Susan E. Binford, vice president of corporate and media relations at NBC and head of West Coast publicity for the network, will leave to become senior VP of public relations for the Turner Broadcasting System entertainment group, based in Atlanta.
Binford assumes a newly created position overseeing media and public relations for the Turner Entertainment Group — which includes TBS, TNT, the Cartoon Network, Hanna-Barbera Prods. and a variety of other areas — and will also be involved in business and program development.
The hiring ends a several-month search by the Entertainment Group to fill the job.
Though she’ll be based in Atlanta, Binford will have offices in New York and Los Angeles, reporting to Turner Broadcasting corporate VP of marketing and communications Julia Sprunt and working with TEG president Scott Sassa.
Binford will stay at NBC through February and begin at TEG on March 15.
Her departure creates a void at NBC, particularly with speculation that Binford’s boss, New York-based senior VP of corporate communications Betty Hudson, will soon move to take another position at the network.
NBC executives are holding management meetings in upstate New York starting today, providing an opportunity for executives to powwow with Don Ohlmeyer, recently named president of NBC, West Coast.
The future of the publicity department may also be addressed during the sessions.
Binford joined NBC in May 1989 and has steered media relations for the entertainment division through a difficult stretch, with frequent rumors of a network sale and management shake-up as well as the recent David Letterman derby.
Prior to joining NBC, she was a VP at the strategic communications firm of Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery and before that worked from 1981-87 at the MTV Networks, where she was involved in press efforts for cable webs MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1.