THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
As a kid, Gibbons wasn't allowed to watch much television; she was mostly limited to Get Smart and Hogan's Heroes. But she has been making up for lost time: Gibbons is in charge of marketing and advertising for FX and Fox Movie Channel, which she joined in 2004.
This year, her biggest coup has been a creepily successful campaign for the infidelity-themed fright fest American Horror Story, which saw Los Angeles laced with billboards showing a latex-clad S&M ghoul hanging from a ceiling above a pregnant redhead. The campaign also got monster traffic virally, helping give Horror Story the highest-rated first season of any series in the cable network's history. (It's averaging 4.1 million total viewers and 3.1 million in the 18-to-49 demo.)
For a while, FX appeared to be struggling to find its way after the end of The Shield. These days, with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Justified, The League, Sons of Anarchy, Wilfred and the animated Archer, the network has picked up new energy, and FX, thanks to the strong lineup and Gibbons' efforts, now has its best ratings ever.
This year, Gibbons and her colleagues won the Promax/BDA Award for marketing team of the year. One of the few "out" lesbians in Hollywood, she oversees FX marketing of gay-themed shows, drawing rave recognition from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. And while the network's corporate parent, News Corp., hardly has a reputation for progressivism, Gibbons helps advise the company on carbon neutrality and spreading the word about energy conservation and global warming.
The Ohio native started out at the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, Fla., a jumping-off point she calls "incredibly useful. It was such a small market, such a small budget -- I spent about 16 hours a day at the station. By the time I left there, I'd done directing, been a producer of the noon news, had edited, written … I knew how to shoot, how to do graphics -- the whole shebang."
Gibbons, 51, calls risk-taking an important part of her job. "You need to find something that's arresting," she says. "Our audience wants something provocative, something idiosyncratic -- and the marketing has to follow suit."
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