Hilary Smith has been tapped as USA Network’s new senior VP of communications, shifting from NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media Group.
Smith replaces Jean Guerin, who now segues to senior VP of corporate communications at the conglom’s newly formed Cable Entertainment Group, which is headed by Bonnie Hammer. She will report to Cory Shields, exec VP for the group.
Both Smith and Guerein will continue to work out of the 30 Rock office in Gotham.
In her role at USA, Smith will report to co-presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel and will oversee strategic communications and serve as the lead spokesperson for the net.
Smith is a 14-year PR vet of NBCU, having begun at “Dateline” and rising in the ranks. During her time there, she has managed press for many shows and networks, as well as dealing with several transactions involving NBC and the conglom.
“Hilary is a very strategic thinker,” McCumber told Variety. “We saw the work done from afar was always very impressed not just with press that her group got, but with how strategic it was.”
As for Guerin, the corporate ascension comes after landing at USA in 2004, the same year when Hammer also came aboard. Guerin was instrumental in the network’s rapid expansion and current seven-year streak as TV’s most-watched cabler.
Shows that premiered and resonated under Guerin’s tenure include “White Collar,” “Covert Affairs” and “Suits.”
Working for Hammer, who after a recent restructure leads all of NBCU’s cable portfolio, Guerin will now have PR input for nets such as Syfy (where she worked previously to USA), Bravo and E!