Karen Jones Departing As Head Of Communications For HBO & HBO Max After 23 Years At The Company

Karen Jones Departing As Head Of Communications For HBO & HBO Max After 23 Years At The Company

Veteran PR executive Karen Jones is stepping down as EVP and Head of Communications for HBO and HBO Max. She will be leaving HBO — and likely the entertainment business — early next year and is exploring opportunities in educational access.

“After 23 years, I will be leaving HBO,” Jones wrote in a staff email. (You can read it in full below.) “This won’t come as a surprise to some of you, as I’ve spoken candidly about my desire to have a next chapter, to chase new dreams and start paying it forward with more intention. Slowly, and then all at once, it was exactly the right time.” 

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Jones was elevated to EVP of Communications for HBO in 2019 and added oversight of the HBO Max slate the following year. A respected communications executive, she has led her team through multiple restructurings, an ownership change and the pandemic.

“I could always rely on Karen to be the most thoughtful and insightful voice in the room,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO and HBO Max Content. “Over the past several years, she played a pivotal role in guiding us in the right direction through a period of transformation. She has been equally deft in leading the dynamic, talented team rolling out some of our most successful, award-winning programs. We are all sad she has decided to leave but have great respect for her desire to pursue a new path. We all wish her the best.”

In her current role, Jones has served as chief publicity strategist for content at HBO and HBO Max, overseeing teams in Los Angeles and New York. Prior to her promotion, Jones was a project leader spearheading publicity campaigns for HBO original programming, including Westworld, Lovecraft Country, Perry Mason, Silicon Valley, Chernobyl, Olive Kitteridge, The Pacific, The Normal Heart, Game Change, Taking Chance, and Elephant, among others. 

Before joining HBO in 1999, Jones was a feature film unit publicist. Her credits include Beloved, As Good As It Gets, Amistad, Mars Attacks!, Geronimo: An American Legend, Set It Off, Devil in a Blue Dress, Clockers, and Menace II Society.

Jones serves as an Executive Committee member for the Television Academy Public Relations Peer Group. A former board member for the nonprofit Stand Tall International, she has also been a mentor for The WICT Network Southern California chapter and the Hollywood Radio & TV Society (HRTS). 

Here is Jones’ note to staff below:

After 23 years, I will be leaving HBO. This won’t come as a surprise to some of you, as I’ve spoken candidly about my desire to have a next chapter, to chase new dreams and start paying it forward with more intention. Slowly, and then all at once, it was exactly the right time. 

It has been an incredible ride, and I’m tremendously grateful for all the adventures and to those with whom I’ve shared this journey. It’s the shoulder-to-the-wheel mindset that will always define us. 

I send a full-throated cheer to the hardest-working media relations team. It has been my distinct privilege, and I have no doubt that you will continue to bring inspired, dauntless passion to the work that you do every day. 

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