Veteran TV exec, producer and entrepreneur Cris Abrego can add another line to his growing list of titles: Chairman of the Television Academy. Abrego was elected to the post on Thursday night by the org’s Board of Governors, as the TV Academy also firmed up its roster of officers and governors for the board’s 2024-2025 term.
Abrego is the chairman of the Americas at global production company Banijay, and also recently partnered with Eva Longoria to launch Hyphenate Media Group, where he serves as CEO. At the TV Academy, Abrego will begin his two-year term as chairman on Jan. 1.
“I am honored to step into this role and feel the significant weight of responsibility in leading the Television Academy into the future, especially in this transformative moment in our business,” Abrego said in a statement. “Our members represent one of the most powerful and exciting industries in the world — our content drives local and global economies and has a formative impact on our culture. As the entertainment ecosystem continues to undergo seismic shifts, I look forward to linking arms with our new officers and governors to lead our Academy and support our membership as we forge the path ahead together.”
Abrego is no stranger to the TV Academy, having served on its executive committee, and also as chairman of the Television Academy Foundation since 2021. He succeeds Frank Scherma, who had served as chairman of the TV Academy since 2019, and has been termed out after five years at the helm. (The TV Academy extended its Board of Governors terms an extra year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, hence the longer time frame.) Scherma will still represent the TV Academy at the Primetime Emmy telecast on Jan. 15, as the postponed ceremony was originally supposed to take place in September during Scherma’s tenure.
As part of the transition, the TV Academy has made a slight alteration to the titles of its leaders: Maury McIntyre, who has run day-to-day operations at the org as president since 2014, now adds “CEO” to his title as well. (The CEO title had previously been part of the title of the group’s elected chairman.) McIntyre has also renewed his contract to remain as president/CEO through 2026.
Other officers elected by the Board of Governors on Thursday were vice chair Sharon Lieblein, 2nd vice chair Rickey Minor, secretary Allison Binder and treasurer Ann Leslie Uzdavinis. Those leaders will also serve a two-year term starting Jan. 1, 2024.
That also goes for the Academy’s new peer group governors, who will now serve a two-year term through 2025, alongside previously existing co-governors whose own two-year terms expire at the end of 2024.
New governors include Kaz Aizawa (animation), Raf Lydon (art directors/set decorators), Marc Hirschfeld (casting directors), Howard Meltzer (children’s programming), Christian Vincent (choreography), George Mooradian (cinematographers), Charlie McBrearty (commercials), Devon Patterson (costume design and supervision), Brenda Brkusic Milinkovic (daytime programming), Anya Adams (directors), Dawn Porter (documentary programming), Christina Lee Storm (emerging media programming), Jeffrey A. Calderon (lighting, camera and technical arts), Stephanie Hampton (Los Angeles area), Vito Trotta (makeup artists/hairstylists), Kenneth Kegley (motion and title design), Sherri Chung (music), Kim Estes (performers), Nena Erb (picture editors), Sabrina Wind (producers), Hollan Sobers (production executives), Jacob Fenton (professional representatives), Karen Jones (public relations), Scott Freeman (reality programming), Barry Zegel (science and technology), Phillip Palmer (sound), Eddie Bonin (special visual effects), Larry Rosenthal (stunts), Lee Hollin (television executives) and Nicole Demerse (writers).
Besides extending McIntyre’s contract, the TV Academy has renewed deals with chief financial officer and recently named chief operating officer Heather Cochran, as well as chief marketing officer and senior VP of media & brand management Susan Spencer. Both of those execs extended their contracts through 2025.
As for Abrego, it’s believed that he ran unopposed. Abrego is a well-respected exec whose credits include building the unscripted shingle 51 Minds Entertainment in 2003, which he built into a powerhouse and later sold to Endemol. Prior to his current gig as chairman of Americas at Banijay, Abrego was CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings; earlier this year he stepped back from the CEO gig to focus on new ventures and acquisitions for the company.