EXCLUSIVE: HBO Publicity veteran Tonya Owens is leaving the WarnerMedia network after 25 years to join Disney Television Studios as VP Talent Relations. Additionally, the Disney TV studio group has promoted longtime awards strategist Kottie Kreischer to VP Awards and Events.
Owens takes over the role previously held by Jen Weinberg, who exited in February to join WarnerMedia as Head of Talent Relations and Events for HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and truTV.
Owens will oversee relationships with talent across series produced by 20th Television, ABC Signature and 20th Television Animation and organizing internal and external events. She’ll also work closely with the studio’s awards team, led by Kreischer, who develops and implements awards strategy in addition to managing submissions, trade advertising, media and FYC events.
At HBO, Owens most recently served as VP Media Relations. During her tenure, she oversaw publicity and awards campaigns for more than 75 HBO original programming projects including most recently I May Destroy You, Bad Education, Between The World And Me, Insecure, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Barry and Euphoria. In addition, she has worked on series such as The Newsroom, In Treatment, Ballers, Entourage, Six Feet Under, Big Love, Getting On, Enlightened, Looking and Project Greenlight.
Owens’ work on HBO original movies includes Looking, Bessie, Lackawanna Blues, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Real Women Have Curves, Always Outnumbered, Point of Origin, Cherokee Kid, Rebound and Tuskegee Airmen. She also helped coordinate HBO’s talent presence at such festivals as SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TriBeCa Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Montreal Comedy Arts Festival, Austin Film Festival, Essence Festival, American Black Film Festival and US Comedy Arts Festival.
Kreischer, who joined the studio in 2008, most recently served as Executive Director, Awards and Events at Disney Television Studios. In her role, she oversees the studios’ awards efforts and special events across all series produced by 20th Television, ABC Signature, and 20th Television Animation. In her career, Kreischer has had a hand in significant award campaigns including Modern Family, which earned five consecutive Emmy wins for Outstanding Comedy Series; Michelle Williams’ sweep of the Emmy, Golden Globes and SAG races for her work in Fosse/Verdon; This Is Us’ drama series Emmy nod in its first season (the first network drama to break into the category in six years); and the 22 Emmy nominations for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, with 9 wins including Outstanding Limited Series.
Kreischer, who comes from the Fox side of the merged Disney TV Studios operation, also worked on awards campaigns for Glee, Homeland, American Horror Story, The Simpsons, and Empire, among others.