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Courteney Monroe


Most Creative People 2017

Courteney Monroe

CEO, National Geographic Global Networks

For channeling Hollywood's inner nerd

To refresh the iconic, if dowdy, National Geographic TV brand, former HBO marketer Courteney Monroe, who took charge in 2014, says she’s had to take business risks in order to “introduce this network to the entire creative community and really change the perception of it.” For example, she persuaded Leonardo DiCaprio to let Nat Geo distribute his climate-change doc, Before the Flood, by promising to aggressively court a wide audience; Monroe released it for free on dozens of digital platforms, garnering more than 64 million views worldwide. For Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s 2016 series Mars, Monroe spearheaded a companion photo book, a National Geographic magazine cover story, and other content. These efforts have helped attract new talent: Projects are forthcoming from Jay Z, Katie Couric, and producer Scott Rudin.

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