Veteran communications executive Katherine Nelson has been named VP of Corporate Communications for Disney Branded Television.
Nelson will be taking on a newly created role in which she’ll be responsible for overall communications strategy for the division and its programming output targeting the Disney+ streaming platform and linear networks Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. Based in Burbank, CA, Nelson will report to both Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television; and Charissa Gilmore, SVP, Corporate Communications, Disney General Entertainment.
“Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do, and Katherine is known throughout the industry as a master communicator,” Davis said. “As we build upon our legacy of success and broaden our scope to connect with kids and families around the globe, I’m delighted to welcome Katherine to the Disney Branded Television team.”
Added Gilmore, “When we created this new role, I asked colleagues in the industry and press for recommendations, and Katherine’s name was brought up time and again with great enthusiasm. She is an exceptional communications executive whose instinct and approach have earned her a well-deserved reputation as strategic, collaborative, creative and extremely effective. I’m excited she’s joining the incredible Disney Branded team at this time as they expand their programming to streaming.”
With a background in corporate communications and publicity, Nelson’s career has spanned three decades. In late 2021, she formed The Katherine Nelson Group, a boutique communications agency whose clients ranged from startups to global brands across multiple sectors, including entertainment, tech and nonprofit.
Before that, Nelson was group SVP, Communications at NBCUniversal, overseeing corporate communications, publicity, talent relations, events and awards for cable networks USA Network and Syfy, as well as the Universal Content Productions (UCP) studio. Nelson joined NBCUniversal in 2013 as SVP, Communications for Esquire Network, where she helped launch the joint venture with Hearst Corporation.
Prior to her stint at NBCU, Nelson was VP, Marketing and Communications at private space company SpaceX, where she served as the company’s chief spokesperson and oversaw all areas of communications and marketing. She led the media program and webcast for the first official U.S. commercial mission to the International Space Station, oversaw the redesign of SpaceX.com and launched SpaceX’s first consumer web store.
Before joining SpaceX, Nelson spent more than 20 years at Discovery Communications. As VP, Communications for Discovery Channel, she managed communications strategy, publicity and awards for Discovery Communications’ flagship U.S. network, and several of its long-running family-focused series and events, including MythBusters, Planet Earth and Shark Week. She also helped launch numerous networks including TLC, Animal Planet and Science Channel.
“I’ve had the privilege of working for incredible brands throughout my career, but none as iconic and storied as Disney,” said Nelson. “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to help tell the story of this beloved brand, and I’m looking forward to working closely with Ayo, Charissa and everyone at Disney Branded Television to shape the future of kids and family programming for generations to come.”
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