Early in her career, Lisa Gregorian settled into life as a TV program sales executive, but a different career track within TV constantly beckoned.
"When I was a salesperson, I knew what I wanted from marketing but wasn't getting," recalls Gregorian, who is Warner Bros. Television Group executive VP of worldwide marketing.
Her marketing job today is more complicated than simply cranking out on-air promotion and printed materials that were the norm 22 years ago when she started at Lorimar-Telepictures, which was eventually acquired by Warner Bros.
Gregorian's responsibilities keep growing. She's now responsible for both traditional and digital new-media marketing, working across all of the studio's television production and distribution groups.
The studio placed Gossip Girl in a virtual world on Second Life, created TheWB.com (now in beta testing) and KidsWB.com, participated in the Comic-Con fan event and conducted a streaming tie-in with Xbox Live. Gregorian also oversees product placement/integration deals for TV programs and serves as the studio's liaison with sister company AOL.
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The Emerson College graduate finds that new-media initiatives are most invigorating, given that all the old rules of promotion and marketing are being re-written. The studio's characters Fred Flintstone and Wile E. Coyote for the first time will share the same screen in KidsWB.com, "where they will interact with each other. The audience has come to expect this," she says.
Prior to getting worldwide responsibilities in 2003, Gregorian was in charge of Warner's international TV marketing, where repurposing concepts originating in foreign territories was a constant quest for fresh ideas. For instance, the studio combined specially produced snippets from a U.K. promotion for the series Invasion, which presented a harrowing interrogation, with actual clips from the series for on-air promotions telecast by ABC Television in the U.S.
The TV business is the lifeblood of the Burbank-based Gregorian and her husband, Fred, and 14-year-old son. The native New Yorker always wanted a career in Hollywood. Now, after 22 years with one company, she says, "Warner Bros. is like family to me." —Robert Marich