Next Gen 2010: Publicity

Jessica Kolstad, Lauri Metrose
Bill Phelps

CBS Television Studios' Lauri Metrose (left) and WKT Public Relations' Jessica Kolstad

Influential executives from this year's report on industry players

Jessica Kolstad
31, VP, WKT Public Relations

“I was taught to not bring my clients into the trenches with me,” Kolstad says. With this approach to PR, it’s easy to see why heavyweights put their trust in Kolstad, the daughter of a wedding planner and a country club manager who says she fell in love with her craft as an intern. The wow factor was enough to sell her on a life in the industry, and in 2000, shortly after graduating from Pepperdine, she landed an internship at WKT PR, where she has worked her way up from receptionist to assistant to junior publicist, supporting Lisa Kasteler on clients like William Hurt. Since 2008, the Los Gatos, Calif., native has been vp at the Los Angeles-based firm, ushering Oscar-nominated actors including Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan through awards season. “I have an extraordinary life,” says the single-but-dating Kolstad, who in the past year has tried her hand at the trapeze, visited the tombs of ancient Egyptian royalty and enjoyed dinner with her favorite author, Michael Ondaatje. “If only my college self knew!”

Lauri Metrose
34, Senior vp communications, CBS Television Studios
Growing up in San Diego made Metrose a “beach gal through and through,” she says -- which made all the more memorable her experience standing on Waikiki Beach in September, while thousands watched an open-air viewing of CBS’ Hawaii Five-O reboot. For more than 10 years across various publicity posts, the married mother of two has overseen giant promotions for the network’s biggest hits, including the Jerry Bruckheimer juggernauts CSI, The Amazing Race and Without a Trace. The UC Santa Barbara grad now manages four publicists, two assistants and 26 shows across Showtime, USA Network, the CW and, of course, CBS. “This is not a sprint,” she says. “When you work in TV, you're running a marathon."


Next Gen 2010 profiles written and reported by Randee Dawn, Leslie Bruce, Todd Longwell, Carita Rizzo, Lauren Schutte and Andrew Wallenstein