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Longtime Media Exec Laura Nelson Dies at 55

Nielsen
Laura Nelson (Image credit: Nielsen)

Laura Nelson, a media veteran who has led communications operations at industry powerhouses like Nielsen, Comedy Central, VH1 and MTV for nearly three decades, died Aug. 20 after a battle with cancer. She was 55 years old.

A Boston College graduate, Nelson got her start in the PR business with Dan Klores Associates in New York, but was best known as one of the top communications professionals in the media business, leading PR efforts at various networks like Comedy Central, Oxygen, VH1 and MTV between 1993 and 2007. She joined The Gilbride Group, a strategic integrated marketing company focusing on non-profit and media clients, working with clients like the Gates Foundation, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United Nations, as managing director in 2007, and in 2012 she moved to Current TV, where she headed up that company's communications efforts.

Nelson joined ratings measurement giant Nielsen as chief communications officer in 2014, a position she continued to hold at the time of her death. 

She is survived by her husband James A. Kremens, and two children Charles H. Kremens and Annabelle D. Kremens, all of Westport, Connecticut, as well as three siblings: Gina Wilcox (Brady) of Old Lyme, Connecticut; Paul F. Nelson (Julie) of Wilmette, Illinois; and Andrew Nelson (Meghan) of Cincinnati, Ohio.

According to her obituary, a mass of Christian burial will be held on Friday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m. at The Church of the Assumption in Westport.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Cancer Couch Foundation. A fund to help finance metastatic breast cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Dana-Farber Institute has been set up to honor Nelson, and the Cancer Couch Foundation has pledged to match 100% of donations.

Mike Farrell

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.