Courteney Monroe is chief executive officer (CEO) of National Geographic Global Networks, based in Washington, D.C. She oversees global programming, operations and marketing for the portfolio of National Geographic Channels around the world, which includes National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, Monroe is responsible for all operations of National Geographic Studios, the in-house television production unit. In this role, Monroe works closely with Fox Networks Group Chairman and CEO Peter Rice, partnering with the best in the creative community to position National Geographic Channels as a global leader in premium science, adventure and exploration programming.
“In this time of intensifying competition and disruption, only the best content and the most resonant and vital brands will prevail. At National Geographic Channels, we are in the unique and enviable position of being associated with a brand that is meaningful and special and which, at its heart, stands for quality,” said Monroe.
Now, Monroe is looking to harness the power of the National Geographic brand, along with the clout of its global reach, to position NGC as the world’s premium science, adventure and exploration network. She is disrupting the factual space by taking epic, audacious programming swings aimed at a broader, more upscale audience — programming that is more closely aligned with National Geographic Society’s mission and editorial, and is developed and produced in collaboration with A-level creative talent.
In 2015, Monroe nurtured an unprecedented production partnership with iconic brand GE to develop the critically acclaimed series Breakthrough — from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The anthology series featured leading scientists and how their cutting-edge innovations and advancements are changing our lives in the immediate future and beyond. The partnership with Grazer and Howard also led to another project, MARS. This epic six part genre-busting series follows the thrilling quest to survive Mars and the story of those who became a multi-planetary species. Execute produced by the Academy Award winner’s Imagine Entertainment, MARS is expected to premiere in fall 2016.
Additionally, the network partnered with Fox Searchlight for the global theatrical release of the critically-acclaimed feature documentary He Named Me Malala, an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, which will have its global broadcast television premiere this February. And The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, a new global series exploring mankind’s quest to understand the divine, from executive producer Morgan Freeman and Revelations Entertainment, premiered this spring to record ratings, marking the highest-rated and most-watched series of all time for NGC US.
Prior to becoming global CEO, which was announced after the formation of National Geographic Partners in November, when 21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society expanded their joint venture agreement to include all of the media assets of National Geographic, Monroe served as CEO of National Geographic Channels U.S. and first joined the network as chief marketing officer (CMO).
As CMO, she managed the Channel’s brand and all aspects of marketing — including brand strategy, creative, consumer marketing, digital platforms, social media, partnership marketing, ad sales marketing and licensing and merchandising. She also oversaw consumer and trade communications. Under her leadership, NGC launched unprecedented marketing campaigns for the network’s popular Killing franchise, which garnered the highest total viewership in network history.
Before joining National Geographic Channels U.S., Monroe was executive vice president, consumer marketing and digital platforms, for Home Box Office (HBO), responsible for the marketing of the HBO and Cinemax brands and their programming, across all platforms.
During her tenure at HBO, Monroe oversaw award-winning marketing campaigns for many of HBO’s highest-profile properties, such as “Sex and the City,” “The Sopranos,” “Entourage,” “True Blood,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Game of Thrones,” the HBO miniseries “The Pacific” and many more. She also led the development, deployment and marketing of HBOGO and MAXGO, the company’s digital streaming services.
Before joining HBO, Monroe held marketing positions at American Express and Salomon Brothers. She also worked in account management at BBDO.
Monroe’s many accolades include The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 (2015); Multichannel News Wonder Women (Class of 2015); the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement (2006); Media Industry News’ 21 Most Intriguing People (2007); Marketer of the Year by Brandweek (2007); and television’s Next Wave of Leaders by Broadcasting & Cable magazine (2009). In 2010, she was presented with the Brand Builders’ Award by PromaxBDA, Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News. In 2013, she was named a Woman to Watch by Advertising Age and, most recently, a 2014 Woman to Watch by Multichannel News.
Monroe holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.B.A. from The Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.