Senior Vice President Marketing, Creative & Branding, ABC Family Photos
Michelle Walenz was named Senior Vice President, Marketing, Creative and Branding, ABC Family in August 2012, overseeing all marketing, creative and branding for the network. Her duties include oversight and strategic planning, creative development and implementation of all on-air and off-air marketing, as well as creative implementation of all integrated marketing for the channel. Walenz is responsible for setting the network’s brand vision and serves as the branding lens for all marketing. She was previously Senior Vice President & Creative Director, ABC Family, since May 2007.
Walenz and her team were responsible for the iconic and memorable launch campaigns for “Pretty Little Liars,” “Switched at Birth” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Her team’s efforts have also made the hit original series “Pretty Little Liars” a powerhouse in the digital marketing & social media space. For ABC Family’s hit original series, the network’s defining original movies, signature acquisitions and tent-pole events -- including “25 Days of Christmas,” the biggest programming event on cable -- Walenz and her team are charged with creating innovative marketing strategies and tactics while crafting all marketing elements into one cohesive brand vision for viewers.
Walenz joined ABC Family in February 2005, as Vice President & Creative Director. In August 2006, she led the multi-platform rebranding of ABC Family from concept to completion. With the new design look of color palette, custom font, new network tagline “A New Kind of Family” and a brand-defining image campaign, she and her team successfully created an optimistic and welcoming destination for viewers that was integral in the network’s record-breaking turn-around, consistently delivering Top 5 rankings in all key demos and eight years of consecutive growth.
In 2011 Multichannel News named Walenz a “Woman to Watch.” In addition to this honor, during her tenure at ABC Family she and her team have garnered numerous awards for the department’s work, including Promax Gold Awards for the network’s original Santa & Buddy the Elf animations and Public Service Announcements for Declare Yourself, featuring the cast of “Greek.” Walenz and her team also earned awards for the launch of “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Kyle XY” and a Gold Mark Award for the “Meet the Millennials” 2007 upfront presentation.
Prior to joining ABC Family, Walenz held the position of Creative Director for The WB Network, where she worked on such shows as “Smallville,” “7th Heaven,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Angel” and “Reba.” She started her entertainment career at NBC as a writer/producer/editor, where she produced, wrote and edited on-air promos for “Must See TV Tuesday” (“Frasier,” “Mad About You”, “Caroline In the City”) and also “Must See TV Thursday” (“Friends,” “Seinfeld”).
Walenz has long served as a mentor in the Disney/ABC Television Group mentorship program, and also serves as a mentor in both the JHRTS program and Promax/BDA program.
Hailing from Nebraska, where she worked in production both at independent production companies and KOLN/KGIN-TV, Walenz earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.