EXCLUSIVE: Lauren Townsend will be leaving her role as Starz’s EVP, Communications after two and a half years at the Lionsgate-owned network. She will exit next month after assisting with the transition and is expected to take a break before pursuing other opportunities.
During her tenure, Townsend shaped Starz’s communications strategy as it evolved from a U.S. premium cable network into a global premium streaming platform in 50 countries. She designed and executed the communications plan for the launch of the Starzplay international platform across Europe, Latin America, Japan and Canada, with global and local partners such as Amazon, Apple, Orange, Rakutan, Roku, Vodafone, and Claro, in addition to the launch of the Starzplay direct-to-consumer app in eight countries. She spearheaded global PR campaigns for Starz Original series as well as high-profile exclusive acquisition titles on the platform and crafted messaging to establish the Starzplay brand and drive subscribers in the international territories. As part of the expansion, she also built out a global PR team.
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During her time at Starz, Townsend oversaw the execution of publicity campaigns for the highly-rated final two seasons of the network’s #1 series Power, highlighted by a premiere event at Madison Square Garden for the final season. That dovetailed into the launch of the expanded Power Universe, led by Power Book II: Ghost, which became the network’s most-watched new series ever in its debut.
Additionally she set the publicity and awards strategy for the Starz Originals slate, including recent seasons of the globally popular series Outlander, breakout new series P-Valley, Hightown, Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, and The Spanish Princess.
Townsend’s oversight also included the company’s internal communications, pro-social, creative diversity and government affairs activities.
Prior to joining Starz, Townsend served as VP, Media & Talent Relations at Sony Picture TV, where she led campaigns for such series as The Good Doctor, Better Call Saul, The Crown, Sneaky Pete, The Goldbergs, One Day at a Time and Shark Tank, as well as movies, miniseries, first-run syndication and international distribution across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms worldwide. Townsend started her career in NBC publicity.