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El Rey Ups Chad Blankenship to SVP of Marketing and Communications, Hires Katie Lanegran as PR VP

Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network has promoted Chad Blankenship to Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, the network announced Monday. Additionally, Katie Lanegran has joined El Rey as Vice President, Public Relations.

Blankenship, who previously served as Vice President, Marketing for the cabler, will be based in New York and will continue to report to Vice Chair Scott Sassa. Lanegran, who joins El Rey from her post as VP of Public Relations at SundanceTV, will also be based in New York and report to Blankenship.

“El Rey is different than almost all networks because our founder Robert Rodriguez is a creative with a distinct brand. Chad’s clear understanding of El Rey’s and Robert’s DNA has allowed him to amplify El Rey’s unique brand proposition through his oversight of our well-received launch. We have engaged our core viewers and experienced a level of buzz and awareness commensurate with much more established networks. This promotion is an acknowledgment of what he has already brought to the table and what he will contribute in the years ahead,” Sassa said in a statement.

“Working for Robert and Scott has been an exceptional experience and I am proud of what we have accomplished — particularly in garnering both attention and momentum for our original scripted series, ‘Matador’ and ‘From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.’ This is an exciting time to be in television and we are at the forefront of something particularly special at El Rey. I am thrilled to be a part of this next and very exciting chapter in our evolution,” said Blankenship.

He added of Lanegran’s hire, “Katie’s strategic vision and track record of success, combined with her deep understanding of the intersection of film and television, will be a huge asset as we build our brand through El Rey’s unconventional and engaging content. We are thrilled to have her join our very talented and dedicated team.”

Blankenship oversees all consumer and trade marketing, promotions, social media initiatives, public relations and El Rey Network’s Austin-based creative teams. Prior to joining El Rey in Nov., 2013, he spent eight years with ESPN, where he led the consumer marketing team for the network’s college sports portfolio.

Lanegran joins El Rey after almost 15 years at Sundance Channel, now SundanceTV, where she ascended through the ranks to become Vice President, Public Relations. In her new role, Lanegran will spearhead all communications strategies, oversee talent relations and will be responsible for the execution of key industry events. In addition, she will manage all awards campaigns as well as initiatives surrounding international distribution, licensing and corporate communications.

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