Following an extended search, Starz has found its new head of public relations.
Sony Pictures Television Studios alum Lauren Townsend will take over for Theano Apostolou as exec vp communications at Starz. She will report directly to Starz CEO Chris Albrecht and serve as chief press officer and spokesperson for the company.
Townsend, who will be based in Los Angeles, will have direct oversight of all media relations initiatives for Starz, including corporate communications, international, affiliate and external affairs, government relations and pro-social outreach, program publicity, talent relations, special events and awards campaigns.
“We have had the privilege of working with Lauren on the Starz original series Outlander while she was at Sony and I’m thrilled to officially welcome her to our team as we continue to grow our original programming with both scripted and unscripted stories,” Albrecht said Monday in a statement. “Lauren’s extensive publicity experience in consumer, trade and business press will play a critical role in shaping the corporate messaging for the network and company. She’s an excellent addition to the senior team.”
Townsend comes to Starz after serving as vp media and talent relations at Sony TV, where she oversaw domestic and international publicity. She worked on campaigns for such series including ABC’s The Good Doctor, AMC’s Better Call Saul, Netflix’s The Crown and One Day at a Time, Amazon’s Sneaky Pete and ABC’s The Goldbergs, among others. Townsend also oversaw special projects for the studio, including awards campaigns, pro-social outreach, merchandising and licensing publicity and more, identifying and creating strategic partnerships and promotional opportunities for the studio and its series, managing a team of publicists globally and coordinating strategy and efforts across various teams including marketing, research, programming, distribution and corporate communications, among others.
Before Sony, Townsend was CEO at lifestyle PR firm Townsend Olmstead Media Co., which she co-founded; director of drama PR at Warner Bros. Television; and senior press manager at NBCUniversal.