CHICAGO – December 9, 2014 – Window To The World Communications, Inc. (WWCI), parent organization of WTTW and WFMT, is pleased to announce the appointment of KATHRYN THOMAS to the new post of Senior Vice President of Sales and National Sponsorships, effective January 5, 2015, reporting to Daniel Schmidt, President and CEO of WTTW and WFMT.
“We are delighted to welcome Kathryn back to WTTW and WFMT,” said Schmidt. “She began her career here, and we have followed her meteoric rise with great pride. We are looking forward to working with an executive with such unique skills and relevant experience across media platforms,” he added.
“I am thrilled to be joining the impressive team at WTTW and WFMT. These organizations provide a guiding light of trustworthy and compelling content to one of the largest and most culturally rich cities in the country,” said Thomas. “I look forward to continuing this great programming tradition, and to crafting significant partnerships with like-minded corporations to ensure the audience in Chicago and throughout the country can continue to rely on public media as a source of quality content across all platforms,” she continued.
Thomas comes to WWCI from A+E Networks, where as an Account Executive, she spent ten years developing both linear and digital partnerships with blue-chip advertisers for Lifetime, LMN, and FYI Networks. She utilized her expertise in branded entertainment to craft Lifetime’s very first integration deal across multiple clients with original content on multiple platforms.
This appointment to WWCI represents a return for Thomas to the public media organization; she spent the first two years of her post-college career at WTTW in several roles, her last as a production analyst. She then served as the Financial Controller and Business Affairs Manager at Elias Associates in Los Angeles, a bi-coastal music production house. Subsequently, she returned to Chicago to serve as Television Programming Supervisor for Leo Burnett Media, ultimately establishing the role of collective PBS negotiator for all clients and shepherding national underwriting agreements for Arthur and Sesame Street. Thomas’ most notable accomplishment is the creation of the first branded entertainment practice housed at a media buying agency: Starcom Entertainment at Starcom Mediavest Group. As a founding member and Associate Director, she served as Executive Producer for such shows as the Pillsbury Bake-Off, Oldsmobile Scramble, and LPGA Classic, and as the Brand Producer for Dean Witter Memorial, Band of Brothers, Rescue Me, and Monster Garage, marrying major national advertisers with relevant content to successfully tell their brand stories.
Thomas’ responsibilities in her new position will include directing all sales-related revenue-generating activities for WTTW and WFMT, and directly handling sponsorships and sales for national programming while overseeing the general sales managers for both stations. Working in close collaboration with WWCI’s Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer, Thomas will work to develop a comprehensive united sales and funding strategy for the organization, and will be charged with identifying and securing funding for programming to be distributed nationally.
Thomas has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Telecommunications, and minored in Business at Indiana University. She is a resident of Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and twin daughters.
About WTTW and WFMT
Since the 1950s, Chicago’s premier public television station WTTW11 and venerable classical and fine arts radio station 98.7WFMT have provided high-quality programming for audiences over a four-state area. WTTW, celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015, presents the very best in cultural, public affairs, and children's programming across its four distinct television channels: WTTW11, WTTW Prime, its Spanish-language channel V-me, and WTTW Create, and through its web site, wttw.com. 98.7WFMT recently marked its 63rd anniversary on the air, providing the best and broadest selection of classical music and fine arts radio content heard anywhere, and is accessible across America and globally via enhanced web streaming at wfmt.com.