVD sales. Responsible for physical content sales and marketing in the mass and specialty channels in the United States and Canada, as well as the company’s distribution partnership, her expertise and efforts to create new, exclusive content have resulted in consistently strong retail placements. Prior to joining PBS Distribution in 2015, Galkowski held positions at Warner Bros. and Sight & Sound Distributors.

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Premiere Digital

Michele Edelman
Head of Growth
With more than 20 years of executive experience, an unmatched business acumen and extensive knowledge of home entertainment, Edelman has been a driving force behind innovation and growth at the forefront of an evolving OTT landscape. From launching TVOD programs at Warner Bros., to spearheading VOD strategies at Vubiquity, to redefining distribution at media services company Premiere Digital, Edelman has been instrumental in implementing international market plans across media services, distribution and software-as-a-service disciplines.

Pamela Ng
Ng joined Premiere Digital in December 2020 to oversee all financial operations and collaborate with management on the company’s most important initiatives, including organic growth strategies, acquisitions, KPI performance and risk avoidance through data-driven decision-making. Prior to joining the company, she served as CFO at Irwin Naturals, a provider of premium vitamin and supplements. Before that, she served as VP of strategy at Beachbody, a leading fitness streaming and nutrition company, and as GM of Teleflora’s SaaS e-commerce platform.

Evelyn Arteaga
Executive Director of Operations
Arteaga has become a key influence in developing digital workflows at Premiere Digital since she joined the company near its inception. Evolving through her roles as a digital media technician to a manager and to her current position, she has improved and developed processes that efficiently adapt with the company’s growth. In supporting significant functions of the company, she has curated instrumental industry knowledge that has positioned the company as a primary technological solution for media servicing and distribution.

Beth Archer
Director of Mastering
Since joining Premiere Digital, Archer has risen from an entry level position in ingest and mastering to director of mastering. She is responsible for establishing the company’s roots on the East Coast, launching the Stamford, Conn., facility and consolidating workflows and technologies to support the Los Angeles headquarters. In developing efficient processes and leveraging a honed knowledge of new technologies, she has been a key contributor to the company’s growth alongside the rise of digital media in entertainment.

Natalie Martin
VP, Growth and Development
Martin has been a top-performing digital distribution executive for more than a decade, using her deep sales and operations expertise to help global brands monetize content with innovative strategies and solutions that maximize profitability. In her current role, she is responsible for driving revenue by nurturing key industry relationships and building new revenue streams, including the company’s rapidly expanding aggregation business that increases scale and efficiency between digital platforms and content owners.

Carrie Moore
VP, Product Development
Moore is the quintessential Premiere Digital success story. Since joining the company as the seventh employee, she has become a reliable expert in digital distribution with experience in mastering, fulfillment and SaaS technology. She helped expand the company’s global footprint, launching the Bangalore facilities, workflow and teams to enable global operations. She also developed a product support infrastructure for all software used at Premiere Digital, continuing to grow the company’s flagship media management products, Storefront and PDX.

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Christina Chu
Chief Technology Officer
Chu oversees all of technology across Redbox, including software engineering, technology operations, infrastructure, and corporate system teams responsible for TVOD, FLTV and AVOD streaming services, as well as the physical kiosk hardware and software. She’s responsible for developing next-generation technologies and strategy for the company’s growing streaming platform that includes apps on smart-TVs, the Web, Android and iOS devices, game consoles, and OTT devices, as well as its established kiosk business. Chu has worked closely with business, operations and product leaders to ensure that Redbox’s technology platforms can scale and quickly evolve in support of the ever-evolving streaming space. Prior to joining Redbox, Chu was the SVP of technology at Fullscreen where she led engineering strategy and execution for the company’s B2C and B2B lines of business. Chu spent more than a decade at NBCUniversal.

Durriya Gunja
Senior Director, Creative Services
Gunja is responsible for creative leadership, strategic oversight, and brand management ensuring a consistent experience across all channels and platforms at Redbox. She leads the management team overseeing brand promotions, creative and content development, video production, and operations supporting enterprise level products (kiosk, TVOD, AVOD, R+ and Perks) across multiple channels and platforms. The group also supports content creation, promos and marketing for Redbox Originals and Exclusives under Redbox Entertainment. Under her leadership, the team helped brand and launch the Redbox digital platform including its TVOD and AVOD offerings. Durriya led the Redbox rebrand efforts in 2017, refreshing the 36,000-plus kiosks, print and digital assets, Redbox website, and mobile and CE apps. Most recently, she led the creative efforts to launch the new Redbox Value Menu.

Tiffany Cruz
Director of Media Operations
Cruz is responsible for managing rights, operations and publishing of Redbox’s AVOD, linear, and owned-and-operated Redbox channels, as well as its transactional VOD libraries. With 20 years of film distribution and digital operations experience, she uses her technical background to streamline processes, increasing throughput. Cruz also oversees Redbox Entertainment original films delivery, having managed distribution of 4,000-plus films in her career. She previously led content ops at Roku, managing 400-plus partners and a 400,000-plus title library internationally and domestically.

Anuradha Kali Kadimcherla
Director of Data Engineering and Business Intelligence
Kadimcherla leads the data engineering, data operations and the DBA teams at Redbox. She is responsible for the data team’s product roadmap, back-end production databases, third-party integrations, KPI reports and dashboards. She liaises with product management, business and leadership to deliver data workloads based on the business requirements. She strives to create an open data platform for everyone to democratize the data and build products that are performant and scalable. For Redbox’s on-demand platform, she led the efforts to integrate with its recommendation engine provider, helped build the studio revenue share reports, led the loyalty program implementation, and assisted in building out on-demand executive dashboards and integrating with studios and content providers for on-demand content ingestion.

Katherine Killeen
Director of Product Management
Killeen leads product management functions at Redbox and has been involved in launching many new products and features through partnership since joining the company more than 10 years ago. She contributed to the launch and growth of the Redbox Perks loyalty program, which now includes more than 40 million consumers. She drives product roadmaps for customer incentives and perks, kiosk improvements, as well as internal tools used for content management, merchandising, marketing and customer support, and communications.

Jeanette Socke
Director of Marketing, Redbox
Socke leads consumer marketing and social media at Redbox. She manages strategic monthly planning and executes brand, seasonal and promotional campaigns. Some of the high-profile campaigns she has managed include “Value Menu,” “Dinner & a Movie” and “12 Days of Deals.” She also manages connected-TV paid media to grow awareness and conversions of Redbox digital products such as transactional, AVOD, FAST and Redbox Entertainment originals. She collaborates with studios and sales teams to build integrated partnerships that drive consumer engagement, incremental rents and new customer acquisition.

Laura Florence
VP, Merchandising and Programming
Florence joined Redbox in 2019 to lead the company’s digital content acquisitions and helped to launch the Redbox FAST channel service and the ad-supported on-demand platform. In 2021 she was promoted to her current position, where she handles all content strategy and merchandising for kiosk, transactional, FAST, ad-supported and Redbox Original content, as well as the programming of Redbox linear Channels. She has more than 15 years of experience in both the physical and digital categories of content distribution, including a tenure at Gravitas Ventures, where she was the VP of North American sales and marketing.

Maura Gray
Senior Director, Consumer, Brand and Partner Marketing
Gray leads consumer marketing for all Redbox lines of business, including physical and digital transactional and free ad-supported (FAST/Free On Demand). She and her teams drive acquisition, retention and engagement across all touchpoints with off-channel media (paid and partnerships), in addition to Redbox’s owned channels, including social. She manages new product launches, large-scale brand initiatives and strategic planning. Prior to joining Redbox, the 17-year veteran of the entertainment industry managed ad sales and partnership marketing at the National Geographic Channels.

Kristin Bowser
VP of operations
Bowser is responsible for all of the operations of the legacy kiosk business. She successfully led the field team through a pandemic, civil unrest and record inflation. She was able to keep the business operating during a very challenging time in the entertainment business.

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Screen Media

Tamara Birkemoe
EVP, International Sales and Distribution
Birkemoe oversees all international distribution for Screen Media and is also part of the global acquisition and co-production team. In addition, she leads Screen Media’s international theatrical sales division, Foresight Unlimited. Birkemoe brings more than 21 years of extensive hands-on experience and knowledge of the entertainment industry. Throughout her career she has shepherded numerous projects from acquisition and development through worldwide sales and distribution. She is currently executive producing Fast Charlie, starring Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin and James Caan, and Saint Clare, starring Bella Thorne. She most recently executive produced Nine Bullets, starring Lena Headey and Sam Worthington. She has also executive produced And So It Goes, starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton and directed by Rob Reiner; 2 Guns, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg; and Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Peter Berg.

Lisa Burgueno
SVP, Digital Distribution
Burgueno has been in digital distribution for more than a decade with roles at Lionsgate, Starz Digital, Cinedigm and Microsoft Movies & TV before joining Screen Media to head up transactional partnerships and development. Burgueno began her career in daily TV news production and spent several years as a festival manager and programmer for National Geographic, supporting first-hand storytelling by native and indigenous filmmakers.

Amanda Sherwin
SVP, Marketing
Sherwin has been working in the independent film arena for more than two decades. In February 2020 Sherwin started as a consultant for Screen Media Films overseeing theatrical marketing beginning with John Turturro’s The Jesus Rolls. She then came on full time as VP of marketing, and then SVP of marketing, overseeing the marketing and distribution campaigns for the company on such films as Rod Lurie’s critically acclaimed The Outpost, starring Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones and based on Jake Tapper’s best-selling book; the celebrated documentaries Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street and Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road; comedic titles, including Best Sellers, starring Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza, and Family Squares, starring Henry Winkler, Margo Martindale and Judy Greer; dramas, such as Black Bird, starring Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet; as well as thrillers, including Gold starring Zac Efron, Till Death starring Megan Fox, and Monstrous starring Christina Ricci. Prior to joining Screen Media, Sherwin worked as a marketing consultant for PBS Distribution and ran the release and Academy campaigns on the Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama.

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Shout! Factory

Melissa Boag
EVP, Family Entertainment
Boag heads the family entertainment division, a significant part of Shout! Factory’s multi-platform business. She provides leadership across the company and big-picture strategy that supports Shout’s long-term growth. She creates marketing and distribution strategies for a large slate of new releases and catalog titles. Boag oversees distribution on key anime lines, including the partnerships with GKIDS on movies from GKIDS and Studio Ghibli titles, including perennial favorites such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, and with Eleven Arts on titles such as A Silent Voice and Poupelle of Chimney Town. In family animation and live-action entertainment, Boag directs the home entertainment strategy with Sesame Workshop on “Sesame Street”; with Laika on films including Coraline and Kubo and the Two Strings; with Hasbro/eOne on “My Little Pony,” “Transformers” and “Power Rangers”; with Toei on “Digimon Adventure tri.”; and with MPCA on “When Calls the Heart.” She also collaborates on acquisitions and production of animated movies and the marketing strategy on Shout! Factory and Shout! Kids movie releases, including the 30th anniversary edition of FernGully: The Last Rainforest, The Magic Flute, Ainbo: Spirit of the Amazon and Dreambuilders.

Lauren Blum
Associate VP, Publicity
Blum is an accomplished PR strategist, with a great passion for communication, journalism, business and leadership. She has delivered outstanding film, digital and home entertainment campaigns over the years. Recent campaign highlights include Belle, FernGully: The Last Rainforest 30th anniversary, Child’s Play collector’s editions, Oliver Stone’s JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, Old Henry and “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and home entertainment releases from GKIDS, Studio Ghibli and Laika Studios.

Kathy Callahan
VP, Special Market Sales and E-Commerce
Callahan is a 30-plus year veteran of entertainment media sales and marketing. She joined Shout! Factory in 2006. Since 2012 she has served as VP, overseeing Shout Factory’s e-commerce businesses, which include and the company’s Marketplace businesses. Callahan also handles Shout! Factory specialty sales and non-traditional sales in general.

Julie Dansker
SVP, Streaming and Content Strategy
A seasoned entertainment executive with long-standing relationships with esteemed content creators, content buyers, digital and streaming platforms, studios, and networks, Dansker oversees the licensing and streaming sales team, leading the streaming and content distribution strategy for Shout! Factory. She drives the monetization for all film and series content across global SVOD and AVOD channel partners and broadcasters, executing licensing deals, managing a portfolio of AVOD channel partners, and pitching and launching FAST channels. Utilizing data-driven analytics, her team monitors performance and optimizes engagement across partners. Dansker also collaborates with the acquisitions team to identify and acquire elevated new releases and is on the Shout! Studios’ originals team developing original content across television, feature films and podcasts, actively pitching and setting up original productions. Most notable recent films include the award-winning Shout! Studios’ original Old Henry, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, as well as recent SXSW pick-up Linoleum, starring Jim Gaffigan and Rhea Seehorn.

Lexie Heredia
VP, Financial Planning and Analysis
Heredia manages all new deal evaluations within Shout’s content acquisition process. She also manages overall budgets annually as well as the long-range plan, constantly focused on aligning Shout’s strategic goals with overall forecasting into the future. Additionally, she is a member of Shout’s DEI taskforce, a committee that leads the company’s internal efforts with regards to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace, as well as serves to find outreach opportunities within the community also focused on these efforts, such as internship/mentorship partnerships with Academy Gold Rising and continued sponsorship of the City of Angels Women’s Film Festival. Through her 10 years at Shout, she has remained passionate about the company’s growth and success as both a distributor of film and television content, as well as its culture and core values.

Karrie Stouffer
VP, Creative Services
Stouffer is the head of creative, specializing in entertainment properties. Her expertise spans numerous functions including leading and managing creative campaigns, art direction, design, key art/logo/brand/title treatment development, and project management. Most recently, Stouffer has helped spearhead the branding/merchandising of the relaunch of the beloved series “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” in step with Shout! Factory’s leap into original content.

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Jill Allen
SVP, Digital Distribution
Allen leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s transactional digital distribution business (TVOD) for North America. In her role she maximizes revenues for SPE’s iconic slate of film and TV content in collaboration with all North American digital retailers. Most recently, she led SPE’s digital home entertainment release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the top-performing digital release of all time. Allen has been at SPE for 16 years in sales and business development roles, with an ongoing focus on the intersection of content and new technologies. Allen also serves as executive sponsor for Voz, SPE’s Latino Employee Resource Business Group, and is a board member of Sony Pictures Action, SPE’s global racial equity and Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining SPE, Allen worked at The Walt Disney Co. and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

Jennifer Anderson
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Anderson leads the global brand marketing team that oversees and manages lifecycle campaigns across the Sony Pictures slate, establishing key consumer messaging, aligning marketing tactics to core brand strategy and ensuring that product marketing efforts are in line with studio business goals. Some priorities in this rapidly changing landscape have included optimizing release windows, bringing high-end productions direct-to-home, and delighting content-hungry consumers with a wide range of catalog titles that continue to shine.

Geri Bluerock
SVP, Sales and Operations, North America
Bluerock leads the sales and operations organization for the domestic physical business. Her scope includes sales, supply chain, planning, reporting and administration. She has led the evolution of the sales team to integrate data-driven insights addressing retailer and consumer opportunities. Her experience at Sony, MGM and Target includes leadership positions in sales, sales planning and analysis, retail operations, category management, vendor managed inventory, demand planning, and retail buying.

Anja Dang
SVP, Global Audience Analytics, Data Science and Business Insights
Dang leads the team that develops Sony Pictures’ capabilities to become a more consumer-centric and data-driven organization. Her team builds, sources, connects and manages consumer and audience-level data assets and capabilities to create consumer segments for activation and design audience activation solutions and to deliver commercial insights. The team accomplishes this through advanced data analytics and machine learning to develop models and apps to enable Sony Pictures to make informed decisions that drive and fulfill the consumer appetite for film and television content across the theatrical, home entertainment and television release windows.

Cathy Goldman
SVP, Global TV Distribution and International Production Marketing
Goldman has been overseeing marketing for Sony Pictures Television International Distribution for the past eight years, and just recently expanded her purview to include the U.S. television distribution business as well as the global transactional business for television product. Alignment of the transactional TV business with distribution allows for a holistic marketing approach across the lifecycle. Core responsibilities include leading brand strategy, promotions, and partnerships and collaborating closely with cross-functional teams across digital/social, creative, creative content, media and publicity for premiere television properties such as “Outlander,” “The Crown,” “Better Call Saul” and “The Blacklist,” as well as key franchises such as “Seinfeld” and Norman Lear favorites.

Jane Mohon
SVP, Media and Home Entertainment/TV Distribution Marketing Services
Mohon is responsible for consumer media strategy, overseeing strategic linear and digital media planning and buying. A champion of an analytics-led strategy, Mohon leverages consumer lifecycle data to drive multi-channel paid media strategies to drive transactions. In addition, she is responsible for consumer-data-driven marketing operations functions, such as Movies Anywhere and the consumer loyalty program within the home entertainment line of business.

Dina Wiggins
SVP, Legal
Wiggins has been overseeing legal affairs for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Television Distribution marketing globally for more than 25 years, closely collaborating with related departments throughout the Sony organization. Her work also encompasses legal analysis and advice for the duration of the licensing, distribution, sales, manufacturing, and other exploitation of movies and television series in all new and established areas of home entertainment for Sony Pictures.

Lindsey Beams, VP, People and Organization Business Partners
Kelly Bouchey, VP, TVOD Client Services
Christine Galloway, VP, Global Digital Marketing
Sachiyo Hirano, VP, Sales Planning
Katie Ullrich, VP, Global Brand Marketing
Michelle Vendange, VP, Global Customer Experience
Jane Webster, VP, New Digital Distribution

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Pamela Blum
SVP, Global Marketing
Blum oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s digital, Blu-ray and DVD releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.

Sandy Choi
SVP, Brand Marketing
Choi manages all global marketing and product development for Focus Features’ new-release offerings as well as UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. She oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns for the partner releases across both digital and physical platforms, as well as leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.

Erica Marie Dionne
SVP, Release Planning and Business Ops
Dionne oversees the studio’s film and television releasing planning process and business operations strategy across digital platforms. Her responsibilities include establishing go-to-market best practices, managing cross-company digital initiatives and identifying opportunities to maximize the value of content on emerging platforms. She serves as a member of Universal Pictures’ Inclusion Committee, leading initiatives that enhance the studio’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workforce and represents NBCUniversal as the Los Angeles Regional Advisory Board Chair for a partner nonprofit, America On Tech.

Denise Haro
SVP, Worldwide Consumer Insights and Strategy
Haro oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.

Jerrlyn Iwata
SVP, Digital Distribution
Iwata oversees business development and distribution for Universal’s domestic digital home entertainment arm. She is responsible for licensing Universal’s film and television content on a transactional basis to cable, satellite, internet and emerging digital platform partners across the United States and Canada.

Stephanie Lutjens
SVP, Global Brand Marketing
Lutjens spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.

Lea Porteneuve
SVP, Global Publicity and Communications
Porteneuve oversees business, technology and executive communications for UPHE. She additionally spearheads all strategic publicity initiatives for Universal and its distributed lines, including media and talent relations, events, promotions, promotional partnerships and social media activations in support of the studio’s digital and physical home entertainment offerings. She also actively serves as the company’s principal PR strategist on cross-studio, industry-specific committees.

Stacy Barger, VP, Creative Services
Stephanie Bayer, VP, Creative Services
Jennifer Black, VP, Global Publicity
Eng Chua, VP, Finance and Operations
Leigh Dunleavy, VP, Digital Platforms
Alissa Gury, VP, Global Controller
Nadia Haney, VP, Emerging Partnerships and Formats
Tracy Kim, VP, Digital Distribution and Digital Platforms
Sandy Le Bihan, VP, Global Projects
Marian Mansi, VP, Global Creative Content
Jenna Webb, VP, Global Tech Operations
Shavonne Wieder, VP, Global Brand Marketing

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Nicole Coleman
SVP, Content Planning and Analysis
Coleman leads analytics, business planning and operations in support of monetizing content and maximizing revenue for the studio. This includes the evaluation of content windowing trade-offs, price optimization and competitive analysis. Additionally, she leads product planning and availability for film and TV content across Warner Bros. Discovery’s vast content portfolio.

Kristina Fugate
SVP, Film Marketing
Fugate handles all theatrical new-release and catalog brand lifecycle marketing efforts across disc and digital platforms, which also includes creative advertising, franchise management and global strategy. Her team executes strategies resulting in strong performances of all Warner Bros. Discovery brands and franchises, including DC and “Harry Potter,” and recent titles including The Batman and Elvis. Additionally, Fugate oversees the 4K Ultra HD slate, including remastering classics such as The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Singin’ in the Rain and The Shawshank Redemption, and she manages immersive entertainment including Harry Potter VR at the New York City Harry Potter flagship store.

Mary Ellen Thomas
SVP, Television and Originals Product and Brand Marketing
Thomas leads home entertainment global marketing and creative for all non-theatrical content from Warner Bros., Tnets (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT, truTV, CNN) and HBO. She is responsible for driving the overall strategy, product development, creative, marketing and lifecycle management for originals and episodic product lines. In addition, Thomas manages talent and studio relationships and is responsible for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s portfolio brand partners, including Rooster Teeth, Peanuts, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, WWE and Viz Media.

Robyn Sklaren
SVP, Sales Planning
Sklaren is the executive in charge of domestic sales planning and library management for Warner Bros. Discovery’s vast library of films and television shows. She oversees rights, availability, windowing, pricing and strategic content curation across SVOD, AVOD, basic cable, pay cable and other linear networks for domestic content licensing. She leads the music clearance and remastering efforts on hundreds of classic TV series and films such as “Babylon 5,” “Dallas,” “The Flintstones,” Pump Up the Volume, Now & Then and The Outsiders: The Complete Novel.

Kristin Anderson, VP, Television and Originals
Traci Carroll, VP, Creative Advertising
Amy-Beth Chamberlin, VP, Sales Services
Lindsay Feng, VP, Trade Marketing
Sandra S. Kim, VP, Global Product Planning
Tina Depass Lujan, VP, Television and Originals
Angie Lai Makhoul, VP, Film Marketing
Zandra Palmer, VP, Trade Marketing
Beth Wetzel, VP, Creative Advertising Television and Originals

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Women in Home Entertainment 2022: Meet the Captains and See What They Have to Say

Welcome to Media Play News’ fifth annual Women in Home Entertainment issue.

Once again, we are leading off with a special focus on the top “captains” who are driving the industry. This year we have selected 18 women leaders, up from 15 last year. The growing number of “captains” can be attributed to both the healthy and welcome fact that more and more women are joining Hollywood’s executive ranks, as well as the continued broadening of what is considered “home entertainment” due to the proliferation of distribution channels.

Four of them, or 22%, are new to the list: Ellen Goodridge, head of worldwide media management and distribution for Amazon Studios; Shalini Govil-Pai, GM and VP of TV platforms for Google; Jackie Hayes, EVP, legal, for studios and networks at Warner Bros. Discovery; and Yolanda Macias, chief content officer for Cinedigm.

Several others either have completely new roles or have been given additional responsibilities since our last go-round. Among the former is Kelly Campbell, who had been president of Hulu and is now president of Peacock; among the latter is Karin Gilford, who in addition to serving as GM of Movies Anywhere is also SVP of digital media for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The common factor, among all 18, is that they hold very important and powerful positions in an industry that has changed dramatically over just the past few years — and one that will likely continue to evolve into the future.

Let’s meet the 2022 Women in Home Entertainment “captains” and see what they have to say.



Bela Bajaria

Head of Global TV, Netflix

Bela Bajaria

Bajaria was named head of global TV at Netflix in 2020. She oversees all scripted and unscripted series around the world. Bajaria leads the teams responsible for hit series including “Bridgerton,” “The Queen’s Gambit,” “La Casa de Papel” and “Lupin.” Prior to joining Netflix, Bajaria was president of Universal Television, where she made history as the first woman of color to oversee a studio, shepherding programming including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “The Mindy Project.” Earlier, she held two key posts simultaneously: SVP of cable programming for CBS TV Studios, and SVP of movies and miniseries for CBS Network.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

My parents manage car-washes and have always set an amazing example, not only through their work ethic but also with the way they run their business like a village, fostering a community with warmth and heart. As a leader, I try to run my teams like a family business where people have fun and care about each other while also doing great work.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

To build resiliency, you have to first experience failure — so don’t be afraid to fail. Getting fired from a job was devastating at first, but I ultimately gained more confidence from that experience because I learned to separate who I am from what I do.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Like most women in entertainment, for a long time I heard doubts about women-led stories and their ability to command large audiences. I’m proud to work with multi-hyphenate talents such as Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, and many more who have bulldozed that obstacle.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I’ve been fortunate to have mentors and advocates who supported me, and I’ve been determined to do the same for others, especially young women of color. We have a responsibility to open doors and make room for others who are on the path behind us. As leaders and bosses, we also have a responsibility to fight for pay equity, equal opportunity, and a safe and respectful work environment.

What has you most excited about the future?

My kids are in high school and college, and I’m in awe of how engaged they are in big cultural issues as well as their local communities. I’m excited about the future in their generation’s hands.

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Michele Bell

EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, Paramount Home Entertainment

Michele Bell

Bell oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising. Bell is recognized for navigating the ever-changing home entertainment landscape with creative solutions that reach a wide range of consumers across traditional retailers and emerging digital platforms. Under her direction, the home entertainment creative team pivoted rapidly to develop assets, trailers and tailored advertising to launch Paramount’s first PVOD releases in 2020 with tremendous success. Her focus is on developing compelling, persuasive, and disruptive creative assets that demand attention and drive consumer sales. Bell has more than 20 years of home entertainment marketing experience. Before joining Paramount in 2005, she was VP of creative services at what was then Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Bell spent the early part of her career at New Line Cinema, rising through the ranks to VP of creative advertising for home entertainment.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Be your authentic self … the alternative is exhausting. Listen as much as you speak (I still struggle with that one if I’m being honest!). Don’t be afraid to have a dissenting opinion — your unique perspective has value. Lead your teams with compassion and conviction and always be willing to jump in the trenches when needed.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Creative is very subjective and you can really, really love a campaign, but sometimes presentations just don’t go your way. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust my creative instincts and choices, and when I do I find I leave a presentation with more ‘yeses’ than ‘nos.’ Working on a complex campaign with challenging stakeholders and leaving a presentation with a ‘yes’ is definitely a confidence builder. But, rejection does help you build resilience!

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

The single biggest obstacle: TIME! There’s never enough of it! It’s probably the thing most creative people struggle with. If we had more time to ideate, more time to develop, more time to deliver … ah, yes … more TIME would be so nice. As for which obstacles are no more, this is a tough one because it’s impossible to speak for all women, but the post-COVID hybrid work model has helped me overcome the obstacle of achieving better work-life balance. I would venture to guess that’s true for many working women.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Pay equity is probably the single most important thing any industry can do to support women. Progress has been made, but there is still much work to be done in that area.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’ve had an incredibly interesting, challenging and rewarding career in the home entertainment industry, and my role continues to change as our business evolves. How we go to market today is very different than it was when I started, and that is very exciting to me. I look forward to leading my team into the next phase of our business and want to continue delivering breakthrough, world-class creative that elevates and enhances our customer’s experience. Whatever the next big thing is, I hope to be a part of it!!

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Kelly Campbell

President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal

Kelly Campbell

Campbell is responsible for building and growing the Peacock business. She reports to Matt Strauss, chairman of NBCUniversal  Direct-to-Consumer and International. Prior to joining Peacock in October 2021, Campbell was president of Hulu at The Walt Disney Co. She oversaw Hulu’s SVOD and live-TV streaming businesses. Before that, Campbell was Hulu’s chief marketing officer, leading the brand’s overall marketing and driving the strategic vision and voice behind the Hulu brand. Campbell was responsible for ensuring that Hulu’s consumer proposition and brand was reflected in every aspect of the Hulu experience. Prior to joining Hulu, Campbell spent more than a decade at Google, where she held a variety of leadership and marketing roles across the Google Ads and Google Cloud businesses. She began her career in investment banking at JPMorgan Chase. A respected leader and innovator, Campbell has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative CMOs, the Adweek 50, AdAge’s Women to Watch, FierceCable’s The Fierce 50: Executives Reshaping the Business of Pay TV, and Forbes’ Most Influential Global CMOs.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Hire leaders you trust, then trust them to do their jobs. It can be hard to “let go” as a leader, but if you want the best talent you have to set leaders up to make decisions. In my role this means my job is less about managing down, and more about paving the way for leaders to move swiftly, and creating the right connection points across the leadership team to go bigger together.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

For me, confidence has always been paired with a sense of humility. I show up as a learner, not afraid to ask questions, even if it’s something I “should” know. It takes confidence to do that, but paired with humility this has helped me learn quickly. It’s a lot easier and faster to learn in the moment, when you are surrounded by the appropriate context and experts. Resilience comes with experience and perspective.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I have not yet figured out how to manufacture more time in a day.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Foster a culture where diversity is built into the fabric of the team, and where different perspectives are valued and play a critical role in decision-making. We need to identify, hire, support and elevate leaders who are capable of building and leading diverse teams. It helps to do this at the company level, but we need to work harder across companies as an industry.

What has you most excited about the future?

Peacock’s content slate is on track to be unrivaled by any streaming player. We offer consumers more live sports, premium films, premium television series, and original stories than any other SVOD service. Increasingly, consumers are discovering this, and they’re choosing Peacock.

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Andrea Downing

President, PBS Distribution

Andrea Downing

With more than 20 years’ experience in the media and entertainment business, Downing has a successful history of leading organizations for growth and profitability in dynamic landscapes. Her vision for PBS Distribution (PBSd) led to the transformation of the company’s initial focus on physical goods to multichannel, multi-format distribution, creating significant growth in digital distribution. A strategic leader with a strong operational background, Downing embraces change to transform organizations with new business strategies and products. Prior to joining PBSd, she served as the director of operations for Discovery Communications, managing the domestic and international consumer products division, and as the VP for home entertainment and partnerships for PBS. She currently serves on the boards of PBSd, PBS America, and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, as well as the DEG’s Canon Club Advisory Board.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Trust your instincts. This sage advice was shared with me by a senior executive who observed me in a bit of analysis paralysis. I have taken it to heart and share it often. The advice I would give to future female leaders is that if you are in the room, act like you belong there and contribute productively to the discussion.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

By stepping in when something needed to be done, and saying yes to any project or task I was asked to do. I learned a lot from doing that and it gave me opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I also took well-considered risks at various points, including stepping back on my career path to start with a larger company where I could create opportunities for growth.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

As for so many, finding enough time to do it all is a challenge and usually results in less sleep and having to make difficult choices. As a single mom, I work hard to find the right “fit” for my family and my career, which has changed over time as my daughters grew and my career evolved. I have a great network of friends and family who provide incredible support, and I would not have been able to juggle everything without them. Plus, an awesome team and family-friendly culture. It truly takes a village!

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I think we should look back to our own career paths and remember some of the leaders and executives who helped us navigate our own way up and try to do the same for the next generation, either by taking someone under our wing and mentoring them or through an organization like the DEG Canon Club, which is a fabulous organization that supports women in the industry.

What has you most excited about the future?

Change. The media landscape is always evolving and the public media ecosystem is complex. We must anticipate where the market is headed and be nimble enough to pivot. It is deeply satisfying to build and lead the team that can accomplish this and meet the moment, day after day. I am never bored, and that is a huge gift.

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Karin Gilford

SVP, Digital Media, and GM, Movies Anywhere, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Karin Gilford

Gilford oversees a portfolio comprised of Movies Anywhere, an independent, dedicated, cross-functional team that includes product, technology and marketing professionals, and Digital Media, a cross-functional team that drives engagement and monetization across The Walt Disney Co. portfolio. She oversees product development, business strategy and long-term growth of all aspects of Movies Anywhere and Digital Media, and serves as key liaison, working with various key stakeholders and participating studios and retailers.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I have been lucky to work closely with some of the most influential leaders in media. The best lessons I have learned have been from watching them lead our team or company and thinking about how their demeanor, words and actions affected the team they were relying on to power things forward. To me the best advice is to be a kind, ambitious and bold leader. Everyone wants to feel like their leader has their back, is taking them to exciting places and truly values them as an individual. To me, that is the winning combination.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I feel so lucky to be a leader in media and to have had so many amazing people on my teams. I find my resilience by constantly staying in touch with my role on the team and acknowledging the impact I have on the team and the people in their lives. If I am feeling down, I think about how my actions may make or break someone else’s day. As far as confidence goes, I have seen so many people fake confidence over the years. It has made me realize that confidence and authenticity are intertwined. I lead with authenticity, and confidence comes along.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I have noticed lately that many of my executive meetings are mostly comprised of women, which is awesome. It seems like the VP/SVP level has really evened out. However, we all still see the lack of diversity at the highest levels of media companies, so there are clearly still obstacles there.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Working parents work 24/7. They get the most done in the shortest amount of time. We should leverage COVID-19 and working from home to let parents be parents, and work, and not have to hide or mask their childcare responsibilities. Normalize talking about childcare duties and the trials, tribulations and joys of parenthood at work.

What has you most excited about the future?

Gen Z! They are doers who don’t accept the norm. I can’t wait to see what this generation does for the world. Bring it on!

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Ellen Goodridge

Head of Worldwide Media Management and Distribution, Amazon Studios

Ellen Goodridge

Goodridge is responsible for global distribution of Amazon Originals content for Amazon Prime Video and Freevee. She oversees high-profile and complex launch projects and collaborates with executive leadership across the studio to build the future of digital entertainment. Prior to joining Amazon, Goodridge enjoyed a long and successful leadership track record at Sony Pictures, culminating in a role as SVP of distribution and content delivery. In this role and her prior roles, she focused on digital transformation, digital and traditional media content and supply chain management, and enablement of major distribution partnerships with platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Google, Amazon, Disney, and broadcast and streaming channels around the world. She also led many first-of-their-kind digital initiatives, including being a key part of the launch and growth of Movies Anywhere, a cross-industry distribution platform.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I’ve been really lucky to have worked for some really bold and visionary leaders. Early on, I got some advice not to play small and to look for opportunities to think and create differently, but always to back it up with data and clear and transparent communication. I think that future leaders need to make sure that their vision and voice is at the forefront leading change, and not just implementing the change that others put forth.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence and resiliency haven’t been straight linear growth, but have come from the experience of continually taking on challenges, including some day-to-day challenges and some fast-growth, career-defining ones that are difficult, risky, or unfamiliar endeavors. Once you work through a tricky situation on its own terms — even if it doesn’t turn out as planned — you can take that with you into the next level of problem to solve as a key opportunity to learn and grow.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Having been in this business for a while, I’ve seen many times that there’s a difference between having an innovative idea and getting full buy-in, investment, recognition, and implementation assistance for that idea. Early on in this business, I had been in many situations where a female peer would bring up a good idea but there wouldn’t be the same energy around it and true business buy-in until/unless a male colleague brought it up. However, the good news is that a lot of that has evolved, and the voices around the table are considered much more equally. That said, I think women should challenge themselves to build robust, data-backed business cases for innovation and strive for an equal voice in change.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Through the media we produce, we have a massive role to play in how we drive media representation of women in leadership roles, political roles, intellectual and academic roles, and in finding and highlighting real stories of women who demonstrate what it looks like to have a voice and true power. We can also make sure that our employee teams, partners and vendors accurately reflect the true diversity (gender and otherwise) of our culture. And we can identify up-and-comers who demonstrate leadership potential and take on mentoring roles to help pull women up into leadership and board positions. I’ve been fortunate to have both in-company and external groups of colleagues to whom I could turn for advice on sticky issues, and I think fostering those wider industry conversations is really helpful.

What has you most excited about the future?

I think that there’s a truly intriguing convergence of themes including media technology, consumer-driven content, viewer interactivity, what we can now do with AI that’s really just beginning, and the possibility of entertainment in the metaverse. These and other emerging trends represent major areas of creativity for all of us in media and likely a massive reinvention of even the core definition of media over the next decade or so. It’s an exciting time to be part of the transformation, and it’s a thrill to be working alongside really bright minds who are leading the way.

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Shalini Govil-Pai

GM and VP of TV Platforms, Google

Shalini Govil-Pai

As GM and VP of Google TV, Govil-Pai conceived, implemented and executed the company’s TV strategy and is also leading emerging platform technologies at Google. Earlier, she was senior director for technology solutions at YouTube, where she led the distribution strategy for media creators and DTC businesses — growing this cohort to have 1 billion monthly active users, up tenfold during her tenure. Prior to joining Google, Govil-Pai was technical director at Pixar Animation, where she led efforts for the first entirely CG-animated blockbusters Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Govil-Pai is a well-known thought leader and speaker on digital production and distribution trends, most recently delivering the keynote at IBC and at Google’s annual hardware event, and was featured on NextTV’s executive watchlist. She is the author of two internationally-published books on computer graphics.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

When I first joined Google, I was given the best piece of advice that I’ve followed ever since. Swim ahead of everyone else to have your voice heard. We all have a point of view, and it’s important for others to know yours. In addition, it pays to strategize and swim ahead of the pack, expressing your opinions to key decision-makers early on. First, it helps you to understand their perspectives so you can reshape yours as necessary. And, secondly, the power of getting in first ensures you’re heard with an unbiased perspective.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Building and executing innovative ideas can be a challenge, and requires patience, planning and a lot of conviction. Through these times, it’s critical to have a village of trusted allies supporting you through the hard times. My village is made up of mentors, coaches, bosses and family — especially my husband, who I met in college and has been my biggest supporter and cheerleader. When I feel weak, they have all been important to instilling confidence in me and encouraging me to keep going.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Disbelief. My path has been guided by new product innovation, whether it was when I joined Pixar with only 50 employees, YouTube with a team of three, or Google TV from its inception. I was constantly questioned with, “Why will you succeed in this? No one else has. We’ve tried this before and it didn’t work. What a silly idea.” My obstacle was not gender specific, but around working to ensure I don’t let myself lose faith or confidence, and to keep driving with my own convictions.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I continue to grow and take on bigger challenges by having a solid support system. In my mind, there continues to be a lack of network groups that help women move forward. This is why I am part of two women social groups — Chief and Neythri. The industry can help set up a strong support system for women to set up allies, mentors and sponsors. One of the programs I help run at Google is sponsorship programs, where we pair our emerging talent with key executives who work with them, provide advice and support their career development.

What has you most excited about the future?

Technology is rooted in every aspect of our lives, from information gathering to education and entertainment. I am particularly excited about seeing virtual immersive experiences and applications come to life in virtual galleries such as training for doctors, world travel while at home and entertainment that feels real.

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Jackie Hayes

EVP, Legal for Studios & Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery

Jackie Hayes

Hayes oversees the legal function for Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, the HBO and HBO Max programming units, and the Turner and Discovery Networks and programming units. She also supports the Warner Bros. Global Brands, Franchises & Experiences and the WB Games business units. Hayes is a 24-year veteran of Warner Bros., earlier serving as EVP and general counsel for direct-to-consumer, sales and distribution, and technology and operations. In that role, she led global legal strategy for HBO Max, WarnerMedia advertising sales, home entertainment, content licensing, network distribution, and technology and operations. Hayes began her career at Goulston & Storrs and also worked at Troop Meisinger Steuber & Pasich.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

The best advice I was given was to trust my own voice, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I would give that advice to future leaders, but I would also add, “Don’t settle for unacceptable answers.”

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence comes from moving forward with a full understanding and acceptance that we will most certainly make mistakes, and that those moments will provide the best opportunities to learn. The sun will come up the next day, and we will have more chances to learn and improve. That, and remembering that progress is rarely fast or purely linear.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

I think implicit bias continues to be a big obstacle — sometimes it’s sinister, but I find that most of the time it’s just a matter of people not stretching themselves to seek out and include perspectives that are different from their own. And, even though technology and the internet have made it easier than it’s ever been to connect with diverse perspectives, we seem increasingly confined to our habitual bubbles. On the positive side, I am very happy to see that women are increasingly represented at senior levels of legal departments, although there is still a serious lack of other diversity at senior levels.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

It feels as though the pandemic may have helped open people’s eyes more to the challenges of traditionally gendered roles, whether it’s working, parenting, caregiving or elementary school teaching. I hope the past few years have been a catalyst for increased empathy for what everyone has to go through just to balance their work and non-work lives, and I really hope we don’t lose sight of that as we architect our post-pandemic work lives. That will help everyone, but especially women.

What has you most excited about the future?

I am thrilled to see the level of fearless determination in younger people now, and their willingness to challenge the status quo.

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Rebecca Heap

SVP, Consumer Products & Propositions, Comcast Corp.

Rebecca Heap

Heap leads Consumer Products & Propositions for the residential business of Comcast Cable. She is responsible for driving the vision, roadmap and go-to-market for the company’s converged portfolio, spanning connectivity products with Xfinity Internet, Mobile and Home, and entertainment platforms with Xfinity X1, Flex and Stream. Heap joined Comcast in early 2019 and has held various roles of increasing responsibility, including leading video and entertainment for Xfinity, the nation’s largest pay-TV distributor of video and entertainment services and products. She initially joined the company as SVP of strategic initiatives and projects, responsible for ensuring cross-functional alignment, growth and success across all of Xfinity’s residential business, and identifying opportunities for collaboration across the Comcast portfolio of companies, including NBCUniversal and Sky. Heap has more than 20 years of international experience in telecommunications and digital media spanning a broad range of responsibilities across strategy, product, pricing and packaging, commissioning, acquisitions, programming and distribution. Prior to joining Comcast, she was head of distribution programming and digital for the Australian Broadcasting Corp., responsible for the strategic growth and development of its digital and broadcast platforms to maximize reach and impact.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

You cannot underestimate the power and effectiveness of a team that works well together, one built on trust and strong values. While accomplishing business objectives is the end goal for any functioning team, the leaders I’ve learned from and admired most always start with the team dynamic and relationships. A team that trusts, communicates and is willing to win and lose together is going to move faster and feel more rewarded in the end. For female leaders in particular, know that your empathy and emotions are superpowers that help you understand colleagues (and consumers) better, so get comfortable sharing your full self at work.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

My business successes, as well as my failures, have been great learning experiences as my career progressed. Success can certainly build confidence, but the best resiliency comes from navigating and overcoming failure and obstacles. It is a million times better to have tried and failed than to have done nothing at all. I also find the more I invest in and build interests and passions outside of work — for me that’s reading, cooking, hiking and traveling — the more confident and balanced I am as an individual and a leader.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

We’ve made huge strides, but inclusion needs to remain a big focus for leaders today. As an industry we must keep making sure that diverse voices and ideas are not only at the table but are heard as well. For leadership, that often means talking less to hear more.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Connections, advocacy and mentorship are so incredibly valuable. As an industry we need to focus on putting more women in a position to succeed, with the right tools, resources and network around them. Men are often naturally good at supporting each other, and we need to actively focus on doing the same for women. I have been very fortunate to have some outstanding female mentors who continue to help me grow, learn and connect with like-minded leaders. We can all learn so much from each other.

What has you most excited about the future?

We’re at an inflection point in the industry. Consumers are overwhelmed with streaming options and reaching a tipping point. What stays and what goes? How do we collectively make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for consumers? This is what our industry needs to solve for, and, as a result, we’re going to see a lot of product and commercial innovation in the next few years, which is always thrilling to be part of.

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Alison Hoffman

President, Domestic Networks, Starz

Alison Hoffman

Hoffman oversees key domestic network operations for Starz, a leading global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. Hoffman has revenue and operational responsibility for the company’s U.S. retail and wholesale businesses, including distribution, marketing, publicity, product development, analytics and program planning. She previously served as chief marketing officer, responsible for spearheading brand and content marketing for the network, driving acquisition for the Starz app and delivering data-driven insights that support all facets of the business. Hoffman was one of the key executives responsible for launching the Starz app and managing the network’s direct-to-consumer business. She has worked closely with partners including Amazon, Hulu and Apple to successfully launch Starz on new platforms while continuing to build the Starz brand. She’s driven record-breaking success through the launches of the entire Starz Originals slate, including the “Power” franchise, “Outlander,” “P-Valley” and “Gaslit,” among many others.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

The mantra I embrace is “feedback is a gift” (even when it can feel like a burn). Whether it’s coming from my boss, my colleagues or my team, I try to embrace feedback with curiosity as opposed to defensiveness and see it as an opportunity to learn and widen my perspective.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I defer to the ever-quotable Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” As you ascend, make it your mission to amplify the voices and ideas of other
women in your orbit.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Two things that have really anchored me throughout the course of my career are believing in the product and believing in the people I work with. When there are challenges, whether in the business or my career specifically, working on shows I love with people I trust and respect has made all the difference in my ability to recover quickly from setbacks. This is one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with. I don’t feel there’s a challenge this group of people in this organization at this time couldn’t overcome.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Television is a highly competitive yet subjective business, and there have been multiple times throughout my career where we believed in a show and it didn’t hit the way we wanted — didn’t find the audience, or wasn’t received critically in the way we thought it deserved. That can be frustrating, but it forces you to sharpen your strategy, be bolder and be more relentless in your advocacy the next time. Corporately and creatively, there was a time when the female perspective and gaze wasn’t valued or respected. I think that is continuing to change, with a lot of ground yet to cover. I’m proud that Starz is at the forefront of that work.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Equal pay. A commitment across the industry to annihilate the pay gap.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’m excited about what the future of our industry can look like both in front of and behind the camera with continued commitment to representation like we’re doing at Starz. We have focused our entire business around amplifying the voices, stories and people that haven’t historically been given a platform and believe it will inspire others to do the same. Bringing fresh stories and perspectives to the forefront is powerful, as it allows more people to see nuanced and authentic depictions of themselves on TV. It’s exciting to imagine a future state where that’s the norm, not just in entertainment, but across all industries.

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Hilary J. Hoffman

EVP, Global Marketing, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Hilary J. Hoffman

Hoffman oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature-film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and the company’s overall approach to consumer engagement, including leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights. Since joining the company in 1998 as director of marketing, Hoffman has overseen the campaigns of some of the studio’s most-successful home releases and has been a driving force behind Universal’s leading footprint in new industry initiatives.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Nothing in my career could have prepared me for what we have faced over the past few years. Working through a pandemic and working from home has redefined the meaning of resiliency. In a time that has prompted so much learning and reflection for me personally and professionally, it is clear to me that being a good leader requires equal focus on the right people, the right strategy and the right environment. Working remotely created the opportunity and the challenge to influence and refine the way we operate, and I am especially proud of the exceptional culture that NBCU has fostered. The company’s unwavering dedication to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our ranks has engendered meaningful growth across our organization and has enabled me to profoundly evolve my leadership style.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years?

I’ve learned that working in an industry known for its unique challenges and ever-evolving nature requires constant creativity and adaptability, as well as a commitment to doing everything you can to keep teams inspired and motivated. Communication is key. It might sound mundane to some, but I’ve found that something as simple as consistently bringing the teams together provides a meaningful platform for members to contribute and ensures that everyone at all levels remains informed, engaged and aligned in driving the business forward, while also creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and empowerment.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I feel very fortunate to have built my career in home entertainment. You can see by the number of talented women celebrated in Media Play News that the contributions and impact women have had on this business are far reaching. I believe that elevating that success going forward not only requires women to further support each other, but more importantly, necessitates formal debiasing as an industry of our hiring practices to ensure that as our business continues to evolve, we, too, collectively advance to more accurately reflect the broad range of consumers we serve.

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Agapy Kapouranis

President of International Television & Digital Distribution, Lionsgate

Agapy Kapouranis

Kapouranis spearheads international distribution, acquisitions, sales and marketing for Lionsgate’s television and catalog feature slate. She is responsible for distributing and licensing Lionsgate’s 17,000-title film and TV library, a slate of feature films, a strong line-up of first-run TV series, and a robust portfolio of Starz programming to hundreds of SVOD, AVOD and linear platforms around the world. A versatile and prolific dealmaker, Kapouranis has helped establish Lionsgate as a partner of choice to international buyers in the SVOD, electronic sellthrough, transactional-video-on-demand and ad-supported-video-on-demand spaces. She has helped orchestrate a number of innovative and bespoke licensing deals, including the global syndication of the multiple Emmy award-winning series “Mad Men” to Amazon’s IMDb TV, Amazon’s Prime Video, AMC and StarzPlay as well as the licensing of the Emmy-winning sensation “Schitt’s Creek” to Netflix. Kapouranis joined Lionsgate in 2011 as the Paris-based SVP of television and digital distribution. During her four years in that capacity, she closed global digital sellthrough deals with Apple, Xbox, PlayStation and Google. She was later promoted to EVP of worldwide subscription-video-on-demand. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Kapouranis was VP of international on-demand and new media at MGM Studios.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

As a leader you are not in charge; you are taking care of people in your charge.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Be open to taking career risks. Trust your ability to learn by doing. Find women that empower, and pay it forward!

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Openness to continue to learn and be curious. I know I do not know everything, and the possibility of learning from anyone is always exciting.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years?

Lack of opportunities. I don’t play golf … yet.

Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Building a support network has become a lot more accessible — and, as a result, created more opportunities than ever before.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Provide more opportunities.

What has you most excited about the future?

It’s finally our time. Never been better for women!

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Yolanda Macias

Chief Content Officer, Cinedigm

Yolanda Macias

Macias is responsible for acquiring global content rights for all distribution and streaming platforms, and oversees all third-party sales and marketing. She joined Cinedigm in 2013 and has held leadership positions managing three departments and monetizing more than 46,000 films and television series. Macias has more than 25 years of entertainment distribution experience, including executive positions at Vivendi/Universal, DirecTV and The Walt Disney Co. She has a proven track record of developing and building profitable and sustainable businesses, such as the Spanish-language DirecTV subscription service, and Vivendi Entertainment, which was sold to Gaiam Inc. Macias has been honored as one of the Top 50 Women in Business and in 2022 was selected as a finalist as Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead?

Invest in your team and provide them the tools to succeed. Be clear about the direction and mission of the company. Overcommunicate the company’s strategy to support every team player’s role in the context of company goals.

What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Know your mission and role and scope of responsibility. Be intentional with your actions and proposals, supported by facts and an indisputable point of view. Encourage and motivate other women not only in your company but across the industry. Finally, develop, support and inspire younger talent.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Confidence-building is critical and prevents hurdles like imposter syndrome. As you get more wins under your lapel, you may expand your role and take on more responsibility. As you continue to prove yourself and showcase your teams’ efforts you gain the respect and confidence of leadership. In my career I had the privilege to build and grow two businesses. One continues to exist, at DirecTV, and the other was sold to Gaiam and then Cinedigm. I invest in reading and speaking to other colleagues and I pull in best practices along with subject matter expertise to support my everyday work. I believe that one is a student of life, and there is more to learn every day.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

The lack of representation of women and people of color in leadership is a disservice to organizations and to the end service or product. Diverse thought is critical to bringing forth the most meaningful innovative ideas that will serve the makeup of the marketplace. Media Play News’ spotlight on women in leadership is helpful to ask organizations to pause and take stock and evaluate its internal efforts to support the development of female talent. Prior to the pandemic, organizations made strides in offering working mothers in-office accommodations, and with remote work, mothers in the workforce have continued to effectively perform, deliver results, and exhibit their multi-tasking natural qualities. We will see further policy improvements such as these as more women leaders continue to shatter glass ceilings and sponsor these changes.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I encourage companies to sponsor female leaders to become involved in organizations such as the DEG Canon Club, which supports women in entertainment and technology, and Chief, a private membership network and community focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders. Also, discourse on global gender-based gaps is important to acknowledge lack of parity and close these gaps as women advance in their leadership journey.

What has you most excited about the future?

With respect to home entertainment, I look forward to the progression of the metaverse and Cinedigm’s version of such an experience — Cineverse. Personally, I look forward to continued board service both on nonprofit organizations and on for-profit public companies. I am excited about sharing my deep work experience and views with other boards in the future.

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Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Chief Commercial Officer, Gaming, Microsoft Corp.

Dametra Johnson-Marletti

Johnson-Marletti is responsible for category management across Microsoft digital storefronts, including Store on and Microsoft Store on Windows and Xbox. She oversees a multibillion-dollar business, with a global team focused on delivering category growth and connecting tens of millions of customers to content and services across gaming, entertainment, consumer apps, advertising and physical hardware. During her 20-year tenure at Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti has helped shape strategy for several critical products and launches. She most recently served as GM of digital stores category management, playing a key role in the evolution and transformation of Microsoft’s e-commerce policies and business models. Prior to joining Microsoft Store, she worked for nine years on the Xbox business. Outside of Microsoft, Johnson-Marletti sits on the board of Medical Teams International, a global nonprofit organization built around bringing life-saving medical care to people in crisis suffering from preventable diseases.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I’ve had the great fortune of mentorship by some exceptional leaders throughout my career, so it’s hard to recite what might be the single best advice. That said, the one I think is incredibly relevant for today is to maintain perspective. That can be taken in so many ways, but in short it means work hard and have a big impact, but don’t take yourself or your corporate mission so seriously that you forget what or who is most important in your life in the end. Our jobs are great, and we bring joy to millions, which is admirable and worthy, but there are no cures for diseases in our daily output — so maintain perspective. In addition to the above, I would also give future female leaders the advice to find your authentic voice early and harness the confidence to use it. Too often, we hesitate to say what we think or speak our minds for myriad reasons. Know that your voice matters, and finding a way to bravely and respectfully use it to speak truth to anyone at any level in a way that is truly comfortable and authentic to you can be exceptionally powerful, inspiring and fulfilling.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I would say there are probably three key approaches that have allowed me to build both confidence and resiliency in my career over the years. First is taking on roles that have aligned with my interest or passions. Whether that was learning a new business or skill or taking on a new challenge, for me having a genuine interest in the role and space has been a key ingredient. Second is always being clear on what is most important in my life and career, then setting boundaries so that I could be intentional in striving for some degree of balance across both. Even with that clarity, achieving balance across family and career is hard, but having that clarity makes those decision points and tradeoffs much easier. Third would have to be having a small personal board of directors or trusted mentors who are my safe place for everything from seeking wise counsel to venting frustrations — and above all keeping me grounded and headed in the right direction.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Women of color, similarly to any person who sits outside the majority, face sustained challenges and obstacles grounded in bias and systemic discrimination that force them to navigate differently and with unwavering perseverance to achieve similar or greater success. My journey has been no different in that regard. Having the right set of sponsors, personal grit, some strategically placed luck and a lot of divine intervention are all key in working through obstacles. In terms of the progress women have made today, there are countless obstacles that either no longer exist or are materially diminished relative to the past. As we look the women who are C-level leaders, or board directors across this industry and others, it is clear exponential progress has been made. Just look at this year’s impressive list of Media Play News’ industry captains. The progress is impressive relative to the past. However, relative to a future state where we seek to close the gap between what can often be a challenging daily lived experience for women in the workplace and the aspiration of a more safe and equitable culture and experience, we still have much work to do.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Walk the walk when it comes to building diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments and cultures where everyone is inspired to do their best work and feels welcomed and valued. Hold leaders accountable as it pertains to addressing both the conscience and unconscious biases that continue to contribute to a system where the quality and impact of work, contribution and capability are not always equitably valued, especially for women of color. And, above all, ensure that the daily environment is a safe one for women on every dimension.

What has you most excited about the future?

After more than two years of dealing with the effects of a global pandemic, I’m most excited that with each passing day we seem to take steps to return to our more normal routines for day-to-day life and work. Things we previously took for granted are the same things that we now have a bit more appreciation for, like actually going out to dinner and a movie. That said, even as we return to a more familiar way of living, it’s clear that some parts of life and business are forever changed. In that regard I’m looking forward to evolving our business strategies in a way that continues to delight our customers and position our partners for success and drive growth for Microsoft.

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Kim Overall

EVP, Global Data Solutions and AVOD Network, Distribution & Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kim Overall

Overall leads Sony Pictures Entertainment’s central data team and is responsible for identifying and developing the studio’s capabilities to become a more consumer-centric, data-driven organization. Her group defines the data strategy and utilizes advanced analytics and data science to co-create tools to enable all stakeholders at SPE to make better-informed decisions throughout the value chain. Additionally, she leads the AVOD Audience Network for SPE, building and fostering communities of interest around audience fandom for its rich and diverse repertoire of IP. Overall previously served as SVP of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s United Kingdom, Northern Europe and EMEA partnerships. In this role, she was responsible for defining the commercial strategies for the region and supporting the Europe, Middle East and Africa territories. She joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2008 as the managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

Seek out the opportunities that feed your mind and soul, know the things that “light you up” and those that “deplete” your energy. Do more of what fuels you. Ask questions, great questions. Unlock great potential, and the journey often is more about learning than the end destination.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

I love the word “courage” vs. “confidence” — it’s more empowering and helpful for me than trying to be confident all of the time. Being compassionate toward yourself and others is harder than we realize sometimes; not listening to the unhelpful noise in our head sometimes and focusing more on what we choose to do about it.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

An obstacle for me was not speaking my truth because of how it might land with the people in the room. So I try to flip it and believe that truths are more powerful when spoken.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Find ways to share and learn from each other professionally and personally. Get to know each other a little more, via a coffee or a bite to eat so we have the opportunity to connect. Find your people and nurture those relationships.

What has you most excited about the future?

Continuing to learn, grow and find new ways to create future value for our organization and our audiences.

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Jessica Schell

EVP and GM, Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Discovery

Jessica Schell

Schell has global responsibility for Warner Bros. Discovery’s transactional home entertainment, including new theatrical titles, catalog films, and TV and originals. In addition, she manages the development and launch of the studio’s new immersive entertainment offerings, including the launch of the first “Harry Potter” virtual-reality experience in Warner’s New York City flagship Harry Potter store, and the upcoming Harry Potter Magic Caster Wand. Prior to joining Warner Bros., Schell spent nine years at NBCUniversal, where she most recently served as EVP of worldwide new media and digital entertainment for Universal Pictures, a role she assumed in late 2011. Before that she was Universal’s EVP of business development and strategic planning. Schell also served as SVP of digital media strategy and business development at NBC Universal. Schell spent the early years of her career at The Walt Disney Co. and Allen & Co.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

I was coached early in my career to make sure to share big-picture goals with the whole team, and leave room for ideas and insights to come from anyone. You’re only as strong as your team, and the more that you can give people the context and tools they need to contribute, the stronger your team will be. Good people often have more to offer than their specific expertise.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

When you’re working in big, matrixed media companies, reorgs and leadership changes can cause a lot of upheaval. I’m now going through my third merger (Comcast/NBCU, AT&T/Time Warner, Discovery/WarnerMedia). But along with each change have come opportunities to learn and grow. And I’ve learned that many changes aren’t necessarily permanent!

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

This isn’t exclusive to women, but increased flexibility in when and where work takes place has helped so many be able to contribute to their full potential without having to totally sacrifice other priorities and obligations.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

Continue to support flexible work policies that acknowledge that people have lives outside the office, and don’t penalize the career growth of people who take advantage of flexible policies. We need to keep focusing on the bigger picture of what someone contributes.

What has you most excited about the future?

I’m fortunate to be working with some of the world’s most beloved brands and content, and to be at the forefront of leveraging new technology to connect fans to their passions in innovative and immersive ways.

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Amy Jo Smith

President and CEO, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group

Amy Jo Smith

Smith heads the leading trade group for the home entertainment industry, representing the interests of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, platform providers and technology companies. A former White House communications advisor, Smith since 1997 has led the industry-funded group’s efforts to enhance and promote home entertainment during its evolution from videocassettes to DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and today’s digital age. Under Smith’s leadership the DEG is credited with helping to make DVD the fastest-growing consumer electronics product in industry history. In 2019 the DEG launched the D2C Alliance Council as a working community within the DEG to represent the global direct-to-consumer media industry and support its members to help create a robust marketplace to lead the new era of content consumption.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

The best advice I’ve been given, and I pass it on as often as I can, is don’t be shy about asking for more responsibility, more compensation, more whatever it is you need to make your job rewarding and to fulfill your purpose.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

A career is only as meaningful as the life balance you build with it. Make sure you have time away from the office that is rewarding and relaxing.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

This may be unique to our industry, but it seems that women are considered for all positions, at all levels.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

I think it is beneficial to stop making a distinction between male and female leaders. I look forward to the day when it isn’t necessary to call out gender, and we can instead simply focus on our top leaders.

What has you most excited about the future?

The most exciting thing about our industry and its future is the quantity of fantastic content that is being produced and distributed globally. So, I am most excited about the next thing I’m going to stream!

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Lexine Wong

Head of Global Multichannel Distribution Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Lexine Wong

Wong oversees marketing for the global home entertainment and television distribution businesses for Sony Pictures. As part of the marketing leadership team charged with integrating and leveraging collective expertise across the product lifecycle, Wong manages a team on the front line of responding to the new and emerging distribution patterns of today’s rapidly changing marketplace. She oversees the delivery of breakthrough, sharable and highly interactive marketing experiences across the studio’s full range of properties — from film to television, catalog and beyond — all with a data and insights-driven approach that prioritizes consumer engagement and transaction. Specific areas of oversight include consumer and brand strategy, creative advertising, media, digital marketing, publicity, strategic partnerships, content production, and fostering innovation within emerging platforms critical for growth in the industry, including Movies Anywhere and 4K Ultra HD. With more than 25 years in the home entertainment industry, Wong has overseen the studio’s biggest revenue-generating home entertainment releases. More recently, Wong has brought consumer-facing marketing strategies to the global television distribution business.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given to help you lead? What advice would you give to future female leaders?

One of the best pieces of advice I received was to accept that you don’t know everything and mistakes will be made. Often as females we tend to try to be perfect, crossing all our t’s and dotting all our i’s, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but the downside of pursuing perfection can sometimes be missed opportunities, or lack of risk-taking which can often lead to quicker innovation and learnings. Take advantage of formal mentorship programs in your company. If you don’t have any, reach out to senior execs for an “informational” and you’ll be surprised how many will be open to continuing the relationship. Don’t underestimate the power of mentors and networks. Additionally, to earn respect you must gain it through leading by example. Some fundamental principles that I try to focus on are: building trust through transparency, consistent communication in context, and listening to learn. Also BE POSITIVE; no one likes to be around negative energy.

How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Know your stuff! Understand your business and what impacts it, whether it is technology, data intelligence, new marketing platforms, competition, etc. The old adage, knowledge is power, is true. Volunteer for projects that are out of your comfort zone and make you a little “sweaty” because if you’re persistent and do the work, hopefully you’ll be the next one picked to run a key project. Once you have a few successful projects under your belt, it will help propel you upwards. The old adage, success begets success, is also true.

What is the one obstacle you’ve encountered repeatedly over the years? Conversely, what obstacles for women are no more?

Understanding that you don’t have to be the loudest and most talkative in the room to get a seat at the table. I am shy by nature but found there is a role for quiet leadership that allows for teams to grow and thrive beneath you. It requires you to effectively delegate and foster teamwork and collaboration. It also forces a two-way dialogue, which provides a great feedback loop. As for obstacles for women that are no more, I’m thankful for our People & Organization team who are exceptional and have the pulse of our organization, which continues to address and alleviate some of the historical challenges for women.

What can we as an industry do to better support women?

There are so many great industry bodies and networking groups for women that are looking to cultivate relationships. Women also need to take control and actively manage their careers by seeking both internal and external opportunities, such as applying for mentorships or enrolling in courses or workshops, as well joining employee business resource groups that provide an additional outlet to network and work on passion projects.

What has you most excited about the future?

Driving our studio’s strategy and seeing it play out. We have so many exciting projects in development, both film and television, from franchise properties to new original IP. If you love content, Sony is the place to be. Figuring out how to maximize our content in this ever-changing business is critical and fun. It takes a lot of collaboration between different teams to figure out the best strategy but we’re all aligned to achieve maximum success.

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MPN to Honor 40 Most Important People in Streaming; Nominations Now Open

Media Play News in the November issue of its monthly magazine will honor the 40 most important people in streaming.

Nomination forms may be accessed here or below.

Honorees will be chosen by a blue-ribbon committee from a field of nominees submitted by readers. The criteria include financial strength, reach, innovation and creativity.

“I anticipate there will be some very obvious names on the list, such as Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Disney+’s Michael Paull, but also quite a few surprises,” said Thomas K. Arnold, publisher of Media Play News. “Over the last three years, since the streaming explosion began, we’ve really seen a focus on the numbers — subscriber counts; churn; how much is being spent on original programming; the proliferating number of streaming services, both SVOD and AVOD/FAST.

“What we haven’t seen much is a detailed look at the people who are driving all of this, beyond the handful of executives who are at the head of the top streaming services.

“With our debut look at the top 40 ‘streamers who matter,’ we want to put faces on the streaming phenomenon and focus on the personalities who are writing this most interesting chapter in the evolution of home entertainment.”

Nominations must be received by Oct. 15. The November issue of Media Play News will be available Nov. 14.

Sorry! This Form Is No Longer Accepting Submissions.

40 Under 40 in Home Entertainment, Class of 2022

Welcome to Media Play News’ fifth annual 40 Under 40 — our annual salute to the rising stars and high-ranking young executives involved in home entertainment.

In an era of broken windows and four video-on-demand variants — PVOD, TVOD, SVOD and AVOD — dominating home entertainment, our young executives in the Class of 2022 certainly have their hands full. They need to balance existing business needs with preparations for the future, whatever that might bring. Not surprisingly, data — and data analysis — figure prominently into many roles, since the home entertainment landscape is no longer the straight line, from the theater into the home, that it once was.

See photos from our 40 Under 40 party presented by DEG

Our honorees this year are listed alphabetically by last name.

Sarah Bills, 37

VP, Partnership Marketing, Warner Bros. Discovery

Sarah Bills

Bills leads partnership marketing strategy for HBO Max at Warner Bros. Discovery. She focuses on developing data-driven marketing campaigns driving subscription, revenue and engagement growth across distribution partners. She leads a team of more than 12 marketers to build high-impact campaigns, including the customized distribution go-to-market strategy for HBO Max in 2020. Bills began her career at The Walt Disney Co., overseeing sales strategy for The Lion King on Broadway. She joined HBO in 2013, launching high-visibility growth campaigns for shows such as “Game of Thrones,” “True Blood” and “Insecure.”

Jennifer Caprow, 32

SVP, Domestic Sales Strategy & Planning, Lionsgate

Jennifer Caprow

Born and raised in California, Caprow graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara before joining Lionsgate in 2011. Starting as a sales planning coordinator in the TV Distribution Group, she is now an integral member of the distribution’s executive team and was recently promoted into her present position after serving for two years as VP, sales planning and TV distribution and, before that, executive director. She collaborates with teams across Lionsgate and is constantly engaged with how the ever-changing TV/streaming landscape evolves.

Paul Charron, 39

Operations Program Manager, Google

Paul Charron

Charron oversees ongoing transactional VOD operations at Google TV. He began his career at Sony Pictures Television and spent nearly 15 years in a series of progressively more responsible supply chain functions at NBCUniversal, Fox and Paramount. Charron has provided invaluable leadership, bringing media supply chain technologists together to develop and adopt revolutionary practices to streamline distribution and reduce cost. Since 2012, he has contributed to the DEG’s TechOps committee. He currently co-chairs the DEG’s Supply Chain Efficiency and Security Committee. Charron received his MBA from the University of Southern California.

Brandie Chernow, 37

Director of Marketing, Kids & Family Entertainment, Shout! Factory

Brandie Chernow

Chernow is charged with ensuring that every release under the expanding umbrella of family entertainment titles is fully supported by marketing efforts. She works closely with partners to understand the unique requirements of each title and strategizes how best to market them across theatrical, digital, and physical landscapes. Chernow has worked with notable partners in family entertainment, including Sesame Street, Hasbro, Disney and MPCA, as well as prestigious partners in the animation and anime world, including GKIDS and Studio Ghibli, Eleven Arts, Toei, and Laika Studios. Chernow joined Shout! in 2013 and is also the author of Gold Spun, a fantasy novel for young readers, and its sequel, coming in October.

Carla Cozzi, 37

Director, Human Resources, Redbox

Carla Cozzi

Cozzi leads a team of HR business partners, recruiters and specialists to support Redbox’s operations team of more than 1,000 employees and key corporate clients such as the marketing and digital divisions. She is a specialist in employee relations and has been pivotal in the development of policies to launch engagement and performance programs as well as meet compliance initiatives. She has been with Redbox for more than seven years. Previously, Cozzi gained experience in distribution and logistics at The Home Depot, and global supply chain services and logistics company UTi Worldwide Inc. (now part of the DSV Group).

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Justin Dickerson, 38

Assistant General Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs, Roku

Justin Dickerson

Dickerson is a key member of Roku’s content legal team, working on the international expansion of Roku’s platform for streaming services as well as international growth of Roku’s free AVOD service The Roku Channel, which includes Roku Originals and on-demand feature films, series and FAST linear channels. Prior to joining Roku in October 2020, Dickerson was part of Corporate Legal — Media Distribution at The Walt Disney Co., where he worked on global streaming deals as well as novel initiatives such as the studio’s Premier Access strategy and early release initiatives during the pandemic. Dickerson joined Disney through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, where he handled digital entertainment deals.

Max Einhorn,32

SVP, Acquisitions & Co-Productions (Head of Content), FilmRise

Max Einhorn

Einhorn oversees all content acquisition, licensing and production for FilmRise’s distribution footprint and also for the FilmRise Streaming Network of AVOD apps and FAST channels. Since joining the company in 2014 he has contributed to the development of FilmRise’s analytics methodology, which identified key FilmRise brands/libraries, such as “Forensic Files,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” and the Carsey Werner and Stephen J. Cannell libraries. Einhorn also oversees originals and is an executive producer of “Bloodline Detectives Hosted by Nancy Grace,” “Meet, Marry, Murder with Michelle Trachtenberg,” a wide slate of romance movies of the week, plus digital native content from Rooster Teeth and creators Preston Arsement and Brianna Arsement.

Geneva Farias, 38

Director, International Digital Distribution, Universal Television Distribution, NBCUniversal

Geneva Farias

Farias is responsible for account management of the transactional film business across all distribution platforms in Latin America (15+ territories). She has played an instrumental role in launching accelerated windows across international markets, most recently expanding PVOD in Brazil and Mexico. She is a key player in managing international business operations, including overseeing new territory launches, onboarding and supporting new distribution partners, and mitigating title launch issues. Farias started her career in digital distribution as an executive assistant at Paramount Pictures in 2007. In 2011 she moved over to Rovi Entertainment as a partner specialist. She joined the International Digital team at NBCUniversal in 2012.

Field Garthwaite, 36

Co-founder and CEO, Iris.TV

Field Garthwaite

Garthwaite co-founded a video data platform that enables better viewing experiences and advertising outcomes. Since inventing the core technology behind Iris.TV, Garthwaite has led the company to engineer an open video data ecosystem, enabling its partners to build scalable solutions on top of its platform, including video-level contextual and brand-safe ad targeting, planning, verification and measurement solutions. The company works with thousands of media companies, as well as data, streaming and ad tech partners globally to power meaningful connections between brands and consumers. Prior to co-founding Iris.TV, Garthwaite worked in digital distribution, data architecture, and video for companies including HBO, Universal Pictures, Rubicon Project and Jukebox TV.

Cole Gonzalez, 31

Director of Product Support, Storefront, Premiere Digital

Cole Gonzalez

Gonzalez was promoted into his present position in January 2022, a year after he joined Premiere as an onboarding manager for the Storefront product. He helped streamline the process between product and sales, and worked as a catalyst to attract new customers to the product. He rapidly climbed the ladder to take over the entire client rep team. He quickly built relationships and established trust with all existing and new customers, as well as his colleagues at Premiere. Prior to joining Premiere, Gonzalez was assistant director of external relations at Claremont McKenna College. Earlier, he spent nearly five years at IT consultancy TEKsystems, where he rose to account manager of media and entertainment.

Sarah Graber, 36

Specialist, Marketing Strategy, Apple TV+

Sarah Graber

Graber has been a series marketing specialist at Apple TV+ since the streaming service launched in November 2019. She’s worked on the service’s growing slate of original programs, including the global launch campaigns for “Tehran,” “Shining Girls” and “Severance.” Graber is an experienced brand strategist who for more than 12 years has worked in television marketing across broadcast, cable and streaming. Working on tentpole campaigns for NBC (“The Voice,” “This Is Us”) taught her the fundamentals of entertainment marketing, and her pursuit of best-in-class content took her to FX Networks to learn the cable business. There, she developed multi-platform promotions for groundbreaking series such as “Pose,” “Atlanta” and “American Horror Story.”

Natalia Guzman, 36 

VP, Partnership Management, Warner Bros. Discovery Sales & Distribution

Natalia Guzman

Guzman leads account strategy for multi-billion-dollar partnerships with the nation’s largest telecom and pay-TV providers. She is responsible for driving revenue and subscriber growth for Warner Bros. Discovery’s content offering, including HBO Max, Warner Bros. and Turner networks. Guzman has over 15 years of experience in P&L, business strategy, and client management. She has a proven track record of developing high-impact teams, specializing in growth strategy. In her time at WBD she’s secured groundbreaking distribution deals for HBO Max, driving millions of new subscribers year over year.

Harris Hoffberg, 31

Senior Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs, Warner Bros. Discovery Distribution

Harris Hoffberg

Hoffberg negotiates with partners to secure distribution of Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio of content, including HBO Max and the Turner basic networks (such as TNT, TBS and CNN) across digital and traditional access points, spanning MVPDs, OTT, CTV, OEM and FAST platforms. He works closely with colleagues to align each partnership with the company’s financial, ad sales, data/privacy, content strategy, technology and product initiatives. Hoffberg joined Warner in 2019 after two years as counsel, business and legal affairs, at Turner Broadcasting. He began his career as an associate with the New York law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP. He earned his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Brett Holmberg, 33

Director, Digital Distribution, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Brett Holmberg

Holmberg manages UPHE’s go-to-market strategy with digital retail partners, including Amazon, Apple, YouTube and Microsoft. He uses data to tell the story of what is happening in the retail marketplace, generating insights and recommendations for UPHE’s executive team. He also oversees communication between the group’s cross-functional teams and digital retail partners, and develops analytically driven sales strategies to maximize revenue. Holmberg recently took on forecasting the impact of changing home entertainment windows and business models on transactional retailer margins. While pursuing his MBA at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, he completed internships with Disney and NBCUniversal, which he joined in 2018.

Phillip Hong, 34

Senior Manager, Market Intelligence, Paramount Pictures

Phillip Hong

Hong manages industry and competitive analysis for Paramount Pictures, helping develop and refine distribution strategies across home media channels. He supports the organization by monitoring industry trends and analyzing title performance throughout the lifecycle to provide insights and strategic recommendations. Leveraging his knowledge of the home media space, he has also created pricing tests to measure and optimize the impact of promotions in the digital sellthrough business. Hong joined Paramount Pictures in February 2016 and was promoted into his present position four years later. Previously, Hong for more than three years worked at DirecTV, researching pay-TV products across traditional and emerging video providers.

Erol Kalafat, 38

Senior Technical Product Manager, Amazon Prime Video

Erol Kalafat

Kalafat was promoted into his present position in April 2019 and is charged with designing, implementing and maintaining a new generation of studio technology. He also provides technical leadership to internal teams on emerging technologies. In his prior role as Amazon’s senior Technical integration manager, Kalafat was a key driver of the EMA’s Digital Supply Chain Committee and the DSCA. Prior to joining Amazon in October 2016, Kalafat held various positions at AOL, Verizon, Sony New Media Solutions, Sony DADC, Sony Pictures Entertainment and The Walt Disney Co. He began his career in June 2007 as program manager at Technicolor.

Courtney Kawata, 38

Senior Art Director, Creative & Video Production, Rotten Tomatoes

Courtney Kawata

Kawata oversees all design and branding directives for Rotten Tomatoes’ home entertainment initiatives. Leading creative company-wide across sales, marketing, live events, social media, editorial, content operations and video production, she played an instrumental role in the branding strategy of graphic design packages on more than 20 original shows for the Rotten Tomatoes 24/7 OTT channel on Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Peacock, Xumo TV and Reach TV. Upon joining the company in 2017, Kawata led the successful rebrand of the beloved RT logo and Tomatometer iconography. Prior to working at Rotten Tomatoes, Kawata honed her multidisciplinary creative and design skills in film and television at Disney, Fox Broadcasting, NBCUniversal and Fandango. 

Emika Kiyoizumi, 35

VP, Business Development and Content Partnerships, Redbox

Emika Kiyoizumi

Kiyoizumi leads business development and content partnerships across Redbox’s digital video businesses, which include TVOD, FAST channels and AVOD. She drives all distribution for Redbox’s streaming app and the syndication footprint for Redbox-branded FAST channels, as well as content acquisition agreements with studio and FAST partners. Kiyoizumi joined Redbox earlier this year from Amazon, where she negotiated distribution agreements for Freevee, the company’s free streaming service. Before joining Amazon, she was senior director of content partnerships, distribution and business development for ViacomCBS, leading a team responsible for the company’s affiliate portfolio across MVPD, TVOD, SVOD and OTT partners.

David Landau, 40

VP, Digital Sales, Shout! Factory

David Landau

Landau oversees Shout’s EST/VOD business across all platforms. His understanding of industry trends and consumer demand has enabled the company to maximize promotions and sales on all platforms. Landau has played a key role in launching major releases in the digital sellthrough space, including several Studio Ghibli classics, many of GKIDS’s critically acclaimed anime films, and Shout! Studios’ star-driven theatrical films, including Old Henry and Language Lessons. Landau has been with Shout! since 2007, transitioning from physical sales to digital sales in 2017. A veteran of entertainment media sales and marketing for more than 20 years, Landau previously served as a sales representative at Caroline Distribution, the independent arm of EMI Music.

Michael Markese, 32

Senior Director, Strategy, Warner Bros. Discovery

Michael Markese

Markese and his team develop company-wide commercial strategies that drive growth and monetization across WBD’s content and distribution footprint, including HBO Max, Warner Bros. and more. He’s responsible for helping establish innovative content windowing models, supporting the launches of new DTC products, and, most recently, crafting an enterprise-wide framework for measuring and optimizing returns on the company’s content investments. In addition, he supports the Otter Media portfolio of businesses including Rooster Teeth and Gunpowder & Sky. Prior to joining Warner, Markese led business operations and strategy for the Fullscreen creator network. He began his career as an investment banker at Moelis & Company and later worked as a private equity investor at GIC. 

Despina O’Connor, 30

Manager, Digital Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Despina O’Connor

O’Connor manages Sony Pictures Distribution’s TVOD business and key relationships with Amazon, Google, and AMC on Demand. Appointed to the position in September 2021, she drives account strategies to maximize profitability and growth across all film and TV product. She started at Sony Pictures in 2016 and spent her first five years in the physical home entertainment business, supporting multiple accounts such as Walmart, Amazon, Target and Best Buy. She also played a key role in developing and implementing an internal trade spend management system for cross-functional teams to manage and track promotional performance and supply chain metrics. O’Connor majored in communications and media studies at Emmanuel College in Boston.

Jaime Otero, 39

VP, Business Development and Content Strategy, Whip Media

Jaime Otero

Otero leads the global expansion of the Whip Media Exchange and has brought on some of the world’s largest entertainment companies to the platform. He is a senior executive and entrepreneur with more than two decades of international experience developing, financing, producing, licensing and distributing content with a broad network of international partners. He is recognized for leading the adoption of online licensing platforms in a traditionally manual industry. Prior to joining Whip in June 2021, Otero served as managing director at RightsTrade, where he designed and implemented the growth strategy of their online marketplace for film and television rights licensing.

Jay Jinhyung Park, 39

Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer,

Jay Jinhyung Park

Park oversees’s engineering activities. His leadership and vision resulted in the first M&E-trained machine translation/AI engine and MediaCAT platform, which streamlines subtitling and dubbing workflows through Web-based asset management, editing and automation. His passion for removing language barriers drives his continual pursuit to refine and champion the use of AI so more people can enjoy localized content around the globe. Prior to joining, he was a senior software engineer at Apple and helped build the network framework used for connecting all Apple devices, including Group FaceTime. Park received his master of science degree in computer science from Columbia University.

Lin Park, 39

Executive Director, Digital Marketing, Paramount Pictures

Lin Park

Park is a strategic marketing executive with a track record of launching award-winning digital campaigns. She currently leads the home entertainment digital marketing team for Paramount Pictures, overseeing digital and social for new-release, catalog, acquisition and TV releases. She is passionate about creative storytelling and leveraging technology, data and key partnerships to develop innovative marketing strategies. Prior to joining Paramount in 2019, Park led digital campaigns for 20th Century Fox movies such as Deadpool and Home Alone. She has a master’s degree in communications management, and is fluent in Portuguese and Mandarin.

Katherine Pond, 38

Group VP, Vizio

Katherine Pond

Pond leads digital distribution, content acquisition, platform partnerships and enterprise programs. Since joining Vizio in 2012 she’s initiated, negotiated and closed deals across content distribution and acquisition, IP, advertising, and data verticals. Pond has a history of building, growing and monetizing new lines of business, including Vizio’s WatchFree+. She leads the team responsible for closing deals with Amazon, Apple, Disney, Google, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery and more. Pond serves as a mentor at her alma mater and co-founded Vizio’s Ascend Women’s Network.

Justin Poulsen, 31

Director, Content Operations & Strategy, Lionsgate

Justin Poulsen

Poulsen has ascended quickly during his eight-year tenure at Lionsgate, making his mark in strategic platform management, evolving metadata requirements, and championing operational efficiencies in Lionsgate’s digital supply chain. Promoted into his present role in April 2020, Poulsen has exhibited leadership in this space that has shortened the time required for content to consumer through master data enhancements, metadata enrichment and worldwide content avail acceleration. For the latter accomplishment, Poulsen was recognized by the DEG at its inaugural TechOps Awards in 2020 for innovation in content availing. Next up for Poulsen and his team: International metadata cleansing and hierarchy AI/ML, and cloud-based distribution.

George Rausch, 39

Chief Product Officer, Blu Digital Group

George Rausch

Rausch oversees Blu’s expanding suite of video distribution, qualification and operational solutions for the entertainment industry. Earlier in his career, Rausch was part of the launch team at Pluto TV as its founding director of content (2013-17). Most recently, Rausch was head of product marketing for Frequency Networks, leading the company’s transition from short-form distribution to a premier provider of cloud-based linear scheduling and playout solutions for FAST/OTT-TV. Rausch has years of experience in product design, marketing and development, and growing M&E companies to be leaders in their respective industries (e.g., streaming video, broadcast, media operations).

Erin Everly Razov, 37

Director, Business Development & Strategy, Fandango

Erin Razov

Razov is a strategic business leader who is responsible for business development, strategy and partnerships with Fandango ticketing and video. Razov also leads the content licensing and strategy behind Fandango’s massive Movieclips business on YouTube, a channel of almost 90 million subscribers where she’s been instrumental to the launch of TV clips as well as the overall growth of the channel. Prior to joining Fandango in 2018, Razov held roles in business development and partnerships at Zulily, a $1.5 billion e-commerce company, and business analysis and strategic support for the home entertainment finance group at 20th Century Fox (now Disney).

Meagan Roberts, 31

Executive Director, Sales, Paramount Home Entertainment

Meagan Roberts

Roberts leads the Walmart North American sales team, working closely with the customer to build sustainable performance for the business, while also being an advocate for innovation. Roberts’ challenge to herself and her team is to be creative and curious thinkers, and ultimately strive to make a lasting impact on the consumer and the business. Roberts is a 2013 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in business and minors in finance and pre-medicine. Since joining Paramount in 2018, she has held multiple sales roles with P&L accountability across theatrical, catalog and partner categories. She was promoted into her present position in February 2021.

Noah Rooney, 36

Director, Ad Operations, Redbox

Noah Rooney

Rooney leads all ad operations and monetization across Redbox’s AVOD and FAST services. He also oversees all monetization for the Redbox Media Network, which includes display ads across app, Web, e-mail and digital-out-of-home (DOOH) via the kiosk. He has been instrumental in the buildout and growth of Redbox’s ad-supported video services. Rooney began his career in advertising, working at agencies Ogilvy & Mather and Matrix Consultants, and across brands such as Cisco, Suzuki and Hi-Chew. Pivoting into the adtech sector in 2012, Rooney was involved in the growth of the adtech space, holding leadership positions at a variety of startups focusing on streaming monetization in the early days of CTV advertising. 

Justin Rutsky, 38

Director, Nonfiction Series & Co-Productions, Netflix

Justin Rutsky

Rutsky joined Netflix from Hulu four years ago and currently manages one of the most unique businesses at Netflix, the streamer’s nonfiction co-production strategy, where he collaborates with networks and producers around the globe. He has reinvented the co-production business and formed it into a hybrid operation that combines business savvy, great relationships with producers globally along with strong creative involvement. In shaping and guiding the creative aspects of his projects he has been able to achieve great wins for nonfiction across a broad range of categories, including global hits like “Down to Earth With Zac Efron,” “Selling Sunset,” “Rise of Empires: Ottoman” and “The Last Dance,” one of the biggest nonfiction series on Netflix ever. 

David Sanderson, 35

CEO, Reelgood

David Sanderson

Sanderson is the founder and CEO of Reelgood, a streaming service aggregator and “TV guide” for streaming. The company has developed the algorithms and proprietary IP that matches all the streaming availability data, which is constantly changing. This technology gathers, parses and matches billions of pieces of content from hundreds of different catalogs of streaming services. Reelgood’s ad product can target people based on their viewership across all their streaming subscriptions. Reelgood already has partnerships with many primary streaming services for this ad product. Prior to launching Reelgood in 2015, Sanderson spent three years at Facebook, most recently as product manager.

Alex Serdiuk, 33

CEO, Respeecher

Alex Serdiuk

Serdiuk founded Respeecher with Dmytro Bielievtsov and Grant Reaber in 2018 and now leads business development and strategy for the Kyiv, Ukraine-based company. Since Respeecher’s start, the team has been focused on high-fidelity voice cloning. The company’s technology was the first synthetic speech adopted by big Hollywood productions, starting in 2019. Respeecher has provided Mark Hamill’s de-aged vocal performance in both “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett.” Its AI-powered voice cloning platform is also featured in Disney+’s new “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” Respeecher launched an initiative, Speak Ukrainian, in which it applied state-of-the art voice cloning tech to enable famous people to speak with their words of support to Ukrainians in the Ukrainian language.

Justin Shumny, 39

Director, Brand Marketing, Paramount Home Entertainment

Justin Shumny

Based in Los Angeles, Shumny leads home entertainment marketing strategy for the global transactional television business, managing a diverse portfolio of product from CBS, Showtime and Paramount Television. Shumny started his career with Paramount in 2006 with the new-release team, contributing to international marketing campaigns for Transformers and Iron Man. After transitioning to television in 2012, he has taken the lead on driving successful marketing initiatives for major television franchises such as “Star Trek” and more recently has expanded his role to include brand marketing responsibilities for the international TV electronic sellthrough business.

Nathan Suh, 39

VP, Platform Distribution Strategy, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Nathan Suh

Suh leads a distribution strategy team for Disney’s media networks and direct-to-consumer businesses. He and his team are responsible for deal analysis, strategic planning and developing growth strategies. He works closely with sales on platform negotiations in the United States and globally and plays a pivotal role in bringing the company’s DTC streaming services — Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu and Star+ — to a wide range of platforms and partners. Suh joined the company in 2015 as a director of business development for ESPN, before transitioning to ESPN’s corporate strategy team as a senior director in 2018. He previously worked in business development at NBC Sports, and as an investor at Comcast Ventures.

Robert Suh, 35

Director, Global Finance, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Robert Suh

Suh is a key leader on the UPHE global finance team. He provides global financial analyses, budgeting and strategic decision support to senior executives for the transactional home entertainment business. Suh assisted with a major finance transformation initiative to implement a new global forecasting software. He also created an assumption-driven forecasting model that quickly and accurately estimates catalog performance across hundreds of Universal titles. In addition, Suh played a key role in establishing the Universal/Warner domestic distribution joint venture Studio Distribution Services (SDS). Suh began his career at Deloitte and went on to work in Ernst & Young’s mergers and acquisitions practice before joining Universal in 2017 as a manager.

Matt Thunell, 37

VP, Original Series, Netflix

Matt Thunell

Thunell is responsible for leading original series focused on spectacle and event programming, consisting of prestige dramas and limited series, and elevated science-fiction, fantasy and genre entertainment. Thunell and his team are responsible for such groundbreaking series as “Stranger Things” and “The Umbrella Academy.” He previously led Netflix’s overall deals team and, before that, the Young Adult team, working on series such as “Thirteen Reasons Why” and “Outer Banks.” Before joining Netflix in 2015, he served as a creative executive at The CW, guiding development of the DC Comics universe as well as series such as “Jane the Virgin.” Thunell, a Yale graduate, also spent time at Sony Pictures Television, Disney and UBS.

Shital Kamdar Vora, 39
Brianna Walker, 32

Senior UX Manager
Senior UX Designer, Vudu

Shital Vora and Brianna Walker

Vora and Walker are responsible for user experience efforts for Fandango’s video-on-demand streaming service Vudu, from mobile to desktop to television. After Fandango acquired Vudu in 2020, the two helped spearhead the smooth migration of consumers from FandangoNow, Fandango’s previous streaming service, over to Vudu. Most recently, Vora and Walker worked on the Vudu redesign project to update and streamline the user experience of the Vudu application on Roku. Vora, Walker and their colleagues collaborated with various teams from product, development, research, marketing and merchandising. Vora and Walker have years of experience in delivering design solutions for Vudu’s and Fandango’s connected-TV, mobile and Web applications, providing creative ways to solve UX problems from inception to launch. Prior to joining Vudu, Vora worked in UX Design at RingCentral, designing for the cloud communication space. Walker previously worked at Dogtown Media, where she designed mobile applications for VC-backed startups to Fortune 500 companies.

Brian Weiss, 35

Director, Digital Advertising, PBS Distribution

Brian Weiss

Weiss leads digital advertising strategy for the PBS Prime Video Channels in the United States and Canada. By managing ad dollars efficiently, fine-tuning audience segmentation, fostering the relationship with Amazon and partnering closely with colleagues to create more-holistic media plans, PBS Distribution has improved marketing campaign effectiveness by more than 25% and doubled marketing-driven subscriber sign-ups. Prior to joining PBS in 2021, Weiss held multiple digital positions at Discovery Inc. for nearly a decade as well as led a large team at Street Sense, an advertising agency. He holds an executive MBA and bachelor’s degree in media arts and design from James Madison University.

Madison Wojciechowski, 33

Executive Director, Sales, Warner Bros. Discovery

Madison Wojciechowski

Wojciechowski is responsible for second-window licensing opportunities across more than 100 SVOD and AVOD clients including Tubi, Roku, Pluto, Meta and Netflix. She has been integral in driving third-party revenue growth year-over-year and generating new business opportunities. Prior to joining WBD in 2017, Wojciechowski led digital and social media strategy for United Entertainment Group, a global entertainment, sports and lifestyle agency. She later served as a global branded entertainment and digital strategy agent at ICM Partners, where she began her career in 2011 as an agent trainee.

Celebrating the 40 Under 40, Class of 2022

Media Play News teamed with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group to celebrate the 40 Under 40 with a gala cocktail party at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 23. Nearly 100 guests attended the event, which included congratulatory remarks from MPN publisher Thomas K. Arnold, DEG president and CEO Amy Jo Smith and Lionsgate worldwide home entertainment president Ron Schwartz. (All photos by Media Play News staff.)

Power Marketing 2022: Driving It Home

With nearly 80% of consumer spending on home entertainment now going toward multiple SVOD subscriptions, studio marketers are working harder than ever to drive transactional sales of movies and shows, both physical and digital.

Their overarching goal is to remind consumers that it is still possible to buy (and rent) movies and shows individually, and not just as part of an all-you-can-watch monthly subscription plan. They also need to clearly demonstrate the benefits of ownership, including better quality, a much-wider selection of product, and the reassurance that once you buy something, it’s yours and unlikely to disappear one day, as so many of our favorite movies and shows have vanished without a trace from Netflix.

For the fourth year, Media Play News is honoring the top studio marketing campaigns of the past year (April 2021 through March 2022), and the teams that made them happen.

Thomas K. Arnold: Craig and the Camel May Be Gone, But Transactional Marketing Still Going Strong

The Power Campaigns

■ F9: The Fast Saga
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
UPHE released the $726 million global theatrical blockbuster F9 in home with a premium rental offering just five weeks after the film’s chart-topping run at the box office. Supported widely by digital retail partners and broad national advertising, the PVOD marketing campaign drove home messaging to consumers that the event film was coming straight from theaters into their homes for the first time ever.

As the title transitioned into the traditional home entertainment window, the campaign trained its focus on effectively differentiating from the PVOD release. Delivering a standout collectible offering, UPHE leaned heavily into the value of ownership with an all-new, highly anticipated director’s cut.
Leveraging the film’s massive star power and worldwide franchise appeal, UPHE focused on communicating the exceptional value proposition for this offering by fashioning a full-scale breakthrough marketing campaign designed to further entice and engage fans with two versions of the film and exclusive bonus content with even more spectacular action.

Elevated to the “must-own event of the year,” the campaign advanced with a far-reaching social announce push, supported in part by the film’s own megastars, Vin Diesel and Chris (Ludacris) Bridges, who shared custom content on their Instagram accounts, reaching a combined total of more than 92 million followers.

Publicity efforts were also expansive, anchored by F9 Fest, an immersive, multi-layered experience for domestic, international and multi-cultural press, influencers and fans. Marking a highly awaited return to in-person events since the start of the pandemic, the Fest drew attendees inside the world of F9 with such activities as a press interviews with director Justin Lin, cast members including Jordana Brewster, stunt coordinators, VFX leads and the costume designer; a rooftop zipline stunt experience inspired by the film; an F9 Museum featuring vehicles, costumes and props; an exclusive screening of F9: The Director’s Cut; multiple custom photo ops; and more.

These efforts were bolstered by impactful organic social media, which captured nearly 40 pieces of original content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, as well as a targeted influencer program and specially hosted trivia nights on UPHE’s own All Access Rewards loyalty channel that were livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube across three separate nights. Cumulative reach across these efforts topped 30 million impressions.

Finally, the campaign was complemented by huge media support across network, cable and digital, resulting in a combined 770 million impressions, and was rounded out by top placements across both digital and physical retail.

■ Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Released in theaters right before Thanksgiving, the home entertainment release in January/February capitalized on the height of awareness and allowed families, who were still leery of going to the theater, to enjoy the film sooner at home.

The global marketing team positioned the ‘PG-13’-rated Ghostbusters: Afterlife as both the follow-up to the franchise that fans had been waiting for and a fun family movie. The team focused on a broad, dual-pronged campaign with focused hits.

Media support included high-profile sports and prime hits. The social media team leaned into both fan content — highlighting Easter eggs and Ghostbusters gadgets — and content targeted toward families, including a “movie night” influencer campaign.

Press opportunities were robust, as many members of the cast did broadcast and radio interviews in support of the home entertainment release. And two Twitter watch parties — planned to the digital release and the physical release, with parent bloggers and an editorial outlet — allowed fans and families alike to join in and watch the movie together.

The immediacy of the home entertainment release, along with this strong, dual-pronged campaign approach, allowed for a very successful result.

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■ The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the blockbuster first film in the “Hunger Games” franchise, Lionsgate released a commemorative 4K + BD + Digital Steelbook featuring all four movies in collectible packaging, marketed as The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection.

Best Buy’s ‘The Hunger Games’ 4K Steelbook Collection

The Lionsgate creative team worked with 10 female artists across the globe to create stunning illustrations of Katniss Everdeen and hand-drawn illustrations of iconic quotes from the franchise. The Steelbook collection announcement received positive feedback on social media and in the press.
Lionsgate followed the announcement with a 10-day organic social campaign highlighting the Steelbook artwork. Lionsgate utilized Instagram’s “Collab” feature to amplify reach and total engagement by cross-posting on the Lionsgate Brand accounts and the “Hunger Games” accounts.

Additionally, in celebration of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate’s production team created and released a 20-minute documentary, titled Women on Fire — The Artists of The Hunger Games: The Ultimate Steelbook Collection about the creation of the collection and the incredible female artists behind it: Flore Maquin, Ise Ananphada, Alice X. Zhang, Tula Lotay, Paige Reynolds, Aracely Muñoz, Gemma O’Brien, Lauren Hom, Meni Chatzipanagiotou and Gia Graham.

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■ The Godfather: 50th Anniversary
Paramount Home Entertainment

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning masterpiece The Godfather, Paramount and Coppola’s production company undertook a painstaking restoration of all three films in preparation for a limited theatrical run and a first-ever 4K Ultra HD release.

Paramount Home Entertainment launched a year-long campaign to celebrate the landmark anniversary and engage longtime fans while also reaching new generations through unique creative executions, strategic partnerships, multiple publicity events, targeted media and social activations.

The campaign kicked off with a new trailer launch followed by a gala street-naming ceremony on the Paramount lot for Francis Ford Coppola. The event included a red-carpet premiere with members of the cast in advance of the global theatrical re-release in the United States and 18 additional territories.

To generate additional publicity timed to the 4K Ultra HD release, Coppola was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a screening was held at the new Academy Museum. To entice fans, the product offering included a Limited Collector’s Edition with a hardcover coffee table book, portrait art prints, and extensive new and legacy bonus content.

Efforts culminated on the Sunday following street date in a special celebratory moment during the Academy Awards, which featured an introduction by Sean “Diddy” Combs and appearances by Coppola, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. In addition to massive publicity around each event, extensive coverage was secured worldwide in hundreds of top outlets through cast interviews, exclusive clip debuts, rare behind-the-scenes photos and more, ultimately generating more than half-a-billion impressions.

(L-R): Francis Ford Coppola, James Caan and Talia Shire discuss ‘The Godfather’ at a 50th anniversary screening at Paramount Studios Feb. 22, 2022.

Media support across broadcast, digital and print included a stand-out billboard in New York’s Times Square and spots promoting the home entertainment release appeared during Paramount Network’s airing of The Godfather Trilogy. Social media amplified all event coverage and created custom content across title and studio channels throughout the campaign to reach a wide array of audiences.

The studio will continue to celebrate the legacy of The Godfather with a dedicated podcast in the summer and a special exhibit at the Academy Museum in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the global marketing efforts have resulted in a campaign befitting one of the greatest films in cinematic history.

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■ Spider-Man: No Way Home
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the entire world enthusiastically embraced the movie in theaters with more than $1.8 billion in box office revenue, the home entertainment campaign started out with a huge bang.

The marketing team launched a global announce on Feb. 23, aligning in key markets all over the world, with a re-creation of the famous “Pointing Spider-Men” meme, featuring Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Launched on social media platforms across Sony, Spider-Man, Marvel and Tom Holland’s profiles, the meme set the internet on fire, climbing up to be the No. 6 top-performing Instagram post of all time and getting unprecedented press pickup with more than 2.2 billion impressions.

As part of the announce, a sizzle reel highlighting more than 80 minutes of bonus features — including a gag reel, Easter eggs and more of the three Spideys — was released to press and social media channels, amassing more than 4 million views in just one day.

Following the announce, retailers kicked off a “countdown” campaign sale, featuring the entire franchise of “Spider-Man” movies, supported by custom merchandising, CRM, and social developed by the marketing team.

Going into the digital release, key to the marketing campaign was fresh and bespoke content. From a publicity perspective, clips from the bonus materials were strategically released. Two custom assets led by the content and digital marketing teams, “Making of the Meme” and “The Amazing Peter #3,” an insights-based answer to social chatter, generated over 4 million and 8 million views, respectively.

Behind the scenes of Spider-Man: No Way Home (photo courtesy of Sony Pictures)

The media team assembled a massive campaign, activating support across premiere placements in sports, prime, network, cable, CTV and digital programming. They struck up partnerships with sports influencers George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Kittle created a custom post for his 1.3 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, generating 307,000 IG infeed views and 44,000 Twitter views in one day. Morant filmed a custom 30-second promo, queuing significant social engagement and speculation from fans and generating more than 4 million views in one week.

Custom merchandising takeovers developed by the marketing team, along with prime placements, left no one unaware that the movie was available to own.

To sustain the marketing momentum in the digital release window, the global marketing team launched a watch party, with an introduction by Tom Holland and promoted by influencers receiving “movie night” kits, as well as social support from Marvel and promotional partners.

Prize packs were also given to a limited number of lucky participants.
With a focus on fresh and bespoke, insights-based content, this campaign generated record-shattering results.

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■ Smallville: The Complete Series
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

The 20th anniversary of the premiere of “Smallville” on CW was Oct. 16, 2021. To celebrate this milestone, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment released Smallville: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Disc for the very first time just three days later, on Oct. 19. New packaging with 20th anniversary key art was designed for this boxed set, which includes 40 Blu-ray Discs containing all 218 episodes plus two additional DVDs featuring more than 28 hours of previously released bonus content.

The anniversary date fell on the same day as DC FanDome 2021.To capitalize on this fortuitous timing, a “surprise and delight” campaign was developed, timed to a cast reunion during the big DC virtual event. A new trailer kicked off the reunion, and moderator Tiffany Smith interviewed Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum while messages from series actors, including Kristin Kreuk, John Glover, Justin Hartley, James Marsters and many others, were played throughout the nine-minute segment. A longer 20-minute extended reunion video was released on the WBHE YouTube page at the conclusion of the DC FanDome segment, racking up more than 715,000 views. A media blast about the extended cut was sent to the press and talent touted it on their socials.

Welling, Rosenbaum and Kreuk also participated in interviews with top-tier and genre outlets including Yahoo!,, ET Online, TV Line, TV Insider, IGN, Collider and many more. Interviews were embargoed until after DC FanDome and generated more than 42 million impressions.

A two-week paid media flight began immediately following DC FanDome. Ads were posted on the WBHE Facebook and Instagram pages. At retail, the title was prioritized within the Amazon Always on non-branded ads surrounding the Blu-ray Disc release.

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■ Jungle Cruise
Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Just one month after Jungle Cruise arrived in theaters — and simultaneously on Disney+ with Premier Access — the In-Home team made the case for ownership, and helped ensure a successful in-home release across multiple windows.

They began a campaign aimed at families with kids 14 and under, as well as multicultural opportunities with the Black and African-American, AAPI and LGBTQ+ audiences. Marketing strategies included leaning into the Disney brand and paying homage to the theme park ride that inspired the movie in order to engage with families and Disneyphiles.

With the main cast all having made multiple press appearance recently, the In-Home team, while still embracing the playful banter between stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, pivoted to other creative opportunities. One emphasized the thrilling elements that brought the film to life, including the animals in the Amazon Rainforest. Another differentiation of the in-home push was collectability messaging. Bonus clips and previously unseen footage of the cast were utilized for a series of press exclusives that stressed the must-own nature of the release. As a result, the title attained digital and physical sales well above target.

Campaign highlights included partnering with DisneyBounders — the fashion-forward way for fans to show their love for Disney. Instead of wearing full-on costumes as cosplayers do, DisneyBounders dress up in stylish, everyday outfits (known as DisneyBounds) that are inspired by a particular character. A special Jungle Cruise-themed content day was created at Disney World that provided the perfect platform for key influencers to generate content that created millions of impressions.

‘Jungle Cruise’-themed DisneyBounders at Disney World

A partnership with Trader Joe’s List, the popular social channel that is known for its Trader Joe’s shopping lists, reviews and recipes, also paid dividends. Trader Joe’s List went live on street date for a Jungle Cruise-themed haul at the store, and then created content inspired by the film, including multiple story slides, one giveaway post, and a video post on Instagram and YouTube, reaching the channel’s 1.7 million followers numerous times.

Finally, the October release date offered a few more opportunities. Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th anniversary that month and gift bags were created for the events, which included a digital code for Jungle Cruise. And, in celebration of Halloween, the In-Home team partnered with popular dog influencers and influencers with dogs to share Jungle Cruise-themed content tied to the holiday. To get the influencers in the spooky spirit, they were each sent a themed package, including a dog costume inspired by an animal found in the Amazon, a pumpkin hide-and-seek plush and Amazon-themed animal toys, along with boo-bites snacks and hats for the “paw-rents” to dress up, too. Each influencer also received a Jungle Cruise Boo-ray. The result was an additional 2.6 million estimated impressions.

These varied and inventive approaches not only saw overall sales targets exceeded, but also illustrated that a successful in-home release was possible across multiple windows even with a compressed timeline.

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■ Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 20th Anniversary
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

November 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of the beloved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first film in the tremendously successful film franchise featuring eight Harry Potter films.

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment marketing team — as managers of the Wizarding World franchise for home entertainment and custodians of its ongoing film lifecycle — worked hand-in-hand with WB’s cross-functional teams to initiate a strategy to celebrate this momentous occasion, secured buy-in from key stakeholders, and supported a year-long, global, enterprise-wide effort.

WBHE commissioned and released Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Magical Movie Mode on digital and physical — a whole new way to experience the film with pop-up commentary from director Chris Columbus, trivia, fun facts, deleted scenes and much more.

WBHE also developed a full suite of creative assets that was shared across all teams, divisions and partners globally via turnkey toolkits that maintained a consistent look and feel. These assets included hero artwork that re-imagined the original theatrical one-sheet, an accompanying line look across all Wizarding World films including Fantastic Beasts, refreshed trailers and spots, a full year of social media assets, and a printable activity packet to accompany movie viewings across various platforms, whether fans chose to watch their own copies at home, stream on HBO Max, or tune into airings on TV.

The culmination of the campaign found WBHE hosting a global press and content day with franchise founding director Chris Columbus that serviced the needs of many partners. WBHE also held an influencer screening, which along with mailers resulted in more than 10 million potential impressions. WB Studio Tours Hollywood’s new Harry Potter exhibits served as the stunning backdrop for the press day and film screening.

Retailers such as Apple supported the campaign with storefront merchandising and on social media. Additionally, an exclusive Anniversary Collector’s Edition with special Hogwarts Express packaging was created for Amazon.

WBHE supported HBO Max strategically with the release of Magical Movie Mode on Nov. 4, timed to the actual anniversary of the original film’s theatrical release. HBO Max, in turn, created an anniversary destination on the platform that leveraged WBHE’s key arts. A selection of extra bonus content throughout the year also was made available to further engage viewers.

The Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team leveraged the 20th anniversary to create a campaign around 20 iconic moments of magic from the film. Wizarding World Digital developed that idea into an online hub for fans on the Wizarding World website. The franchise team also amplified many of the social assets created by WBHE, including two fun filters, for use worldwide.

WB Consumer Products created programs to eventize the moment at retail. Licensee products figured heavily in home entertainment influencer unboxings and in activity packets with recipes and more. Additionally, influencer videos with domino artist and YouTuber Hevesh5, who integrated Magical Movie Mode product into one of her Harry Potter masterpieces, logged 25 million views alone. And Themed Entertainment rolled out cafés in Harry Potter-crazed Japan, using WBHE’s creative assets.

WB’s Alternate Content team re-released the first film with hundreds of screenings worldwide, featuring home entertainment artwork on posters, and included a 10-minute preview of Magical Movie Mode that played after the main feature.

The 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone amounted to a year of truly unforgettable magic.

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■ Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

As the world began to come out from under the heavy weight of the pandemic, and theaters began to open wider, Sony Pictures launched Venom: Let There Be Carnage in theaters in October 2021. This set the stage for a ramped-up home entertainment campaign that focused on the strong franchise and ideal holiday timing.

The global marketing team deftly re-positioned the home entertainment launch to holiday audiences looking for a bit of popcorn entertainment at home over the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Media and digital marketing created hyper-focused assets to reach all audiences 13 and up.

The social media team leaned heavily into engaging content on key platforms to reach young audiences with tongue-in-cheek campaigns that reflected the lighthearted interplay that audiences loved in the film. Tactics included conversational and seasonal GIFs, AR effects for Instagram and Facebook, with QR code on in-store displays, and custom content like the rom-com spoof which aimed at showcasing the action film as a seasonal rom-com.

Timed to the season, the social team created a 10-hour Venom-themed Yule log where audiences could pop on YouTube and enjoy a crackling fireplace alongside quips and dialogue between Venom and Eddie as they enjoyed hot chocolate. RVOD customers also enjoyed programming the Yule log into their barker channel for added fun and visibility.

A key pillar of the marketing campaign was to showcase more than an hour of behind-the-scenes footage and special features. Part of this was an exclusive deleted scene that grabbed more than 6 million views on YouTube alone.

From a publicity perspective, press and influencers continued to share their love of Venom. To blow out the release, publicity enlisted a popular rage room space in downtown Los Angeles where they themed out multiple rooms to Eddie Brock’s apartment. Upon arrival, all participating press and influencers got geared up with highly desired “Eddie B.” branded coveralls and went into their assigned room to take out their rage like Venom. One of the biggest hits was the creation of Mrs. Chen’s Mobile Convenience Store, where Peggy Lu (as Mrs. Chen) hung out for the entire day and conducted interviews, photo ops, and helped distribute iconic “Chen’s Market” tote bags. This day had a social reach of 69 million.

The media team created massive awareness by taking a data-driven approach that identified and ultimately converted key audiences. Tactics included leveraging first-party data, contextual targeting and affinity targeting. To spike urgency among young males and dads, Sony Pictures marketers activated across key sports events such as NFL Sunday football as well as NBA programming and further broadened out by blanketing networks such as NBC and ABC, and various cable networks.

All these unique ingredients brought the action and fun together and resulted in an immersive movie-watching experience.

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■ Yellowstone: Season 4
Paramount Home Entertainment

Based on the “Yellowstone” season three cliffhanger and the series’ explosive viewership growth, Paramount Home Entertainment was prepared with a season four home entertainment marketing campaign that spanned six months and established Yellowstone: Season 4 as the biggest TV season release since the final season of “Game of Thrones.”

PHE capitalized on the fan frenzy leading up to the November season premiere in multiple ways. Season four was made available for pre-order through digital retailers four weeks before the premiere. Supported by a digital marketing campaign that reached the series’ growing audience via Roku as well as social platforms Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Reddit, season four registered a stunning 100,000 season pass pre-orders in addition to increased sales of the first three seasons.

To promote the disc release, the home entertainment marketing team launched a highly giftable line look with custom decals for seasons one, two and three. The collectible catalog program achieved support equivalent to a theatrical new release across brick-and-mortar and online channels during the season four broadcast window and holiday season.

As the season came to a close in early January, focus shifted to the season four disc campaign. While the DVD and Blu-ray Disc were made available for pre-order after the season premiere, PHE synchronized its release date announcement to the season finale. Online marketing and social media efforts spiked disc pre-orders by teasing the release’s four hours of special features, including never-before-seen featurettes that deliver on “Yellowstone” fans’ desire to delve deeper into the compelling world created by Taylor Sheridan.

As the March 8 release date approached, the marketing campaign targeted both longtime fans of the franchise as well as new viewers just now engaging in the cultural conversation about the series. The media campaign delivered high-profile spots during sports and scripted series, and Paramount Global brought to bear the power of its portfolio with company-wide support from CBS, Paramount+, Paramount Network, CMT, Smithsonian and other networks.

Public relations efforts were supported by cast members Jefferson White (“Jimmy”) and Jen Landon (“Teeter”). An innovative influencer campaign with experienced creators in metal working, glassblowing and farrier work re-imagined the iconic Y brand while champion lassoers and cowboy cocktails created festive moments for the release. Organic social and influencer superfan posts drove awareness for more than 30 million followers and fans of the show.

Grassroots marketing across the country reached radio and podcast listeners, with a targeted focus on country and western. To further bolster word-of-mouth, Yellowstone: Season 4 was featured in pre-show advertising and print programs at world-renowned live music venues such as the Grand Old Opry and the Ryman Theater.

PHE further tapped into sports fans with multiple activations. In addition to grassroots marketing at rodeos and barrel races, a high-profile sports marketing event showcased the release during the NHL’s Nashville Predators games at Bridgestone Arena, the most-ticketed venue in the world.

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The Power Teams

Paramount Home Entertainment

The following worked on both The Godfather and “Yellowstone” campaigns:

  • Michele Bell, EVP, Worldwide Creative Services, oversees all of the division’s product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Alanna Powers, SVP, Brand Marketing, spearheads the division’s global marketing strategies, product development, and management of all feature-length new releases, library titles and acquisitions.
  • Scott Klein, SVP, Brand Marketing, oversees worldwide transactional release strategies, marketing, and management of all television series distributed by Paramount Global.
  • Melinda Froelich, SVP, International Marketing, leads the international marketing teams in developing strategic plans for all titles and products by territory.
  • Hilarie Hildebrandt, SVP, Digital Sales, Global Accounts and Customer Marketing, oversees the strategic vision and execution of consumer-focused marketing programs with all global digital accounts.
  • Michele Rumain, VP, Media, oversees domestic home entertainment media planning for new-release, catalog, acquisitions and television product.
  • Michelle Willey, VP, Worldwide Creative Services, leads creative for new releases, catalog and television campaigns, including product packaging and digital design, in-store and online creative assets, and print, broadcast and online advertising.
  • Lin Park, Director, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.
  • Dashiell Winston, Senior Manager, Global Digital Marketing, leads the division’s global digital and social marketing strategies, creating impactful campaigns for feature-length new releases, library titles, acquisitions and TV series.


The PR team that worked on The Godfather and “Yellowstone” consisted of Kirsten Anderson, Pamela Grant, Alan Meier, Deborah Peters, Sharon Ramirez and Deborah Thompson.

The following people worked on The Godfather campaign:

  • Todd Sokolove, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment product development and promotions for Paramount’s film library
  • Irene Bassett, Director, Brand Marketing, oversees home entertainment marketing activations for Paramount’s film library


The following people worked on the “Yellowstone” campaign”

  • Laura Kanamori, Executive Director, Brand Marketing, oversees physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Jennifer O’Keefe, Director, Brand Marketing, also manages physical home entertainment marketing for television series from all Viacom networks.
  • Emily Guenther, Senior Manager, Brand Marketing, oversees TVOD home entertainment marketing for television series from Paramount Network, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, VH1, CMT, TV Land, Logo and Smithsonian.


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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The marketing team that worked on the Ghostbusters: Afterlife campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Joe Burg, Rene Wilson, Antonio Gimenez-Palazon, Patrick Santiago, Christine Galloway, Kaitlyn Slover, Michael Nixon, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Spider-Man: No Way Home campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Katie Ullrich, Gregg Shack, Joe Burg, Derek Mihalik, April Florentino, Eric Kent, Amy Tesser-Marquez, Derek Schulte, Alex Andujar, Tara Rais, Jane Mohon, Jason Rumminger, Dylan Godshall, Christine Galloway, Michael Nixon, Diana Cheng, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and
Courtney Yeh.

The marketing team that worked on the Venom: Let There Be Carnage campaign consisted of Lexine Wong, Jennifer Anderson, Cynthia Munoz, Abram Lugioyo, Patrick Serrano, Derek Mihalik, Stephanie Wu, Emily Ossip, Nico McManus, Robin Davids, Aaron Plourde, Jane Mohon, Diana Cheng, Rob Czechowicz, Terence Mulcahy, Jana Simmons, Doug Momii, April Cozart and Courtney Yeh.

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

  • Hilary Hoffman, EVP, Global Marketing, oversees strategic marketing for Universal and its distributed lines worldwide across feature film new-release, library and TV properties. Her responsibilities encompass defining go-to-market strategies and overall approach for consumer engagement, including developing and leveraging new platforms and technologies as well as direct-to-consumer initiatives to drive profitable growth. She is responsible for creative, digital content, retail marketing, media, digital marketing, publicity and consumer insights.
  • Pam Blum, SVP, Global Marketing, oversees creative marketing services and the development of value-added content for the studio’s physical and digital releases on a worldwide basis. Her responsibilities also extend to include maximizing opportunities cross-divisionally within NBC Universal.
  • Lea Porteneuve, SVP, Global Publicity & Communications, oversees global business, technology and executive communications for UPHE as well as leads strategy and advancement of brand-defining publicity initiatives in support of the studio’s digital and physical in-home offerings around the world.
  • Denise Haro, SVP, Global Consumer Insights & Strategy, oversees business analytics, focusing on external market analytics, trend analysis, and long-term outlook. She also manages UPHE’s consumer insights and research. She is focused on aligning global commercial strategy around product, window, messaging, and innovation founded in business and consumer insights. Throughout her tenure, she has been influential in shaping company strategy.
  • Sandy Choi, SVP, Global Brand Marketing & North America Partnerships, manages worldwide marketing for Focus Features’ home entertainment new-release slate as well as all of UPHE’s North American third-party partner relationships. Additionally for all of UPHE’s distribution partners, she oversees the development and execution of all marketing campaigns across both physical and digital platforms and leads the cross-functional team responsible for the overall business.
  • Stephanie Lutjens, SVP, Global Brand Marketing, spearheads global strategic marketing, product development and management of all new-release titles from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, in addition to the studio’s extensive catalog and television library. She also manages worldwide home entertainment promotions.
  • Joe Eibert, VP, Digital Marketing, oversees UPHE’s owned media marketing, including CRM, websites, influencers and promotions. Eibert also leads division-wide efforts on innovation and multi-cultural opportunities.
  • Nadia Haney, VP, Emerging Partnerships & Formats, is responsible for Universal’s entrée and advancement of new formats, alternative distribution partner marketing, and airline content licensing. Additionally, she serves as a primary liaison for cross-industry growth initiatives.
  • Ted Chi, SVP, Digital Marketing and Media Strategy, oversees the digital strategy and execution for UPHE’s in-home film releases. His remit includes paid, earned and owned media with an emphasis on data and analytics.


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