Another veteran HBO senior communications executive is leaving the premium cable network. Mara Mikialian, who currently serves as SVP of Media Relations, has decided to depart HBO after a 36-year tenure. Her last day will be Jan. 13.
Mikialian’s departure follows the exits of her long-time colleagues, Nancy Lesser, former EVP of Media and Talent Relations, after 35 years at HBO; and Quentin Schaffer, former EVP Corporate Communications, after 39 years with the company. They are among a number of HBO veterans, led by chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, to leave following the approval of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and the subsequent reorganization of WarnerMedia’s entertainment and direct-to-consumer operations under Bob Greenblatt.
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Mikialian handled strategic planning and implementation of publicity campaigns for numerous projects over the years, going back to HBO’s early days of original programming with such shows as Not Necessarily the News, Dream On and 1st and Ten.
Most recently, she led the publicity campaign for all eight seasons of HBO’s Game of Thrones, supporting its meteoric rise to become the biggest TV series of the decade. The campaign Mikialian spearheaded included numerous magazine covers as well as a feature on 60 Minutes.
For the series, which made Emmy history as the most awarded series to date, Mikialian served as the conduit between press and the cast and filmmakers; between production and the outside world, and as HBO’s ambassador to VIP guests including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Mikialian’s efforts were recognized during the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards where she got a shoutout in Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ acceptance speech for the show’s best drama series win.
Mikilian made her transition to television with her move to HBO in 1983 after beginning her PR career in the music industry, working in the PR departments for various record labels, including Elektra/Asylum and Epic Records.
During her three and a half decades at the premium cabler, Mikialian also oversaw publicity campaigns for projects including Band of Brothers, From the Earth to the Moon, Six Feet Under, True Blood, The Pacific, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Our Boys, The Young Pope, My Brilliant Friend and My Dinner with Hervé. Additionally, Mikialian handled 20 years of Comic Relief specials as well as 15 years of The US Comedy Arts Festival and countless comedy and music specials.
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