The Television Academy has elected new leadership, headed by incoming chairman Cris Abrego.
The Banijay chairman of the Americas, who has chaired the organization’s foundation since 2020, was running unopposed. He succeeds producer Frank Scherma, who has termed out after four years.
Additionally, the Television Academy has added the title of CEO to its president Maury McIntyre renewing his contract through 2026. Chief financial officer and chief operating officer Heather Cochran and chief marketing officer and svp, media and brand management Susan Spencer have extended their contracts through 2025.
The entrepreneurial Abrego is interested in using his post to help innovate the television business model for sustainability and equity, according to a source close to him. During a keynote at MIPCOM last month, he and Eva Longoria announced the launch of Banijay-backed Hyphenate Media Group, a production company that also will invest in a portfolio of multihyphenate creator-led banners. As with past Academy heads, he’ll also take on the responsibility of increasing engagement both within the organization as well as with its flagship program, the Emmy Awards. If he runs and is elected for a second term, his tenure will coincide with the renegotiation of the Academy’s telecast license, which for the first time could include streaming platforms.
Abrego will be the Television Academy’s first Latino chair. At The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural Latin Power event in Miami earlier this month,where he was honored with a Trailblazer Award, the veteran TV executive spoke of wisdom his father shared with him when he was asked to transition from unscripted producing to becoming co-CEO of Endemol in 2013, a decade after he had sold his banner 51 Minds Entertainment (The Surreal Life) to the company: “Those three letters will become so important to other Latinos.”
The Television Academy also announced its newly elected officers and governors who will serve on the board for the 2024-2025 term. The incoming officers, elected by the board of governors, who will serve a two-year term running from Jan. 1, 2024 through Dec. 31, 2025, are: Sharon Lieblein, vice chair; Rickey Minor, second vice chair; Allison Binder, secretary; and Ann Leslie Uzdavinis, treasurer.