Lionsgate marketing President Damon Wolf announced on Wednesday that the studio has hired former Warner Bros. executive Lynn Whitney as the new head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products.
Lionsgate has charged Whitney with aggressively building out media campaigns and utilizing and advancing the targeting capabilities of Lionsgate’s Data Center. In addition to paid media, Whitney will also oversee partnerships, promotions and consumer products, led by Paula Kupfer, who will report to Whitney, under a single synergistic new media unit within the studio’s reimagined global marketing division.
“I am tremendously excited and honored to be a part of the new marketing team Lionsgate is assembling,” Whitney said in a statement. “I love the creative, entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Lionsgate and more than anything, I love the group Damon is putting in place, bringing so many unique voices to the table. There is an electricity and camaraderie here that I have not felt since the days when I was a member of the start-up team that launched Fox Broadcasting.”
Whitney has spent most of her career on the Warner Bros. Burbank lot, reshaping its film and home entertainment media business model during an industry shift into digital. She left the studio late last year after serving 10 years heading up the media division, handling oversight of hundreds of millions in annual media spending.
Whitney joined Warner Bros. in 1992 as director of international media, and was promoted to Vice President in 1996. She was named senior vice president of worldwide media of Warner Bros. Pictures, in 1999 and was promoted again to executive vice president of worldwide media in 2008. Previously, Whitney held various media and promotions positions at Fox Broadcasting Company, starting as an on-air promotion supervisor in 1986 and advancing to the rank of director of affiliate promotion.
“Let’s face it, in our world, Lynn Whitney is the lead singer of the media rock band. Having this rock star join our group at this critical time is a kick-ass coup and huge asset for Lionsgate as we reimagine this division and implement strategies that will challenge the norm,” Wolf said in a statement. “The only way to really do things differently, is to have a Wonder Woman like Lynn, who has seen every way it’s been done before.
“Being a true pioneer implementing data with media strategy, I can’t think of a more perfect person to boldly and aggressively lead Lionsgate’s data-first media initiatives,” Wolf continued. “Including partnerships, promotions and consumer products under her leadership, Lynn will be a strong voice of change developing innovative new ways to effectively and efficiently utilize media through this highly visible and crucial trio of marketing capabilities.”
Whitney is already at work on Lionsgate’s 2019 film slate, which includes upcoming films such as the Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron romantic comedy, “Long Shot,” which was awarded Audience Award at the 2019 South by Southwest Festival.
She will also play a pivotal role in the global marketing strategy of the upcoming Lionsgate films: “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum,” “Angel Has Fallen,” Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo: Last Blood,” Roland Emmerich’s epic WW2 action film “Midway,” “Knives Out,” Jay Roach’s closely guarded yet-to-be-titled Fox News scandal film starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, and the 2020 sequel to “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.”