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IN JULY, New York — based licensing and syndication company United Media, Inc., hired its first general counsel: Kathleen Leo. Its parent company, media giant The E.W. Scripps Company, hired its own first GC, A.B. Cruz, in March. Leo, 36, was working as an associate general counsel at PRIMEDIA, Inc., when she first heard about the United Media opportunity, from a friend who knows CEO Doug Stern. Soon thereafter she got a call from recruiting firm Major, Hagen & Africa. Although Leo is currently the company’s only in-house lawyer, she’ll have plenty of outside help. Both United Media and Scripps have a long-standing relationship with Cleveland-based Baker & Hostetler, which will continue to serve as outside counsel. Leo got her start as a corporate associate in the New York office of Dewey Ballantine. She then worked in-house at Morris Plains, New Jersey — based Warner-Lambert Company. At Warner-Lambert, she was GC of the Tetra division, which makes products for aquariums, and was the attorney on deals for Listerine Pocket Paks and Benadryl Fastmelt. Warner-Lambert was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2000, and although Pfizer offered her a job, Leo decided to change industries and took a job at PRIMEDIA. “At Warner-Lambert I did some really interesting deals,” she says. “But they took a long time; media is a lot more fast-paced.” Leo says that she wasn’t looking for a job when she heard about the opportunity at United Media. But the increased responsibility of being a GC, combined with United Media’s properties, which include 150 comic strips like Peanuts and Dilbert, made for an enticing offer. “It’s a fun company,” Leo says. “And my children could not be happier that I work with Snoopy.”

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