Lea Gets Top Government Affairs Post at ViacomCBS

Exec had been top Viacom lobbyist
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Doretha (DeDe) Lea has been named executive VP, global public policy and government relations for ViacomCBS, effective with the closing of the merger of Viacom and CBS, the companies announced.

DeDe Lea

DeDe Lea

Lea has served as executive VP, global government affairs at Viacom since 2013.

John Orlando, CBS’s executive VP for global government affairs, will be leaving the company, according to an internal memo to staff from CBS acting CEO Joe Ianniello.

Related: Phelps Named Communications Chief for Merged ViacomCBS

Lea joined Viacom in 1997 as VP of government relations. Before that she was VP of government affairs for Belo and senior VP of government relations for the National Association of Broadcasters.

“DeDe has been an incredible advocate for Viacom, our audiences and the creative community over the past two decades,” said Bob Bakish, the CEO of Viacom who will become CEO of the combined companies. “She brings unmatched experience, relationships and leadership to this role, and we’re thrilled she will serve as the voice of ViacomCBS in Washington and in the highest levels of government around the world.”

Since officially agreeing to merge, a mix of Viacom and CBS execs have been named to fill top management posts at the combined company.

Orlando joined CBS in 1998 as VP, Washington. Before that he was VP and a principal at the lobbying firm Timmons and Co. He worked on Capitol Hill for 14 years, including a seven-year stint as chief of staff to Rep. John Dingell (D.-Mich).

“As our top lobbyist, and one of the most respected in the industry, John has been instrumental in leading the charge for CBS and broadcast television on regulatory and legislative issues in Washington, D.C., for over two decades. Most notably, he has been an integral player in protecting our retransmission consent rights and our Company’s significant revenue growth in this vital area,” Ianniello said in his memo.

"Following his illustrious career here, I am certain John will go on to incredible future opportunities,” Ianniello said.

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