MPAA Promotes Kate Bedingfield to Chief Spokesperson

Howard Gantman, who previously held the position, moves to a new role developing international communications strategies.

Kate Bedingfield has been promoted to vp, corporate communications for the Motion Picture Association of America – making her the association's chief spokesperson. Howard Gantman, who had been chief spokesperson, is switching to a new role in which he will focus on global message coordination and communications strategies for international initiatives.

The announcement Thursday by Laura Nichols, vp for global communications, also said TJ Ducklo has been promoted to deputy director, corporate communications, reporting to Bedingfield.

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“We are fortunate to have such a talented and experienced group,” Nichols said. “Kate is as skilled a communicator as they come, and TJ has proven to be an integral part of our team since joining the MPAA last September. Howard’s new role provides us with an important new component to our advocacy and outreach issues. I am confident our team has the talent and creativity to continue to find new ways to show how important movies are to economies and cultures around the globe.”

Prior to joining the MPAA in November 2011, Bedingfield worked in the Obama White House as associate communications director and acting director of media affairs.

Before joining the MPAA, Gantman was staff director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. He was also staff director for the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and was communications director for California Sen. Dianne Feinstein for nine years. Prior to that he was a journalist and worked for L.A. city council members.

 “Howard’s impressive depth of communications experience – from his days as a reporter to his time on Capitol Hill to his work now in our industry – gives him an ability to tackle communications challenges from a comprehensive perspective,” Nichols said.  “His leadership has been invaluable, and we are pleased to have him take on this new senior role in helping us coordinate a more efficient and effective global communications operation.”    

Ducklo joined the MPAA in September 2011 after serving as a communications assistant at Bracewell & Guiliani’s Policy Resolution Group. He will now assist Bedingfield.

The MPAA is a trade association representing the movie, TV and home video industries. Member companies include Disney, Paramount, Sony, Fox, Universal and Warner Bros.