Design Thinking In Entertainment: Laura Dames
Laura Dames is senior vice president of Business Operations for Turner Entertainment Networks (TEN), which includes industry leading television brands TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and truTV. In this unique role, she oversees many critical functions for the networks, including leading the vision and strategy for formatting of on-air inventory and programming as well as the creation of all sponsorships, marketing partnerships and promotions for national advertisers, from strategy to concept development through to final creative production. She is based in Atlanta and reports to Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks.
Dames provides leadership for two key areas within TEN: On Air and Programming Operations and The TEN Sponsor Shop.
- The TEN Operations group owns the strategy and process for formatting all network programming to create the best on air viewer experience, while also maximizing revenue potential. The group serves as the key contact point for national ad sales strategic planning and technical broadcast operations. They are also responsible for setting and implementing the philosophy and process for the prioritization, allocation and placement of all on-air and cross-channel marketing assets.
- The TEN Sponsor Shop the handles all national ad sales sponsorships, promotions and trade marketing efforts on behalf of the networks, from strategic development through creative production. The work this group creates includes such industry-changing initiatives as TVinContext™, a system that boosts the power of ads by pairing them with related program content; custom-produced sponsored content like micro-series, mini-dramas and Bit-coms; custom multi-platform marketing partnerships; and the development and production of Turner Entertainment Network’s annual Upfront communication and events.
Previously, Dames served as the senior vice president of marketing operations for TNT, TBS and TCM, where she was responsible for the development of all sponsorships, marketing partnerships and promotions for both national advertisers and distribution affiliates, as well as managing the programming and on air operations teams.
Prior to that role, Dames served as vice president of marketing operations for TNT, charged with identifying and managing the use of Time Warner assets to strengthen the marketing and promotional efforts for TNT’s programming and branding initiatives. Her work in this area included managing the use of host and cross on-air time on the Turner networks, as well as identifying the resources available to the company from other areas of Time Warner.
Dames’ earlier experience included her role as director of marketing for TNT, overseeing the development and implementation of marketing strategies and multi-platform consumer marketing and promotion campaigns for TNT’s award-winning original films and specials, as well as trade initiatives.
Dames, who joined Turner Broadcasting in 1992, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a bachelor of arts in communication and a certificate in film studies.