The hire is a sign of Nat Geo’s push to expand its profile in the talent community, as well efforts to engage directly with fans and pursue more elaborate marketing campaigns.
Based in Los Angeles, Birns-Halperin will report to Chris Albert, exec VP of global communications and talent relations. She will focus on nurturing new talent and working with Albert and Nat Geo chief marketing officer Jill Cress on cultivating Nat Geo “super fans.”
“Missy literally wrote the book on talent relations. Having seen her work up close as a client, I’m beyond thrilled to have her join us officially in this new role,” Albert said. “She has an impeccable reputation in the entertainment community and beyond, and I have no doubt that her extensive experience in talent management and fan engagement will drive our integrated strategy further.”
Birns-Halperin spent nearly 30 years leading talent relations for Fox Broadcasting Co. She shepherded the stars of Fox’s early successes including “21 Jump Street” and “Married … With Children” through the “American Idol” and “Empire” years. She left the network in 2016 and set up her own shingle, Missy Halperin Talent Group. She had been working with Nat Geo prior to signing on full time.
“I’ve already witnessed the power of the iconic yellow border firsthand, in an agency capacity, when working with Chris and the incredible talent team at National Geographic on their tentpole events and campaigns,” said Birns-Halperin. “What makes National Geographic unique is their unparalleled media portfolio, with which they can really amplify their extraordinary community of bold people.”