×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TCA Gatekeeper Mary Shaw Enters the Vortex

Local Hero: As liaison for cablers and press at the TV Critics Assn. tour, Shaw says this is the best time of year

OVERVIEW

Mary Shaw never had aspirations to become a juggler. But twice a year, the D.C.-based exec at the Cable & Telecommunications Assn. for Marketing juggles 25 cable networks and 250 press members over three days, with the goal of creating Television Critics Assn. sessions that appear seamless.

For the summer press tour, which kicked off July 24 at the BevHilton, Shaw began planning in mid-March, working with reps from each network to deal with everything from press credentials to hotels to food and beverage. Her goal: “We make it easier for the cable networks. We take anything we can off their hands so that their publicists can be able to do their jobs and just work on whatever that program is.”

PREP TIME

In March, Shaw sends out requests for proposals to the cable networks to find out which shows they plan to feature and the time they feel they need for each one. Once everything comes back by the mid-April deadline, her life becomes all TCA, all the time. While she used to be the primary contact for the press only, she’s now assumed the role as liaison to the cable networks as well, making her skills as a coordinator crucial. “It’s really nuts right now,” Shaw said, “but I love it.” One of the keys is scheduling. The org is the umbrella for 25 cablers, all of which want the right time and date. “CTAM’s responsibility is to support cable, so we obviously want all of our networks to get what they’d like out of this, which is the amount of time they feel (they need) to highlight their new programs,” Shaw said. Because the days are so crowded, she added, the trick is for them to condense their message.

LATE ARRIVALS

Aside from renewing credentials for all existing TCA members, Shaw has to weigh the applications of newcomers, who are frequently members of the fast-growing Internet newsies. And, of course, many people show up at the event without having applied, and it’s Shaw’s job to determine whether they should be admitted. “The networks are busy, and they’re trying to start their session, and somebody’s coming in saying, ‘Oh yeah, I’m with so and so, can I get in?’ And it’s my job to research a little bit.” Shaw said the Johnny-come-latelies can get pretty testy, but declined to mention specifics: “What happens at the TCA, stays at the TCA,” she deadpanned.

OTHER EVENTS

Shaw spends six days in Los Angeles in the summer for the TCA, but the rest of the time, she’s in D.C. working on the org’s other projects, such as its programs that help consumers who are moving residences, as well as those who need help purchasing on-demand movies. She also works to organize January’s smaller, Winter Press tour.

BACKGROUND

Shaw attended George Mason U. and worked in corporate communications at Gannett before joining CTAM. She took over the TCAs two and a half years ago.

FAMILY TIME

Shaw spends most of her time off the job taking care of her 8-year-old twins, who helped her pack her boxes for the press tour and share some of her interests. “They love cable (TV),” she said.

STATS

Name: Mary Shaw
Job Title: Manager of Communications and Media Relations for CTAM
Function at the TCA: Make the process easier for cable networks and the press
Years on the Job: 5 with CTAM; 2½ working on the TCAs
Number of Registered Press She Handles Per TCA: 252
Estimated Press Showing Up Onsite, Without Having Sent Applications: 20-30

(Local Hero is a tribute to the people who are invisible but invaluable: They’re not in the spotlight, but the biz couldn’t function without them.)

More Biz

  • CENTRAL PARK FIVE

    Netflix and Ava DuVernay Sued by Police Interrogation Firm

    The company behind a controversial police interrogation technique filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Netflix and director Ava DuVernay, claiming that it was defamed in DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park jogger case. John E. Reid and Associates developed the Reid Technique in the late 1940s, and it has continued to offer training materials [...]

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger'Terminator: Dark Fate' film panel,

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Trades CAA for UTA

    Arnold Schwarzenegger has departed his former agency CAA and signed with UTA, which will represent the global superstar and two-time Governor of California in all areas. Schwarzenegger, whose films have grossed more than $4.7 billion worldwide, is set to reprise his celebrated role in the “Terminator” franchise, starring in “Terminator: Dark Fate.” He will also [...]

  • Patrick Moran

    Former ABC Studios Head Patrick Moran Signs Amazon Overall Deal

    Patrick Moran has signed an overall deal with Amazon, Variety has learned. The news comes around three months after it was announced that Moran would be exiting his role as president of ABC Studios following restructuring in the wake of the Disney-21st Century Fox merger. Under his new deal, Moran will work with Amazon Studios to [...]

  • Pamela Adlon

    Pamela Adlon Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Multi-hyphenate Pamela Adlon has signed with CAA for representation, Variety has learned exclusively. Due to the ongoing dispute between the Writers Guild and the talent agencies, however, CAA will not be representing Adlon for writing. In addition to writing, Adlon is an actress, producer, and director. She continues to be repped by Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content