Paula Askanas, EVP Communications for Sony Pictures Television, will be leaving the company when her contract expires at the end of August.
Askanas is a SPT veteran who has worked at the studio for more than 20 years. She joined the company as a show publicist and eventually took over the consumer publicity department before moving over to a corporate communications role. In 2009, her responsibilities expanded to include communications for Sony TV’s production, distribution and networks businesses worldwide.
“Paula is responsible for not only telling the great Sony Pictures Television story, but for helping to strategically create it,” said Zack Van Amburg, president of Sony Pictures TV. “Under her leadership, we shared insights and behind-the-scenes moments from multiple Emmy award-winning and Golden Globe-winning series. Paula is truly one of the most accomplished and respected communications executives in the entertainment industry, and we cannot wait to watch her next chapter unfold.”
During her tenure at SPT, Askanas has hired, promoted and mentored a number of then-up-and-coming PR executives who went on to take senior positions at major companies including Karen Barragan at Netflix, Tammy Golihew at Warner Bros TV, Naomi Bulochnikov Paul at Freeform, and Michael Maney at Target.
“In a business still mostly driven by men and ego, Paula has not only been a champion of female empowerment but also an advocate of common sense,” said Bulochnikov Paul. “‘What would Paula do?’ has become my life motto—personally and professionally—and I’m certain that many more women in the entertainment business can say the same. I will always be grateful for her wisdom, generosity of spirit and fearless leadership.”
“I’d really like to thank all of the people inside and outside of the company who have collaborated with me to tell great stories, everyone who has generously shared their expertise about the television business and those who helped me expand my career at SPT,” said Askanas. “It’s been a privilege to work with great people and grow with the business that has evolved so dramatically.”
As SPT’s EVP Communications, Askanas has overseen publicity for production, channels and distribution in the U.S., EMEA, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and India, as well as U.S. ad sales. Additionally, Askanas has handled media relations for SPT’s digital businesses including SPE’s premium video website Crackle, and SPT’s worldwide television networks portfolio including branded networks AXN, Sony Entertainment Television and Animax. She created a global environmental campaign for the networks called Picture This. Before joining the studio, Askanas held posts with CBS and NBC News.
Here is her note to SPT staff:
After more than 20 years at Sony Pictures Television, I am going to leave the company when my contract expires this summer.
I want to thank everyone who has generously shared their expertise about the television business and those who have collaborated with me to tell the great stories about SPT.
In the meantime I will continue my normal duties through pilot season, upfronts and LA Screenings as I work closely with Stacy Weitz, Vice President for SPT communications, to ensure a smooth transition.