2017 Top Women in PR

Rita Cooper Lee

Executive Vice President, Communications and Publicity

WGN America and Tribune Studios

Rita Cooper Lee is building the public profile for the emerging television network WGN America, through innovative publicity campaigns that generate buzz and awareness. She leads the development and strategic implementation of public relations plans for a slate of original content, including the network’s record-breaking original “Outsiders” and “Underground," which ranked in the top 20 scripted cable dramas this year, and its popular bewitching series "Salem."

In leading the publicity for the Underground Railroad thriller "Underground," executive produced by John Legend, Cooper Lee worked with the White House, where the series was honored with a screening and panel event in 2016.

Cooper Lee crafted the strategy and drove the programming publicity campaign, launching a grassroots, mainstream and urban press strategy nine months prior to premiere. She partnered with nationally renowned entities across the country where the series was honored and screened, including the National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN), NAACP National Convention (Cincinnati, OH), DuSable Museum of African American History (Chicago, IL), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH), 2016 Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT), New York Comic-Con, Essence Festival (New Orleans, LA), NAACP (Los Angeles, CA), National Association of Black Journalists Conference (Washington, DC and Minneapolis, MN), and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, New York) as well as an array of historically black colleges and universities.

Thanks to all of Cooper Lee’s hard work, "Underground" launched as the highest-rated original drama in WGN America's history and the #1 most talked about cable series on social media each week it aired.