You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Local Hero: Carol Watkins Keeps Hollywood’s Press Junkets Humming

L.A.'s top praiseries have made the Four Seasons the go-to venue for keeping talent happy


Although Watkins handles everything from wedding parties to Oscar bookings, her specialty is press junkets. Thanks to her efforts, Los Angeles’ top praiseries have made the Four Seasons the go-to venue when it comes to keeping talent happy amid the gantlet of interviews. Watkins was hired as the hotel’s events director in 1986, while the Four Seasons was still being constructed. “We had no idea the hotel was built for press junkets,” she jokes, noting that the suite-heavy design made it ideal when converting bedrooms to accommodate camera crews and roundtables. Watkins insists she doesn’t get starstruck, but beams like a proud parent at the mention of publicists she counts as friends. “The best part of my job is watching them start as an intern and then grow up into an executive vice president,” she says, citing Paramount’s Michael Agulnek, Sony’s Jason Geffen and the Weinstein Co.’s Pantea Ghaderi.


The Four Seasons handles more than 80% of the local junket trade, which means Watkins often juggles multiple events at once — though she draws the line at three, for sanity’s sake. As she explains, “You touch every area of a hotel when you do a press junket,” from moving furniture to preparing special meals for the talent (who tend to be more picky than the buffet-grazing journos).


She studied French at the Sorbonne, and expected to teach for a living until she fell in love with a man in the hotel business. The couple ran a bed and breakfast in East Burke, Vt., after which, they headed West.


“My job is my hobby,” says Watkins, who makes it a point to come in on Saturdays if there’s a junket happening. For years, she was too busy to accept the screening invitations for pics being promoted at her hotel, though she’s recently started going — and tweeting her thoughts from @LadyCWatkins.


NAME: Carol Watkins

TITLE: Director of entertainment sales

FUNCTION: Most of her day is spent with studio business, coordinating a year-round junket schedule with her Rolodex of publicity pros.

DOMAIN: Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

YEARS ON THE JOB: 26 (anniversary June 2)


NUMBER OF SUITES: 106 (out of 286 guest rooms)


More Biz

  • Stephen Colbert Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks 'Seinfeld,' 'Sexist' Environment at 'SNL' in Q&A With Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert and Julia Louis-Dreyfus swapped stories about “Saturday Night Live,” Northwestern University, “Seinfeld” and the possibility of running for office during a Q&A held Saturday as part of Montclair Film Festival’s annual “Evening with Stephen Colbert” fundraiser. Colbert, a Montclair resident, has long been a booster of the festival, which is going into its [...]

  • 2019 Kennedy Center Honoree singer Linda

    Linda Ronstadt to Mike Pompeo: Stop 'Enabling' Donald Trump

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Linda Ronstadt, one of this year’s Kennedy Center Honorees, had sharp words for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday night during a State Department reception for the Kennedy Center kudos. Ronstadt and Pompeo faced off in the U.S. State Department’s ornate diplomatic greeting rooms at the traditional event that precedes Sunday’s [...]

  • pharrell brain child show

    'Blurred Lines' Flares Up Again - Marvin Gaye Family Claims Pharrell Perjured Himself

    Like a zombie that just won’t stay dead, the “Blurred Lines” case keeps coming back. While the 2015 verdict, in which Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke and the song’s publisher were ordered to pay nearly $5 million to Marvin Gaye’s family for infringing upon the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up,” was basically [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA-Agency Showdown: Role of Showrunners at Heart of Legal Arguments

    The Los Angeles courtroom of U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte was packed with well-dressed lawyers on Friday morning, eager to watch a high-stakes brawl between Hollywood’s largest talent agencies and the Writers Guild of America. Birotte allowed only four lawyers from each side to sit at each table, leaving the vast majority of the attorneys [...]

  • 700700 + Ted Turner Dedication. December

    Ted Turner Tributes Established With WarnerMedia Gift to University of Georgia

    WarnerMedia has established a scholarship, internship program and exhibition hall at the University of Georgia to be named after maverick media mogul Ted Turner. The company has gifted $550,000 to the university to create the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund, for students attending the school’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is also the [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Judge Leans Toward Agencies' Position in Writers Guild Antitrust Suit

    A federal judge indicated on Friday that he will allow the three major agencies to pursue their antitrust lawsuit against the Writers Guild of America. The WGA has urged U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte to throw out the suit, arguing that its actions in its ongoing battle with the agencies are protected under antitrust law. [...]

  • Keli LeeStep Up Women Network 9th

    Keli Lee Exits ABC Studios International as Disney Considers Division's Fate (EXCLUSIVE)

    ABC veteran Keli Lee has left the international arm of ABC Studios as Disney considers the future of the London-based content unit, Variety has learned. Sources said Disney has told the creative community that there “has been a re-evaluation of ABC Studios International” and that it is re-assessing “the creative direction” of the business. There [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content