Laura Dames is Executive Vice President and General Manager of WarnerMedia Studios. She was elevated to this position with WarnerMedia Studios (previously Tuner Studios) in November 2016. This wide-ranging role includes oversight of all facets of studio operations for the next-generation production division that supports the entire WarnerMedia portfolio – including its leading entertainment networks and multimedia properties.
In her role as EVP and GM of WarnerMedia Studios, Dames – a 28-year company veteran – is responsible for shaping and advancing the infrastructure of WarnerMedia Studios to best meet the needs of a rapidly changing media environment. Under her leadership, WarnerMedia Studios has become an innovative, central hub for the collaboration and coordination of media assets throughout all company divisions. WarnerMedia Studios encompasses a broad range of creative and technical capabilities, including production, post-production, design, live events, emerging media, social media monitoring, and content generation.
Through Dames’ direction, WarnerMedia Studios collaborates with more than 150 partners across over 40 business units throughout all company divisions – including HBO Max, TBS, TNT, truTV, Bleacher Report, Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and Turner Sports. Overall, more than 500,000 hours are devoted to content and creative production through WarnerMedia Studios each year, covering nearly 2,000 projects.
The WarnerMedia Studios team includes hundreds of highly skilled artists and craftspeople, most of whom are concentrated in a 300,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Atlanta. WarnerMedia Studios’ facility is home to TNT’s Inside the NBA, NBA TV, ELEAGUE, MLB on TBS, and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship (March Madness) coverage originating from Atlanta, as well as TCM’s original content and many other productions.
As the reach of WarnerMedia Studios continues to grow, Dames and her leadership team lead the coordination of cross-brand communication and activities surrounding key tent-pole events for WarnerMedia. This includes the annual WarnerMedia Upfront, 2019 Investor Day for HBO Max, March Madness Music Festival, NCAA events, NBA Opening Night, and All-Star Weekend activities. With her skilled leadership, the event marketing team continues to expand and serve as a division resource for creative and content implementation for event marketing, activation, and hospitality across the entire WarnerMedia portfolio.
Dames is based in Atlanta and reports directly to Ken Jautz, EVP, CNN Worldwide.
Prior to her current role, Dames was appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of Turner Studios in 2015, overseeing the transition of that organization into Turner Sports and the Entertainment division. This involved reevaluating the financial structure, as well as the overall production workflow, processes, brand alignment, and capabilities for the division.
In 2018, Dames added to her responsibilities direct oversight of the Sports Data Strategy and Insights department, a division of Turner Sports set to redefine the way analytics are leveraged to best represent brand performance across today’s ever-changing media landscape.
In that expanded role, Dames' team shaped a forward-thinking approach to how Sports Data & Insights analytics are utilized to reflect the cross-platform delivery of essential content in today's media ecosystem. With cross-platform distribution and consumption patterns being the best measurement of success, this team continues to expand its capabilities – with the structure created from Dames' leadership – to share key learnings, trends, and audience figures that will benefit both internal and external partners, including advertisers.
Before her appointment to Turner Studios, Dames spent a short time in Advertising Sales where she helped create the portfolio-wide communication for the newly reorganized division and created the Marketplace Image department.
Dames spent the first 21 years of her career within the Turner Entertainment Networks and was previously SVP of Business Operations for Turner Entertainment Networks (TEN), including TBS, TNT, TCM, and truTV. In the unique role, she led the vision and strategy, and operations for the formatting of all programming and on-air asset management including advertising inventory management, as well as the creation of all sponsorships, marketing partnerships, and promotions for national advertisers, from strategy to concept development through the final creative production. In this role, she also created and ran the networks in-house branded content creative agency.
Dames has also held the position of Senior Vice President of Marketing Operations for TNT, TBS, and TCM, where she was responsible for the development of all sponsorships, marketing partnerships, and promotions for both national advertisers and distribution affiliates, as well as managing the programming and on-air operations teams.
Prior to that role, Dames served as Vice President of Marketing Operations for TNT, charged with identifying and managing the use of Time Warner assets to strengthen the marketing and promotional efforts for TNT’s programming branding initiatives. Before being appointed to the Vice President position, Dames served as Director of Marketing for TNT, overseeing the development and implementation of marketing strategies and multi-platform consumer marketing and promotion campaigns for hundreds of TNT’s award-winning original films and specials, as well as trade initiatives.
Dames joined Turner in 1992 after graduating summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a certificate in film studies.
She currently serves as the Executive Sponsor for Women of WarnerMedia’s Atlanta chapter, a corporate resource group dedicated to the support and advancement of female executives at WarnerMedia, and served on the Alumni Advisory Board for the UMASS Department of Communications. Dames is also a member of the Georgia Screen Entertainment Commission steering committee and was recently nominated for an appointment to the Georgia Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Commission.
Dames resides in Atlanta with her husband, Mark, and their two children (21,18).