Hooray for Hollywood

Joe Biden’s top campaign communications staffers, who would likely transition to communications director or press secretary roles in a Biden White House, are familiar names to the industry, both film and TV.

Kate Bedingfield

Kate Bedingfield (Image credit: ABC)

Deputy campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield, who was tapped to be then-Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in August 2015, came to that post after several years as VP of the Motion Picture Association, where she was chief spokesperson for the then-MPA chairman and former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, who himself had a campaign role helping Biden make his vice presidential picks.

If a Biden administration continued the pattern or grilling Big Tech over third-party content, Bedingfield would feel at home. During the flap over the Sony email hack in 2014, MPA lit into the tech giant. "Google's effort to position itself as a defender of free speech is shameful," Bedingfield said in an interview at the time. "Freedom of speech should never be used as a shield for unlawful activities.”

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After Biden left office and decided against a 2016 run for president, Bedingfield moved to Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the media company of former AOL executive Ted Leonsis, as vice president of communications.

T.J. Ducklo

T.J. Ducklo (Image credit: Fox News)

The Biden campaign’s national press secretary is also well known inside the industry: T.J. Ducklo was senior communications director at NBC News before joining the campaign and, before that, was senior manager of corporate communications for Viacom in New York. 

Before that, Ducklo worked with Bedingfield at MPA in Washington, first as a press assistant and then as deputy director of corporate communications.

It is not yet clear just how the campaign communications staff would transition to the White House hierarchy. But if it follows suit, and according to the NBC The West Wing guide to who is whom, Bedingfield would be the president’s Toby Ziegler and T.J., appropriately, would be C.J.

NBC has history with The West Wing, both the show and the actual one. Kevin Sullivan, transitioned from senior VP of corporate communications for NBCUniversal, to White House communications director under President George W. Bush. — JE

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.