Speaker CJ Kettler
Speaker CJ Kettler

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CJ Kettler


King Features

C.J. Kettler is the president of King Features, a division of Hearst Newspapers, and serves as a HearstLab Scout. Kettler joined Hearst in 2017 and is leading the evolution of King Features, which boasts a portfolio of world-class IP including comics, puzzles and pop culture brand franchises such as Popeye, the Phantom, Mandrake, Flash Gordon, and Cuphead. She is focused on digital transformation, entertainment, merchandising/licensing and direct-to-consumer businesses. The Cuphead Show!, an animated series of 1930s- inspired cartoons, is set to debut on Netflix in 2022.

A media industry leader with broad management and digital experience, Kettler was EVP, consumer brands and strategy, at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt until May 2017, where she led Channel One News, launched Curious World, a mobile subscription service for millennial families, and produced the Emmy-nominated animated series Carmen Sandiego, which premiered on Netflix in 2019. She joined Channel One News, owned by private equity firm Zelnick Media, as CEO and chair in November 2012 and led the sale of the company to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) in May 2014.

From 2008 to 2013, Kettler was a partner at Propeller Partners, LLC, a strategic advisory firm for large media companies, venture and private equity investors in the digital sector. In November 2007, Kettler was named president of Travelzoo (NASDAQ: TZOO). In 2005, as founder and CEO, she created and launched LIME, the first multichannel green lifestyle
brand, having secured funding from Steve Case’s Revolution, LLC. Under her leadership, the LIME brand was sold to Gaiam (NASDAQ: GAIA) in July 2007.

Beginning in 2001, Kettler served as managing director and operating executive at Solera Capital, a private equity firm with $250 million under management. Kettler was a founding member of the Oxygen Media management team, serving as president of sales and marketing, where she managed all cross-platform integrated sales, marketing and affiliate relationships. From 1987, Kettler was a founding partner at Sunbow Entertainment, a top- ranked independent program supplier, where, as president and CEO, she negotiated the sale of the company to Sony Music Entertainment in 1999.

Kettler has significant management experience in a wide range of leadership roles straddling digital media, consumer brands, content development, production and distribution. She also held senior executive positions at MTV Networks/Viacom, McCann- Erickson and CBS. Kettler holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, serves on the NorthSouth Productions Board (a Hearst investment) and is also a board director for the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org).

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