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News on news
CAA has signed CBS News correspondent David Begnaud. In addition to serving as the regular fill-in anchor for CBSN and CBS Weekend News, he has been featured across all of CBS News’ programs and platforms, including CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning. The 2018 George Polk Award for Public Service winner has covered stories including the mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, the earthquake in Ecuador as well as the hurricanes in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. He previously was a reporter for ORA TV’s Newsbreaker and a regular Entertainment Tonight contributor.
Veteran communications executive Joanna Dodd Massey has launched her own governance strategy and communications consultancy, J.D. Massey Associates. JDMA has offices in New York and Los Angeles and already is working with clients including Conde Nast (for whom Massey recently served as Conde Nast Entertainment head of communications), 8B Education Investments and ShoeCandy by Kara Mac.
JDMA distinguishes itself in part by Massey using her psychology PhD (she also has an MBA) to dig deep into how individual workplaces function. The American Psychological Association member also serves as a managing director at female-led investment firm Golden Seeds, as part of her passion for advising female entrepreneurs.
“What differentiates JDMA from other communications firms is that we have a formal process for assessing a client’s corporate culture and helping the executive team manage their company’s unique personality to better negotiate risk and reputation,” Massey said in a statement. “The JDMA way is founded in psychology but powered by decades of in-house experience at Fortune 500 companies. Think of it as therapy for your company.”
Massey’s 25 years of in-house communications experience also includes serving as senior vp postings at Lionsgate, Discovery-Hasbro joint venture the Hub Network, CBS and UPN.
Abrams has hired sales executive Katina Kontarakis in the newly created role of director of sales in its alternative programming, digital media, licensing and branding division. She will support Abrams’ existing alignments with companies including CreatorIQ, Captiv8 and Bent Pixels and also sell sponsorships, media and multi-talent deals to brands.
Kontarakis most recently served as sales director at H Code. The New York native began her career as national TV buyer at Horizon Media, where she managed accounts for GEICO and Capital One, then moved to Los Angeles, where she was on Discovery Communications’ ad sales team and later worked at WhoSay.
“Kontarakis joins us in bringing an incredible wealth of knowledge regarding numerous industries and diverse global relationships,” said Abrams agency partners Robert Attermann, Brian Cho and Adam Bold in a joint statement. “Her expertise will benefit our clients and the agency at large.”
Others on the dotted line
Katz PR has signed Alex Landi, who plays new Grey’s Anatomy hot doctor Nico Kim. His role as the long-running ABC medical drama’s first out male surgeon made headlines, including the cover of Attitude. Landi continues to be represented by Buchwald and Asian Cinema Entertainment.
Thor Bradwell’s Thirty Three Management has signed Italian filmmaker Mitzi Peirone, whose feature debut Braid debuted last year in Tribeca’s midnight section. The all-female psychedelic thriller starred Madeline Brewer, Sarah Hay and Imogen Waterhouse and will be released by Blue Fox Entertainment on Feb. 1. Peirone, 27, who next is working on a techno-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller starring Bella Thorne, continues to be repped by ICM Partners.
TalentWorks has signed Victoria Konefal, who plays Ciara Brady on Days of Our Lives. She continues to be represented by Morris Yorn.
CESD has struck an alliance with Nous Model Management’s Nu Talent Agency. CESD will now rep Nu clients for commercials and endorsements.
Management company Emagine Content has signed Canadian-American actress Piercey Dalton, who starred opposite 13 Reasons Why‘s Dylan Minnette in Netflix’s horror thriller The Open House.
Hollywood-based production company The Directors Bureau has signed Dutch-Ghanaian director and visual artist Emmanuel Adjei for U.S. commercial and music video representation.
Elsewhere in Rep World:
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