The exec has been tapped as Freeform’s new vice president of communications, meaning she will spearhead the Disney-owned network’s corporate and consumer media relations, with oversight of program publicity, industry relations, awards outreach and talent relations.
Andersen’s appointment was announced by Tricia Melton, senior vice president of Marketing, Creative and Brand, who is adding communications to her purview and to whom Andersen will report. News of Andersen’s hire comes three weeks after Freeform president Tom Ascheim left the cable network for an executive role at Warner Bros.
“Kristen jumped right into the role, starting on March 16, the first day of shelter in place, and quickly proved to be a collaborative, creative and strategic executive,” said Melton. “Her impeccable track record and commitment to Freeform’s future success will be crucially important in this incredibly competitive ecosystem. We are truly excited to have her on board and know she will make an indelible mark on one of Walt Disney Television’s most dynamic and critically acclaimed brands.”
Andersen’s new role will also entail managing all press-facing special events including the annual Freeform Summit. She joins Freeform from Netflix, where she led campaigns for the nature documentary series “Our Planet,” among other shows.
Her hire marks a return to the Disney TV umbrella, as she previously served as director of publicity for ABC, launching some of the network’s biggest franchises including “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Those Shondaland collaborations foreshadowed her departure for Shonda Rhimes’ company in 2016, where she took on the newly created role of vice president, Marketing and Communications.
“I am excited to be back with Walt Disney Television leading the talented and passionate communications team at Freeform,” Andersen said in a statement. “The network has a clear vision and understands both the power of their content and the power of their audience. They excel at being inclusive, bold and entertaining, and I look forward to building on all their successes to date and driving their business forward in a meaningful way.”
Prior to Shondaland and ABC, Andersen worked at Bravo, where she orchestrated the launch of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.” While at ABC, she also managed publicity for several seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Dancing with the Stars.”