HBO Veteran Nancy Lesser Departs As EVP Of Media & Talent Relations

After 35 years, one of the HBOs most senior and most recognizable PR executives, Nancy Lesser, is leaving the network where she currently serves as EVP of Media and Talent Relations.

Lesser revealed the news in a note to staff Wednesday, which she ended by quoting her friend, the late producer Jerry Weintraub, who worked on several HBO programs in the last years of his life: “This much I knew. As soon as you feel comfortable, thats when its time to start over.” You can read her note in full below the story.

Lesser, a well liked PR executive with a unique sense of style, reported to Quentin Schaffer, who in July announced his resignation as EVP, Corporate Communications for HBO after 39 years with the company. They are among a number of HBO veterans to depart following the approval of AT&Ts acquisition of Time Warner, led by Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler.

Lesser has played an integral part in the development of HBOs media relations strategy since 1984, when she joined the company as senior publicist, Media Relations in New York. In 1985, she was promoted to director, Consumer Press Information, responsible for media coverage of HBOs original productions, and was later named director, Original Program Publicity for HBO and Cinemax. In February 1994, she moved to Los Angeles where she was promoted to VP, Media Relations, West Coast. In October 2000, she was elevated to SVP, Media Relations, West Coast. She became SVP, West Coast Media Relations and Talent Relations in 2008 and EVP of Media and Talent Relations in 2016, and was responsible for overseeing both media and talent relations operations on both coasts.

Over the years, Lesser oversaw the media campaigns for such projects as: Band of Brothers, The Sopranos, Angels in America, The Pacific, Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects, True Detective, Game Change, Recount, The Normal Heart, Behind the Candelabra, Game of Thrones and numerous others.

“Nancy was one of the first communication executives that I met when I moved to Los Angeles more than 26 years ago,” said Kevin Brockman. EVP Global Communications, WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer. She was a force of nature then, and she is a force of nature now. She has built an amazing team at HBO and Im proud to now work alongside them as we move towards the future. Im sure that whatever adventures await Nancy in her next chapter, they will be as rich and rewarding as her time at HBO.”

Before joining HBO, Lesser served as public relations director for Fords Theater in Washington, D.C. She also worked at ICM in the classical music division.

“HBO has been a truly wonderful home for me for the last 35 years,” said Lesser. “I have had the distinct privilege of overseeing the most creative, dedicated and smartest communications team in television. Additionally, I have been extremely fortunate to be involved with some of the most groundbreaking and relevant programming and to have worked alongside the exceptional talent who created and executed these memorable shows. As I move on from HBO, I will be cheering the ongoing successes of this remarkable company as it continues to lead the industry as the gold standard.”

Lesser, who indicated in her note to colleagues that this marks just an end of a (long) chapter in her career, which will be followed by a new one, got a nice sendoff during the recent Primetime Emmy Awards where she was acknowledged in Game Of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss acceptance speech for the shows best drama series win.

Here is Lessers note”

To: HBO Staff
From: Nancy Lesser

I have always believed that HBO is more than just a special place – it is, in fact, a place unlike any other. I know this because in 1984, as a newly hired senior publicist in New York, I came to the company with the intention of staying just two years to earn the corporate credit on my resume. Little did I know, or even expect, that those two years would surprisingly turn into thirty-five; and become the most meaningful and satisfying time in my professional career. This journey has been an extraordinary one, where I had the great pleasure and privilege of working with the most impressively creative and dedRead More – Source