Erica Gruen
Biography
Erica GruenPresidentQuantum Media

Erica Gruen began in cable TV as marketing director for the start-up of Bravo, following jobs that took her all over the country as a concert promoter, school psychologist and middle-school teacher. But she truly owes her start as an entertainment-industry entrepreneur to the Madison Folk Music Society, which she co-founded as a student, and to the UW Memorial Union, at which she promoted her very first events.

An Emmy Award-winning TV producer and executive, Erica is known for masterminding one of television’s biggest brands as President/CEO of The Food Network. There she staged a complete business and brand turnaround and introduced several now-famous smash hits including Emeril Live!, The Two Fat Ladies, and The Iron Chef, before selling the network to Scripps. Erica was the 2nd woman to ever hold the CEO title at a cable network.

Prior to Food Network, Erica started and ran the branded entertainment group at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, the world’s #1 ad agency at the time. There she produced hundreds of hours of television for Procter & Gamble, Toyota, General Mills and other Fortune 100 brands. She also created one of Madison Avenue’s first digital advertising agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive, in 1995, and was named to New York Magazine’s “Cyber 60” list that year.

Today, as a principal with Quantum Media and president of Erica Gruen Consulting, Erica uses her creative and financial chops to build business for many of the largest entertainment and publishing companies, including the BBC, AMC, the Comcast Networks, Conde Nast, Hearst, Reader’s Digest, and others. For Rodale Publishing and NBC, she launched a multiplatform strategy that propelled “The Biggest Loser” to NBC’s #1 show in primetime, including the paid-subscription program, The BiggestLoserClub.com, and a best-selling line of books and custom magazines. She also develops brand strategy and content strategy for the digital divisions of a number of print publishers transitioning to online. Via Sand & Stars Productions, Erica also has shows running currently on GoodHousekeeping.com and MensHealth.com, among others.

Erica is a Past Chair of the Women in Cable and Telecommunications Foundation and a past Honorary Chair of Cable Positive; was elected to the prestigious Cable Pioneers Society in 2006; and currently serves as Trustee of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and as Secretary and Trustee of the James Beard Foundation, awarding the yearly culinary “Oscars.” She holds an M.S. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. With Honors from the University of Michigan. Although always a Midwesterner, she admits she has lived most of her life now in New York City.