Debra Birnbaum

Debra Birnbaum

Debra Birnbaum is an accomplished multi-platform content creator and media strategist with over 20 years of experience covering news and entertainment.

She’s currently the global head of awards for Amazon MGM Studios, overseeing awards strategy for the streaming service’s extensive slate of original films and series. Her purview includes marketing, publicity and promotions, talent relations, advertising, and events. Under her leadership, Amazon Studios has had its most successful film and series awards seasons to date, setting new records in a single year for Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Critics Choice Awards. Throughout her tenure, the studio has amassed 23 Academy Award nominations and 3 wins; 265 Emmy Award nominations and 26 wins; 57 Golden Globe nominations and 12 wins, among others. 

Birnbaum spent five years as the executive editor, TV, for Variety, leading television news and awards coverage for the trade magazine’s multiple platforms, including the weekly print edition,, and special awards season issues. As the president/editor-in-chief of TV Guide Magazine, a position she held for seven years, she revitalized a classic brand with innovations like the annual “Fan Favorites” cover contest, the Comic-Con photo studio, and the “Hot List” party. She has also worked for RedbookGeorgeMoreThe New York Post, and Us Weekly, overseeing film, television, theater, music, and entertainment coverage.

She has appeared frequently on TV and radio as an entertainment expert, and moderated hundreds of panels for high-profile industry and consumer events at the Television Academy, Screen Actors Guild, Paley Center, Comic-Con, and more. Her work has earned recognition from the L.A. Press Club, the Publicists Guild of America, the Webby Awards, the Clio Awards, Promax, and the Television Academy, notably an Emmy Award for producing Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series. 

A graduate of Cornell University, she’s a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women and serves as an alumni ambassador. She also belongs to key industry organizations, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Television Academy, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.