Love a good success story? Then you’re sure to enjoy NYWIFT's Power Player Breakfast featuring dynamic, multi-talented innovator Erica Gruen. The award-winning producer, executive and digital trailblazer spearheaded the transformation of the Food Network from struggling enterprise to media powerhouse and has been a guiding hand behind many other major media and entertainment triumphs.
Erica Gruen calls on a breadth and depth of experience to create brand, content and business development strategies for the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, including the BBC, Condé Nast, Hearst, Reader’s Digest and many others, and for the emerging start-ups that seek relationships with them.
An Emmy Award-winning TV producer and executive, Gruen is known as the mastermind of one of television’s biggest brands. As President/CEO of The Food Network/foodnetwork.com she staged a complete business and brand turnaround, introducing the smash hits Iron Chef, Two Fat Ladies, and Emeril Live!, among many others. Her original positioning continues to power the network today.
Gruen was digital when digital wasn’t cool. Way back in 1994, in true pioneering spirit, she started one of Madison Avenue’s first digital advertising agencies, Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive, and was named to New York Magazine’s first “Cyber 60” list. In addition to founding the Branded Entertainment unit there, she built unique and groundbreaking branded content for a select set of Fortune 100 brands such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and Toyota. Gruen, who is also President of Erica Gruen Consulting, has been a technical advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is a mentor in Kaplan TechStars, FOOD-X, and other tech accelerators, and an advisor to and investor in leading ed tech, music tech and food tech ventures.
Gruen is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the NYU School of Education and the Leslie eLab. She is the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Fellow award from The University of Wisconsin/Madison for her leading work in digital media, and is an Advisor to the Weinert Entrepreneurship Center at the School of Business there. She is a trustee of the James Beard Foundation, which awards the yearly “Oscars of Food,” and of the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn. Gruen received a B.A. with Honors from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin. She lives in New York City.
Produced by the Power Player Breakfast Committee
Barbara Alpert, Christina Brown Fisher, Nicole Franklin,
Carey Graeber, Julie Poll, Janet Stilson, and Susan Wagner
Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Mar. 20, 2018