ViacomCBS Names DeDe Lea Head Lobbyist as CBS Veteran Departs

Viacom veteran DeDe Lea has been tapped to head public policy and governmental relations for ViacomCBS.

Lea has been Viacom’s head lobbyist since 2013. When merger of Viacom and CBS is complete, Lea will serve as exec VP of global public policy and government affairs, reporting to ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish.

“DeDe has been an incredible advocate for Viacom, our audiences and the creative community over the past two decades,” said Bakish. “She brings unmatched experience, relationships and leadership to this role, and we’re thrilled she will serve as the voice of ViacomCBS in Washington and in the highest levels of government around the world.”

With Lea’s appointment, her counterpart at CBS will leave the company once the merger of Viacom and CBS is completed. John Orlando had served as CBS’ exec VP of global government affairs since 2013. He first joined CBS in 1998. After a stint at the National Association of Broadcasters, Orlando returned to CBS in 2006. He was tapped as the Eye’s head lobbyist in 2013 following the retirement of Marty Franks.

“John has been instrumental in leading the charge for CBS and broadcast television on regulatory and legislative issues in Washington, D.C., for over two decades,” said CBS Corp. CEO Joe Ianniello. “Most notably, he has been an integral player in protecting our retransmission consent rights and our Company’s significant revenue growth in this vital area.”

Lea joined Viacom in 1997 as VP of government relations. Before Viacom, she worked in government relations for Belo Corp. and for the NAB.

(Pictured: John Orlando, DeDe Lea)

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