Chris McCumber serves as co-president of USA Network where he jointly oversees strategic direction and operations across all platforms for USA. He previously held the position of executive vice president of marketing, digital & brand strategy for four years, after holding the title of senior vice president, where he was responsible for the overall strategic and creative vision for USA marketing, as well as overseeing all expressions of the network brand, including consumer marketing and media planning, on-air and off-air creative advertising, interstitial programming and all digital efforts. He will also continue to serve as executive in charge of all WWE programming and integrated sales. McCumber reports to Bonnie Hammer, chairman, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios. He is based in New York.
Leading the charge of unprecedented brand transformation at USA, McCumber was responsible for the conception, development and execution of “Characters Welcome,” the first comprehensive multiplatform brand identity for USA in its 30-year history, which has won multiple accolades, including Addys for the multi-tiered campaign and a Clio for design. McCumber also led his group in the creative launch and implementation of USA’s successful brand extensions, including CHARACTERS UNITE, the network’s ambitious multi-platform pro-social initiative designed to combat prejudice and intolerance in America, as well as the CHARACTER APPROVED AWARDS, the CHARACTER APPROVED BLOG and CHARACTER PROJECT.
Over the last ten years, McCumber and his team have created and executed highly successful campaigns for the debuts of the last five of USA’s newest original series, each the #1 shows of the year: PSYCH in 2006, BURN NOTICE in 2007, IN PLAIN SIGHT in 2008, the #1 and #2 shows of the year in 2009, ROYAL PAINS and WHITE COLLAR and COVERT AFFAIRS in 2010, the most-watched first season show in USA history in P18-49 and the most watched new scripted series of the year in P18-49. USA successfully rolled out a campaign for LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and its unprecedented move from NBC to USA, and produced a campaign for the eighth and final season of the critically-acclaimed series MONK, the show that was at the forefront of award-winning original programming on cable.
Under McCumber’s direction, his team has won numerous marketing & promotional awards for the launches and on-going momentum of USA’s record-breaking series, garnering BDAs, Addys and Promax awards. McCumber was responsible for one of USA’s biggest and most innovative marketing efforts to date for the Emmy-award winning original television event THE STARTER WIFE, consisting of a multi-layered 360° branding campaign that included a massive marketing blitz, grassroots/guerilla outreach, promotional partnerships with brands including POND’S as the exclusive presenting sponsor, and Simon & Schuster, a huge digital initiative and extensive product integration. McCumber also led the marketing effort behind WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW’s triumphant return to USA, its original home, and soon after was made executive in charge of production for all WWE programming. Additionally, McCumber sits on the NBC Universal marketing council where he is responsible for leveraging USA’s brand across all the company’s platforms. When he first joined USA, McCumber served as senior vice president of on-air promotion where he oversaw the TV campaigns for the launches of MONK, THE 4400 and THE DEAD ZONE.
Prior to joining USA, McCumber was creative director for the media and entertainment practice at Razorfish where he led a 65-member team of strategists, creatives and technologists on brand strategy and creative solutions for television networks and broadband entertainment services. McCumber has worked with over 100 media brands including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX/Newscorp, Disney, HBO, Turner Networks and MTV Networks. Additionally, he was responsible for new business pitches and revenue growth and functioned as an executive consultant to major clients. He also served as associate creative director at Lee Hunt Associates, a television branding and design agency. While at Lee Hunt, he focused on launching and re-designing such networks as MSNBC, ESPN2, Odyssey, Disney Channel and Game Show Network. McCumber began his career at MTV Networks as associate producer and shortly thereafter joined the on-air promotion team that launched Comedy Central.
An accomplished commercial film director, McCumber helmed 14 short films for “Saturday Night Live” entitled “Fuzzy Memories by Jack Handy.” He also serves on the board for Promax/BDA, the non-profit association for entertainment and content marketing, promotion and design.