Veteran show business journalist and producer Melissa Grego has been named to the newly created position of CEO of HRTS, becoming the first woman to lead the group in its 70-year history.

Rex/Shutterstock

Starting October 30, she will replace Executive Director Dave Ferrara, who is retiring after 18 years with the group formerly known as the Hollywood Radio and Television Society.

Grego was the longtime editor-in-chief at Broadcasting & Cable, having moved there after stints as a reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Television Week An advocate for equality and inclusion in TV and media, she joins HRTS from her consulting practice Melinc, which specializes in conferences, editorial content strategy and individual advisory work.

“With Melissa’s background as a journalist and successful entrepreneur, she has a comprehensive understanding of the current television and media business,” said HRTS President Eric Schrier, who also is President of Original Programming at FX Networks and FX Productions. “The energy and expertise she brings to the role will elevate the organization, particularly as it evolves and adapts to the changes in the multiplatform TV landscape and the issues that are critical to our members.”

Said Grego: “In my experience covering and working in this space, I have been fortunate to develop a broad view of the business and great insight into the challenges of thriving in TV and media. It is an honor and privilege to apply this perspective to HRTS. I have admired Dave’s and HRTS’ work in our business community for many years and look forward to working closely with the HRTS Board, staff and members as well as new and existing partners to serve the association and our industry.”

Added Schrier of the outgoing exec director: “We are grateful to Dave Ferrara for his dedicated service over the past 18 years. Under his leadership, the HRTS has experienced tremendous success and growth and he will always hold a special place with the organization.”