HRTS Elects Disney TV’s Tim McNeal as President, Wattpad Webtoon’s David Madden as Chairperson

Disney TV Studios exec Tim McNeal has been tapped to serve as president of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, as the org’s board of directs reveals its new slate of officers

Published Time: 20.06.2024 - 22:31:31 Modified Time: 20.06.2024 - 22:31:31

Disney TV Studios exec Tim McNeal has been tapped to serve as president of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, as the org’s board of directs reveals its new slate of officers. Also announced: Wattpad Webtook Studios’ David Madden has been elected as chairperson for HRTS.

The news was announced Thursday by HRTS CEO Melissa Grego and exiting HRTS prexy Odetta Watkins, who will now be succeeded by McNeal.

Besides McNeal and Madden, the HRTS executive board — which serves a two-year term — will now include TV exec and producer Christina Davis as VP of the org; Weintraub Tobin partner Scott Hervey as secretary; and 1st Century Bank VP/ managing director Linnea McArt as treasurer.

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“I’m humbled by our newly elected Officers’ enthusiasm for this storied organization and its future,” Grego said. “They each bring important expertise, perspective and relationships that make them uniquely positioned to help build on the HRTS’ exciting and pivotal new era. It is vitally important that we uphold the HRTS tradition of innovation to serve new and existing members amid the challenges we face as an industry.”

McNeal is the senior VP of creative talent development & inclusion at Disney Television Studios. He takes over for Watkins, the head of drama series at Amazon MGM Studios, who served as president of HRTS since 2021.

Watkins’ tenure was highlighted by her duties leading its executive board and adding new elements including — most notably — the creation of the HRTS Foundation, timed to HRTS’ 75th anniversary.

“This is a significant moment in the history of HRTS and I am honored to serve in this important role,” McNeal said. “I’m incredibly grateful to Odetta Watkins for her vision, dedication, and tenacity, which led to the creation of the HRTS Foundation. Equally, in this time of extraordinary change, I am excited for what the future holds working alongside newly elected Chairperson David Madden, Vice President Christina Davis, Treasurer Linnea McArt and members of the Board. Together, we will chart the next phase of our venerable organization in -

service of shaping a more equitable future of entertainment and meeting the growing demand of all members and the industry writ large.”

Watkins and Grego created the HRTS Foundation in 2022 as a standalone charity to provide education, training and resources to underrepresented individuals. HRTS Board Member (and ITV Studios America prexy) Philippe Maigret is president, while Grego is chairperson.

“I have had the honor and privilege of witnessing the unifying impact this organization has had on so many, with so much participation across the industry at all career levels,” Watkins said. “I am forever grateful to Melissa Grego – the best CEO in the business, and I remain forever dedicated to HRTS. I am looking forward to working with the new Dream Team of Board Officers led by industry titans, Tim McNeal and David Madden. I have no doubt that they will take HRTS to greater heights, serving the needs of our membership as our industry continues to evolve.”

As for Madden, the head of global entertainment for Wattpad Webtoon Studios takes over for longtime chair Dan Erlij, partner and co-head of the television literary department at United Talent Agency.

Others ending their tenures included HBO’s Francesca Orsi (vice president), Disney Branded TV’s Charlie Andrews (secretary) and Exile Content’s Alejandro Uribe (treasurer).

“I also want to thank our outgoing Officers, who remain Board Directors, for their dedicated service to HRTS, especially Odetta, who has helped steer our organization through a pandemic, several work stoppages and an industry-wide transition period that we’re all still grappling with,” Grego added. “On top of her full-time role with Amazon Studios, Odetta has been unstoppable on behalf of the HRTS and I’ve personally learned so much from her.”

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