10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Kristen Anderson to Oversee Freeform Communications
Freeform has found its new PR chief.
Kristen Anderson has been tapped to serve as vp communications for the Disney-owned, younger-skewing cable network. In her new role, Anderson — who was hired before the novel coronavirus largely shut down the industry — will oversee Freeform's corporate and consumer media relations. She will have oversight of show publicity, industry relations, awards outreach and talent relations. Anderson will also manage the cabler's annual Freeform Summit. She will report to Tricia Melton, senior vp marketing, and fill the void that was created late last year when vp communications Naomi Bulochnikov-Paul was promoted to work alongside former Freeform head of originals Karey Burke at ABC.
"Kristen jumped right into the role, starting on March 16, the first day of shelter in place, and quickly proved to be a collaborative, creative and strategic executive," Melton said Tuesday in a statement. "Her impeccable track record and commitment to Freeform’s future success will be crucially important in this incredibly competitive ecosystem. We are truly excited to have her on board and know she will make an indelible mark on one of Walt Disney Television’s most dynamic and critically acclaimed brands."
Anderson joins Freeform from Netflix, where she led campaigns for nonfiction programming including the Emmy-winning nature docuseries Our Planet. The gig brings Anderson back into the Disney fold after she previously served as a director of PR at ABC and launched series including the Shonda Rhimes-produced Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder. During her time at ABC, she also worked on multiple seasons of Grey's Anatomy and Dancing With the Stars.
Anderson left ABC in 2016 to work directly with Rhimes' Shondaland banner in the newly created role of vp marketing and communications, where she managed the promotion of all of the company's series, development and talent relations. Anderson has also had roles at Bravo and AMC.
"I am excited to be back with Walt Disney Television leading the talented and passionate communications team at Freeform," said Anderson. "The network has a clear vision and understands both the power of their content and the power of their audience. They excel at being inclusive, bold and entertaining, and I look forward to building on all their successes to date and driving their business forward in a meaningful way.”
Anderson's arrival comes as Freeform is now searching for a new network president, as Tom Ascheim will depart later this summer for a role at WarnerMedia.