Dee Dee Myers Goes to Hollywood

Former White House press secretary swaps politics for movies at Warner Bros.

Dee Dee Myers speaks during the Jones New York Power Lunch hosted by Dee Dee Myers and Vanity Fair at the Adour at the St. Regis Hotel on March 10, 2011.  
National Journal
Christopher Snow Hopkins
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Christopher Snow Hopkins
April 20, 2014, 7:23 a.m.

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.

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