Starz Hires Ex-WarnerMedia Executive Sofia Chang as Chief Distribution Officer

Longtime entertainment executive Sofia Chang has been hired as EVP and chief distribution officer at Starz. Based in New York and reporting to Alison Hoffman, president of domestic networks, Chang will oversee all of the streaming platform’s sales activities with multichannel video and digital distributors in the United States.

Sofia Chang

Chang brings 20 years of industry and leadership experience from her role as president of distribution at WarnerMedia, where she led distribution revenue for all HBO-branded digital and linear channels and navigated its subscriber and revenue growth, increased market share and improved profit margin. During her tenure at HBO, Chang was also responsible for overseeing content distribution and revenue in other formats.

“Sofia is a well-respected entertainment executive who brings a wealth of experience, along with a successful track record of driving growth in both the linear and digital space,” Hoffman said in a statement.

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Most recently, Chang served as the national CEO at Girl Scouts of the USA, where she led the enterprise across all functions including operations, technology, licensing and more. She was instrumental in reversing membership decline, reduced debt and developed a cultural framework founded on inclusivity.

Chang was one of Media Play News‘ top “captains” in the publication’s 2018 Women in Home Entertainment issue, when she was EVP, worldwide digital distribution and home entertainment, at HBO. In that capacity, she oversaw HBO’s transactional physical and digital business worldwide, as well as distribution of its domestic subscription product across digital platforms such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Hulu, Roku, Sony and more.

Chang was recently honored by Forbes’ “50 Over 50: Impact” and the Goldhouse “A100” for her positive impact on cultural and social change. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts. She is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

DEG Announces Board for 2019-20

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group on Aug. 9 announced its incoming board of directors at the start of its 23rd year as one of the home entertainment industry’s leading trade associations.

DEG’s voting member companies elected the new board to serve for the 2019-20 fiscal year (Aug. 1 – July 31). New board members include Pedro Gutierrez of Microsoft Corp., Cheryl Goodman of Sony Electronics and Erol Kalafat of Amazon Studios.

Amazon Studios is a new member company represented on the
DEG board for the first time.

The DEG also has added two additional companies to its membership: Row8, a transactional digital movie service that allows viewers to stop a movie they don’t like and choose a new one at no additional charge, and Snap Inc., parent company of social networking app Snapchat.

The Officers of the DEG board were elected to a two-year term in 2018 and will continue to serve through July 2020. Officers include Chair Matt Strauss of Comcast Cable; Vice Chair Sofia Chang of WarnerMedia Distribution (HBO); CFO Bob Buchi of Paramount Home Entertainment; Secretary Jim Wuthrich of Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment & Games, and Chair Emeritus Mike Dunn, formerly of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

“At a time when our industry is rapidly changing, the board of directors strives to produce deliverables that meet the needs of the industry at this dynamic time, such as DEG’s D2C Alliance, formed at the start of the year,” said Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO of the DEG.

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DEG’s New ‘4 Cups of Coffee’ Mentoring Program

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group on June 5 kicked off a new mentoring program, “4 Cups of Coffee,” at the “Cocktails & Coffee” event at Sony  Studios in the Norman Lear Commissary. Under the program, the DEG’s Canon Club will match women in search of mentors with one of its advisors or other women executives for 30-minute career conversations, either in person or over the phone, up to four times per year. The Canon Club was established by DEG to provide women at all levels and in all sectors of digital media the opportunity to share knowledge and build their business networks. Last month, the DEG announced the appointment of 10 advisory board members to provide input on Canon Club event programming, rotate as host at speaker-driven salons and social/networking events, serve as founding mentors in the “4 Cups of Coffee” program, and judge the annual Hedy Lamarr Awards for Women in Entertainment and Technology, among other responsibilities. The advisory board is led by chair Robin Tarufelli of Deloitte, and vice chair Meri Hassouni of Giant Interactive. Other members are Loren Nielsen, DTS; Sofia Chang, HBO; Dametra Johnson-Marletti, Microsoft; Karin Gilford, Movies Anywhere; Andrea Downing, PBS Distribution; Cheryl Goodman, Sony Electronics; Nadia Haney, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment; and Darcy Antonellis, Vubiquity. Other Canon Club mentors include Beth Kearns, 20th Century Fox; Heathyr Jozel-Garcia, ABC Studios; Samara Winterfeld, DTS; Ken Williams, ETC@USC; Kejo Swingler, HBO; and Rachel Crang, Paramount Pictures.