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Former Los Angeles Times executive now at SiriusXM

The Los Angeles Times

Mae Ryan/KPCC

The Los Angeles Times building in downtown L.A.

Kathy Thomson, the former president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, is now chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Sirius XM Radio has 25.6 million subscribers and considers itself the world's largest broadcaster by revenue.

SiriusXM's CEO Jim Meyer said in a staff memo that Thomson will help efforts to grow and retain subscribers. She will also work to strengthen the company's marketing, Meyer said.

"It is a crucial and important role at our company as we work to continue our outstanding growth and expand the ways consumers can enjoy our service," Meyer said.  "I am excited about the possibilities we can achieve in this area under Kathy’s leadership."

Thomson left her position at the Los Angeles Times Media Group on Nov. 29. In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the Times' products. She was also the COO of Tribune Publishing and led the expansion into digital, including increasing the use of video. 

In the past, Thomson has served in leadership positions at DirecTV, Energy Innovations and FLO TV.

Thomson did not immediately return calls for comment on Tuesday.

Before Thomson left the Times, she wrote in a staff note that it was with "mixed feelings" she was leaving to move on to "another challenging opportunity." 

Eddy Hartenstein, CEO and publisher of the Los Angeles Times, also wrote in a staff memo that Thomson "led with grace and determination through the last several years and will be greatly missed."

What is the Los Angeles Times' loss, could be SiriusXM's gain. Hartenstein is also on the board of SiriusXM and serves as lead independent director, according to its website.

Staff memo from SiriusXM's CEO Jim Meyer:

To:       SiriusXM Employees

I am pleased to announce that Kathy Thomson has joined SiriusXM as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, reporting directly to me effective immediately.  As Chief Marketing Officer, Kathy will be responsible for supporting our efforts to continue to grow our subscriber base and to retain our existing subscribers.  It is a crucial and important role at our Company as we work to continue our outstanding growth and expand the ways consumers can enjoy our service.  I am excited about the possibilities we can achieve in this area under Kathy’s leadership.  Kathy will have direct responsibility for subscriber retention and relationship marketing, customer channel management and care operations, automotive conversion marketing, market research and brand marketing.  She will work with the team to continue to look for opportunities to further strengthen our marketing efforts. 

Kathy is a deeply experienced and highly respected executive with years of experience at major subscriber-based companies.  Prior to joining SiriusXM this week, Kathy was the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Los Angeles Times Media Group, one of the nation’s largest operators of daily newspapers and related media outlets, where for a time she was also the Chief Operating Officer of Tribune Publishing Company, Inc., one of the leading multimedia companies in the United States.  Prior to that, Ms. Thomson served as Vice President, Business Operations of FLO TV, a division of Qualcomm Inc., that delivered live broadcast television service to mobile devices and as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at the Los Angeles Times Media Group.  A large part of her career was spent in key roles at DIRECTV, one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment, culminating in the role of Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing Operations.

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know that Joe Zarella has elected to retire.  I want to thank Joe for his many years of hard work at SiriusXM, where his contribution to acquiring and servicing our subscribers was invaluable and deeply appreciated by me and others.

 Please join me in welcoming Kathy to the team.

 Thank you. 

 Jim

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