BURBANK, CA – Friday, October 4, 2019 – Three veteran HBO executives, Karen Jones, Ronni Cobern-Basis and Laura Young, have taken on expanded roles within WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, it was announced today by Kevin Brockman, executive vice president, Global Communications, to whom they will report. They join Jade Ekstedt, vice president, Corporate and Otter Media Communications; Marie Moore, senior vice president, Communications, TNT, TBS, truTV and HBO Max; Anna Nicoll, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs and International Publicity, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer; and Ray Stallone, senior vice president, HBO Sports Communications on Brockman’s Senior Team.
In commenting on the announcement, Brockman said “When I arrived here a few months ago, I was struck by the depth and breadth of talent across the entire organization. In crafting our new structure, I focused on creating synergies across the portfolio where I could and tapping the best talent to lead our efforts. Karen, Ronni and Laura are each experts in their fields, wildly respected both internally and externally, and more than deserving of their new roles. Together with the other members of my senior team, and alongside the best teams in the business, I’m sure we’ll continue to set the bar for excellence in communications for years to come.”
Karen Jones, a 20+ year HBO Communications executive who most recently served as Senior Vice President, Media Relations, HBO, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Communications, HBO. In this role, Jones will be responsible for all communication efforts on behalf of HBO entertainment programming, managing teams in New York and Los Angeles. She will work closely with Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming and Glenn Whitehead, executive vice president, HBO Business and Legal Affairs.
Jones said, "Over the two decades that I've been at HBO, I've been tremendously privileged to have had the best in the business as my mentors and colleagues. I am honored to take on this expanded area of responsibility and am very excited about the richness of programming on HBO's upcoming slate."
Ronni Cobern-Basis, a 25+ year HBO executive who most recently served as Senior Vice President, Talent Relations, HBO, has been promoted to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Talent Relations, Events and Awards, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. In this new role, Cobern-Basis will be responsible for all Talent Relations, Events and Awards efforts on behalf of the entire portfolio, spanning HBO, TNT, TBS, truTV and the upcoming HBO Max.
Cobern-Basis commented, “As a long-time employee of HBO, I’ve seen and been a part of many changes that have turned this company into the leading premium network that it is today. I am honored and excited to be able to continue in my new capacity and to be a part of the WarnerMedia family as it redefines itself, expands the limits of entertainment and continues to set new industry standards.”
Laura Young, a 20+ year HBO Corporate Affairs executive who most recently served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Regional PR, has been promoted to the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, overseeing all Corporate and Brand Communications, Marketing PR, Digital PR, Regional and Affiliate Communications on behalf of the entire portfolio, spanning HBO, TNT, TBS, truTV and the upcoming HBO Max.
Young stated, “I am very excited to bring together such a passionate, talented group of leaders to communicate the vision and strategy of WarnerMedia Entertainment’s businesses and brands. Through their dedication and experience, we are well-positioned to engage with consumers and press about the dynamic and innovative things ahead for our company.”
Prior to this announcement, Karen Jones was Senior Vice President of Media Relations at Home Box Office, responsible for leading publicity campaigns for HBO original programming including series, limited series and films.
She joined HBO in 1999 as a Director, and during her tenure she has crafted and executed multimedia campaigns for many of HBO’s acclaimed programs including Chernobyl, Westworld, Silicon Valley, Olive Kitteridge, The Normal Heart, Game Change, Taking Chance and The Pacific.
Prior to joining HBO, Jones was a unit publicist, working on feature films including Beloved, As Good As It Gets, Amistad, Mars Attacks! and Devil in a Blue Dress, and she authored the movie companion book Mars Attacks! The Art of the Movie.
She is a volunteer and former board member for Stand Tall International, a nonprofit which provides life-saving spinal surgeries for children in East Africa. She is a Fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and received her B.A., magna cum laude, in French from Amherst College, with post-graduate studies in French Literature at New York University.
Before this announcement, Ronni Cobern-Basis was Senior Vice President, Talent Relations, HBO and Cinemax, providing strategic support for talent and their representatives across all company platforms.
Overseeing the day-to-day operations, she has led a team, on both coasts, that is responsible for talent appearances for over 200 events each year. These events include the Golden Globe Awards, Primetime Emmys, Creative Emmys and SAG Awards, as well as all festivals, screenings and wrap parties.
Cobern-Basis has executed and produced some of HBO’s most popular annual events, such as the SAG After Party, the Night Before Emmy Party, and the HBO Luxury Lounge. She has been responsible for structuring a new and expanded program of policies and procedures that has elevated the talent experience at HBO. Her career began at HBO over 25 years ago where she started as an Executive Assistant.
Most recently, Laura Young was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Regional PR in HBO’s Corporate Communications department. She oversaw public relations and communications efforts on behalf of HBO’s business units including HBO NOW/GO, Consumer, Digital and Multicultural Marketing, Home Entertainment, Global Licensing and Technology.
She began her career at HBO 20 years ago in the Network Programming Operations department. Young quickly moved to Corporate Communications where she started managing publicity on behalf of HBO’s transforming home entertainment/DVD business. Prior to her time at HBO, Young was a News Assistant at Variety where she covered television, film and theater.
She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, with an MA in Cinema Studies and a BA in English/Film & Visual Culture from University of California at Riverside. She is an Air Force brat who currently resides in New Jersey.
About WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer
WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer is a division of WarnerMedia, a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences. WarnerMedia Entertainment includes HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT, TruTV and Otter Media.