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Vanguard Awards: Tonia O’Connor

CCO & President, Content Distribution, Univision Communications 5/16/2016 8:00 AM Eastern

The Vanguard Award for Marketing honors an individual who has been instrumental in developing marketing approaches that significantly enhance cable’s public image and increase customers. This year’s honoree, Tonia O’Connor, is Univision’s chief commercial officer and president of content distribution.


Under her leadership, UCI has placed greater emphasis on diversifying its portfolio of assets. O’Connor also leads content distribution, driving the company’s distribution efforts across all screens, including online and mobile, and expanding its content availability and licensing revenue by securing key partnerships and new business models with traditional and emerging content distributors. Additionally, she oversees Univision NOW, the company’s new direct-to-consumer subscription video service.


O’Connor joined UCI in January 2008 as executive vice president of distribution sales and marketing. She played a key role as the company expanded its portfolio from three networks to 17 broadcast, cable and digital networks and partnerships, and developed its digital distribution and content windowing strategy for subscription video-on-demand and TV everywhere platforms.


She also led the creation of the company’s first over-the-top English-language digital network, Flama, and the Univision Creator Network, and has worked with other key leaders across the company to coordinate joint ventures and investments in new businesses. Her most recent accomplishment is leading the launch of Univision NOW.


“Being recognized by the NCTA with the Vanguard Award is not only personally rewarding but affirms the work we’ve done at Univision to transform into the innovative and multiplatform company it is today, serving audiences that are no longer niche but represent the rise of the new American mainstream,” O’Connor said.


Prior to joining UCI, O’Connor spent 13 years at Gemstar-TV Guide International (now Rovi), where she served in various roles including executive vice president of distribution. At Gemstar, she was responsible for negotiating complex technology and intellectual property agreements, as well as programming deals. She also played an integral role in the growth of Gemstar’s networks and defining the strategy of the company. She began her telecommunications career in sales and marketing positions.


O’Connor graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with a dual major in broadcast journalism and political science. She serves on the board of El Rey Network, a cable network started by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, and on the board of FuboTV.


She is also on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Newhouse School and the executive committee of the board for the T. Howard Foundation.

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