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Former Time Inc. PR guru Teri Everett is nearing a deal to become the new top corporate communications executive at Universal Pictures. She will replace Kori Bernards, who announced last week that she is leaving the company.
In her role, Everett, who previously served as executive vp for Time Inc. in New York, will relocate to Los Angeles and manage all aspects of corporate communications for the studio’s leaders Jeff Shell and Donna Langley. Her title will be executive vp global communications, reporting to Shell. She left Time Inc. earlier this year.
Before joining Time Inc. in 2012, Everett was a longtime News Corp spokesperson, serving as the leader of Rupert Murdoch‘s Los Angeles-based PR team. In her new role, she will report to Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment.
“I’ve known Teri for many years, and her experience across the media landscape will prove invaluable to Ron [Meyer], Donna [Langley] and me as we navigate the exciting challenges and opportunities ahead,” Shell said. “She is a well-respected, skilled communicator who brings a wealth of knowledge, proven strategic capabilities and breadth of contacts at a critical time for our business.“
Added Universal Pictures chairman Langley: “We are so pleased that Teri is joining the team. As her track record shows, she is a leading communicator in our industry who will be an important adviser to our entire team and play a strong role in helping us achieve and communicate our business goals.”
A shift in PR strategists at Universal is not surprising given that Bernards predated Shell’s arrival at Universal in 2013. Top executives typically like to hire their own communications executives, and sources say Bernards informed Shell and Langley recently that she was planning to move on. Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara brought in Dee Dee Myers as his top corporate communications executive when he ascended to the studio’s top job in 2014.
Updated 4:14 p.m. July 21. Added statements from Shell and Langley.
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