For Suzanne Cole, promoted earlier this month to svp of media at Universal Pictures, it's all about the recipes—whether it's those learned in cooking classes she's taken in Tuscany, or the savvy media mix that helped the movie Ray garner six Academy Award nominations.
As chief media strategist for all of Universal's theatrical and home-format releases, Cole replaces 20-year-veteran Anthy Price, who is retiring. She reports to Adam Fogelson, president of Universal Pictures Marketing, Universal City, Calif.
Cole, 42, started in media after college at UCLA, at a time when English majors like herself "either went to law school or interviewed with P&G." She took a job as an assistant planner at Foote Cone & Belding in Los Angeles, working on the First Interstate account, and immediately connected media to her love of movies.
"The folks next to me were working on Orion Pictures, and it always sounded like they were having fun," she said. Cole eventually wound up at DDB Entertainment, working on Universal entertainment divisions for seven years.
She worked briefly at E! Entertainment Television, but "missed the movies too much" to resist a move to Saatchi & Saatchi, where she worked as an account director on MGM media. She subsequently moved to the client side at PolyGram Filmed Entertainment before joining Universal as vice president of media in 1999.
She's worked on campaigns for Seabiscuit, Erin Brockovich, A Beautiful Mind and Nutty Professor II.
For fun, Cole combines a resurgence of a youthful photographic bug with world travel to picturesque locales such as Buenos Aires, Toyko and New Zealand. When it comes to camera-and-passport opportunities, she says, "I can be ready to go in two hours."