Dee Dee Myers — the first woman to serve as White House press secretary and a doyenne of the Washington political set — is headed to Los Angeles to head the communications operation at Hollywood’s largest movie studio.
“The way people consume entertainment is changing,” said Myers, who will take over as executive vice president of worldwide corporate communications and public affairs for Warner Bros., effective Sept. 2. “As content producers try to figure out how to meet consumers’ preferences, that creates a lot of dynamic churn in the industry, which I found very appealing.”
For the 52-year-old, who is known for her quicksilver banter and effervescent personality, the new position represents a homecoming of sorts. In the late 1990s and mid-2000s, Myers was a consultant on the drama series The West Wing, which was filmed on the Warner Bros. lot. She is reputed to be the inspiration for the show’s C.J. Cregg character, who jousted with the White House press corps as the top spokeswoman for the fictional Bartlet administration.
“I love the lot, I love the culture, and I love the people I met there,” gushed Myers, who lived in Los Angeles for much of the show’s run.
Despite her connections in Washington, Myers said she will not engage in federal-government relations on behalf of Time Warner, the studio’s parent company. Her exact responsibilities are still to be determined, Myers said, but she will handle all aspects of the company’s corporate communications strategies.
The move came about through extended negotiations with Kevin Tsujihara, who took over as CEO of Warner Bros. in March 2013.
A native of Valencia, Calif., Myers attended Santa Clara University and established herself in California politics as press secretary for Dianne Feinstein during her unsuccessful 1990 gubernatorial run. Myers joined the Clinton presidential campaign in 1991 and served as White House press secretary for President Clinton’s first two years in office, the first woman to hold that position.
Myers met her future husband, journalist Todd S. Purdum, when the latter was covering the 1992 New York presidential primary for The New York Times. They were married in 1997.
Since leaving the White House, Myers has worked as a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and as a managing director at the Glover Park Group. Her 2008 book, Why Women Should Rule the World, was a New York Times bestseller.
Myers has described herself as a close friend of the Clintons and is expected to organize fundraisers on Hillary Clinton’s behalf should the former secretary of State decide to run for president in 2016.
The timing of the move is ideal for Myers’s daughter, who will graduate from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington this spring.