Name: Karen Horne
Occupation: Media Executive
Location: Los Angeles
How We Know Her: She’s a behind-the-scenes exec with an eye for talent whose powerfully pulling the strings.
Why We Chose Her: This gatekeeping giant deserves her shine so get familiar—she might just change your life!
What’s Next: Horne is always on the hunt for amazing talent.
You may not be familiar with the name Karen Horne, but we can think of a few folks who have.
Natasha Rothwell. Lil Rel. Donald Glover. Deon Cole. Alan Yang. Mindy Kaling. Just a few of the impressive alumni of NBC’s TIPs programs. In case you’re not already aware, since 2000, NBC has been dedicated to discovering and nurturing on-screen and behind-the-camera talent of diverse and inclusive backgrounds through their NBC Talent Infusion Programs. Karen Horne is Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios. Today a number of studios have similar diversity programs but, all of them, every single one, is modeled after the program built by Horne – who told BOSSIP as much herself.
“There are people from our Diverse Writers Initiative who are now executive producers and staff writers,” Horne tells BOSSIP when asked to name some famous TIPs alums. “It’s launched careers of people like Mindy Kaling and Donald Glover, I could be here all day trying to remember the names of everyone who’s come from the program!”
When asked to pick a program she’s particularly proud of, Horne mentions one of the newer TIPs initiatives, The NBCUniversal Late Night Writers Workshop.
“I birthed a lot of those accomplishments in the programs,” Horne tells BOSSIP, “Especially the Late Night Writers Workshop, but a lot of changes that have been made were suggestions by me to kind of push the needle. I’m thankful I can be with a company that doesn’t just want to talk about change but actually want to see it through and take suggestions I’ve made. I’m really proud of the work we continue to do in that space.”
Of the Late Night Writers Workshop specifically, Horne says the idea came after someone pointed out what was missing from her TIPs programs.
“It came from a panel where I was asked about late night writers and somebody said, ‘Don’t ask her about that, she doesn’t work with late night,'” Horne recalls. “He was right I didn’t, but I was like, ‘Why don’t I? If I could have so much success in primetime we could do Late Night as well, and that’s when we started the Late Night Writer’s Workshop, which really elevated late night television. We’ve had writers on “Jimmy Fallon,” “Carpool Karoake,” “Late Night With Stephen Colbert,” and there are some from the workshop doing primetime too. It shows that we can do the same thing as writers killing it from other programs and it’s really changed the landscape of late night television.”
In addition to her work at NBC, Horne also serves on the advisory boards for USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and the West Coast Board for the School of Communication and Media – Montclair State University.
“Check out the other honorees on iOne Digital’s The Creative Class.”