Cris Abrego Becomes First Latino Chair of Television Academy Foundation
Banijay’s Chairman of the Americas Elected Chair and Bunim/Murray Productions Co-Founder Jonathan Murray Elected Vice Chair of Television Academy’s Educational Nonprofit
December 16, 2020 - The Television Academy Foundation today announced its newly elected board officers, including its first-ever Latino chair, who will serve two-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2022.
Officers elected to serve two-year terms are: Foundation Chair Cris Abrego, Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings; Vice Chair Jonathan Murray, Bunim/Murray Productions co-founder; Treasurer Deborah Bradley, president of Bungalo Homes, Amherst; and Secretary Billie Greer, a public policy advisor and consultant.
"I am thrilled and honored to serve as Foundation chair and look forward to working with the board and staff as we build a more inclusive entertainment business,” said Abrego. “During these unprecedented times, we are expanding our reach to serve an even greater number of diverse students from across the country, advancing the Foundation’s goals of helping to shape the careers of the next generation of television professionals."
Cris Abrego – Chair
As the newly named Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings, Abrego leads operations in North America and Latin America for the world’s leading content producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies that are behind hit television formats including Lego Masters, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Big Brother, MasterChef, Wipeout, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Biggest Loser and Utopia.
Abrego’s oversight includes Endemol Shine North America, Bunim/Murray Productions, Authentic Entertainment, Truly Original, 51 Minds Entertainment, Stephen David Entertainment and Yellow Bird U.S. In Latin America,
Abrego also oversees Endemol Shine Latino, the company’s Spanish- and Portuguese-language sales and development arm.
As one of the highest-ranking Latino leaders in television, Abrego has made inclusion a top priority for his team at Endemol Shine and throughout the entertainment industry. In 2019 Abrego received the prestigious President’s Award at the 34th annual Imagen Awards, which were established to encourage positive portrayals of Latinos in the media.
Under Abrego’s leadership, Endemol Shine has been a host company for the Television Academy Foundation’s Summer Internship Program for more than six years.
Abrego succeeds Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, who served two consecutive terms (2017-2020) as chair of the Foundation. Di Nonno will remain on the Foundation’s board of directors.
Jonathan Murray – Vice Chair
As co-founder of Bunim/Murray Productions, Murray is widely credited with helping to usher in the modern reality television genre with his late partner Mary-Ellis Bunim when they launched The Real World on MTV in 1992. Murray has executive produced some of the industry’s most popular unscripted television shows including Project Runway, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Challenge, The Simple Life, Starting Over, Family or Fiancé and Making the Band. He has won two primetime Emmy® Awards for Born This Way, a series documenting the lives of young adults with Down syndrome, and the documentary Autism: The Musical. His most recent documentary titled TransHood premiered on HBO in November 2020.
In 2012 Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. He has served multiple terms on the board of the Television Academy representing the Reality Peer Group and has been a co-chair of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards committee.
Murray and Bunim/Murray Productions have been avid supporters of the Foundation’s annual Summer Internship Program through the years, hosting and hiring numerous interns who have come through the program.
Deborah Bradley – Treasurer
Bradley serves as president of Bungalo Homes, a technology-enabled platform transforming the residential real estate experience, and a division of investment manager, Amherst. Bradley is responsible for all aspects of scaling the consumer-facing business. Prior to joining Amherst in 2018, Bradley served for 25+ years in various executive capacities for global media companies, including Paramount Pictures, ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia/Turner Broadcasting. Among positions she’s held throughout her career are acting general manager of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim; head of acquisitions for Turner Entertainment Networks; programming operations for TNT and tbs; and head of cable sales, CBS Distribution.
Bradley has been on the Foundation’s board since 2016, serving both as chair of its Emmys Golf Classic and on development committees.
Billie Greer – Secretary
Greer is a public policy advisor and consultant. From 2011-2015, she served as president of the Southern California Leadership Council, founded by four former California governors and Southern California business and community leaders, to address and solve public policy issues critical to the region's economic vitality. Greer served as director of Governor Schwarzenegger's Los Angeles regional office and was a member of his senior staff from 2004-2010. In 2004 Billie was inducted into the National Association of Women Business Owners/LA's Hall of Fame and was designated a “Women of Distinction” by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Foundation in 2005. She has been honored by the Black Business Association of Los Angeles and the NAACP Long Beach branch.
Greer has been on the Television Academy Foundation’s board of directors since 2010 and serves on its development committee. This is her second term as Foundation secretary; she previously held the position for the 2011-2012 term.
In addition, Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and Thomas Sarnoff, president of Sarnoff Entertainment Corporation, will continue to serve on the Foundation’s Executive Committee as Chair Emeritus and Founding Chair Emeritus, respectively.
About the Television Academy Foundation
Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The Interviews: An Oral History of Television Project, College Television Awards and Student Internship Program, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, please visit TelevisionAcademy.com/Foundation.