Johanna Fuentes Promoted to Run Showtime Communications

Johanna Fuentes and Trisha Cardoso-Split-Publicity-H 2017
Courtesy of Showtime Networks

She steps into the role most recently held by industry vet Trisha Cardoso, who will depart in June to run the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation.

Showtime Networks has named Johanna Fuentes executive vp corporate communications, the top PR post at the pay cable outfit. Fuentes steps into the role most recently held by Trisha Cardoso, who is leaving the network to run Chuck Lorre's philanthropic operation.

“Johanna is one of the smartest people in our business and the epitome of dedication to her work,” Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said Tuesday in a statement. “She understands not only Showtime but the entire industry inside and out, navigating the complex world of communications with both nuance and clarity, not to mention good humor. With her extensive and diverse experience, she is perfectly positioned to drive our communications strategy forward as our business grows into the future.”

Fuentes will report directly to Nevins and parent CBS Corp. communications chief Gil Schwartz. The move sees Fuentes relocating to Showtime's West Coast office, where she will oversee programming publicity, media and talent relations, events, photography, sports and corporate branding for the Showtime suite and cable sibling Smithsonian Channel.

“From the day she walked into my office 17 years ago for her first interview with CBS, Johanna’s confidence and command of media have always impressed me,” said Schwartz, with whom Fuentes will now serve as liaison to the parent company. “Since then, I have watched her grow into a consummate communications professional — passionate about her mission, creative in her approach, personable in her relationships and steadfast in her execution. Her promotion underscores these strengths, from which Showtime Networks will benefit greatly for years to come.”

Fuentes' promotion comes after seven years at the network, where she most recently served as senior vp corporate communications. Her purview now expands to strategic planning and execution of all global public and media relations initiatives. Prior to Showtime, Fuentes held high communications posts at Bravo and CBS.

Fuentes will officially take the reins when Cardoso departs next month for her new gig as president and chief giving officer of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation, where she has served as a board member for the past two years. Cardoso will work directly with Lorre on strategy and policy for the foundation, which The Big Bang Theory executive producer launched to fund innovative and compassionate Los Angeles organizations that focus on education, health and the arts.

“Trisha is a highly skilled communications executive and was instrumental in helping shape the modern face of Showtime,” said Nevins. “Time and again, her expert nurturing of the company’s vision and her deft handling of specific big-ticket initiatives proved a tremendous asset for us. We congratulate her on this opportunity to lead the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation and look forward to seeing her have a powerful effect on its behalf.”

“It is not easy to leave a place in which I have invested so much — or that I have so enjoyed,” said Cardoso, who has held the top communications post at Showtime since 2011. “It’s only for an opportunity as special and personally meaningful as the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation that I would even consider it. I very much want to thank David Nevins, Gil Schwartz, Showtime chairman Matt Blank and CBS Corporation chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves for a fantastic seven years here, and for all their support as I make this move. My decision is made easier by the knowledge that I am leaving the communications group in superb hands. Johanna Fuentes has been a wonderful partner and fellow strategist, and I look forward to following Showtime’s progress as she leads the department into the future.”

While at Showtime, Cardoso helped launch Homeland, Billions, Ray Donovan, The Affair and, most recently, Twin Peaks. In her free time, she has done extensive philanthropic work with CLFF and others, receiving the Lenny Somberg Award from the Saban Community Clinic in 2016 for two decades of volunteer service.

Of Cardoso's new post, Lorre said, "I am so grateful to have someone of Trisha's caliber to help guide my family foundation. I've known her for over 20 years and have always been amazed at her intellect, compassion and leadership abilities. She has already been instrumental in helping set up the Big Bang Theory scholarship at UCLA, and I look forward to working with her over the coming years as we continue to expand our philanthropic efforts."