No More Heroes: The Stranglers superfan and PR guru Paul McGuire is departing Warner Bros. after a lengthy run at the company, including the past ten years as senior VP, worldwide corporate communications.
McGuire plans to open his own communications shingle, Last Resort PR, when not blasting The Cramps (R.I.P. Lux Interior) on “The Funhouse,” his Sunday night rock show on KHUG-FM internet radio.
After a decade in Warner Bros. corp comm, McGuire decided to make a change. His exit coincides, but is not believed to be related, to recent rounds of layoffs at the company. He’s the latest high-profile departure in marketing and communications inside the conglom following longtime Warner Bros. TV Group marketing chief Lisa Gregorian and Scott Rowe, a PR vet who exited the studio after nearly 30 years.
McGuire’s candor, dry wit and knowledge of the biz has made him a highly respected PR exec among reporters covering entertainment for several decades.
Before moving to the studio, McGuire was executive vice president of network communications at The CW, helping launch the joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS in 2006. He was one of The WB execs to make the transition to the new network, having previously spent five years as EVP of network communications at the Frog, starting in 2001.
“It’s been a privilege to play a small role the last twenty years in the great production that has been Warner Bros.,” McGuire said in a statement. “I was lucky enough to join the company thanks to a questionable decision by the same sneaker-clad man who made a similarly suspect move when he brought me inside the wall to Fox in 1987,” he said, referring to the one and only Brad Turell.
“It’s been an adventure, from The WB to The CW to the studio,” he added. “I have had the good fortune not only to work with a long list of terrific colleagues and leaders but also the many fine journalists who still distinguish the fourth estate with honor, integrity and a sense of fair play. You know who you are.”
McGuire’s adventures in PR actually began earlier. Turell snagged McGuire to create Fox Broadcasting Co.’s first photo department back in 1987. Later at NBC, he was VP of primetime program publicity on hits such as “ER,” “Friends,” “Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and more.
From there, McGuire got to be the guy who had to answer reporters’ questions about “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer” as senior VP of media relations at UPN. And of course, the netlet’s bold decision to retitle “Shasta McNasty” to “Shasta,” a show that is now in its 22nd season in some alternate dimension. (And yes, there was that time that he and UPN COO Adam Ware were DJs for a day on KIIS-FM, spinning bubblegum pop and taking calls from… Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Variety wrote about it, really. Read it here.)
McGuire helped launch “Supernatural” at The WB, which makes it kinda, well, supernatural that his departure is announced on the same day that the long-running show ends its run. He also was there for “Smallville” and “Beauty and the Geek,” among others.
At the CW, he oversaw launches of early weblet shows from “Gossip Girl” to “Farmer Wants a Wife” (now, how come that hasn’t been remade?) along with plenty more. The corp comm job was a bit more, well, corporate, communications strategies in areas such as business transactions and issues, litigation, special projects and international.
In 2010, as McGuire first moved into the corporate communications job at Warner Bros., Variety’s On the Air blog asked the big music fan to share his “desert island discs.” The Stranglers were No. 1, while Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan and Slade were also among the list. Check it out here.
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