Senior Counsel, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.
Noni Ellison Southall serves as senior counsel for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Turner) and heads Turner's music group. In this capacity, she manages fourteen (14) employees (including attorneys, managers, coordinators and legal assistants), and oversees daily operations and all substantive and administrative matters, including the licensing and reporting of music utilized by Turner entertainment networks (e.g., TNT, TNT Sports, TBS, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TruTV, Peachtree TV, TCM) and news networks (e.g., CNN, Headline News, CNN Espanol, Airport News Network), websites, and associated businesses, both domestic and international. Noni oversees business and legal affairs for Turner's music publishing companies and Williams Street, a record label which she helped to establish. She drafts, implements and counsels clients regarding company wide music policy and internal risk mitigation strategies. Noni negotiates music-related agreements, such as performance rights society agreements, composer agreements, publishing agreements, music video license agreements, record distribution agreements, artist performance agreements and mechanical, synchronization and master-use license agreements. She also negotiates production and new technology deals on behalf of Turner and serves as lead marketing attorney with respect to various Turner productions, providing legal guidance to Turner entertainment networks (e.g., TNT, TBS, TCM, TruTV) regarding marketing campaigns, promotions, and sweepstakes, including copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity issues.
Prior to her current role, Noni was director of legal affairs for Scripps Networks, Inc. (e.g., HGTV, Food Network, DIY). In that role, she advised the affiliate sales, ad sales, finance and new media departments and negotiated affiliation agreements for the distribution of Scripps Networks' cable television programming services with cable operators. Noni began her legal career as a corporate finance and securities associate in Houston, Texas.
Noni earned a bachelor of arts degree in administration of justice and communications from Howard University, magna cum laude and simultaneously earned a doctor of law, master of business administration and certification in health administration and policy from the University of Chicago, where she was taught by President Barack Obama and United States Supreme Court Justice, Elena Kagan. She is admitted to practice before the United Sates Supreme Court and is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the District of Columbia Bar and the State Bar of Georgia.
Noni is very active in the community, legal profession and workplace. She represents Turner on the board of directors of the Urban League of Greater Atlanta and was recently elected chair of the board by her fellow board members. Noni co-chaired the 2009 and 2010 Urban League 'Spirit of the League' Community Empowerment Day and Awards Luncheon, honoring local heroes, Tyler Perry and Academy Award winner, Mo'Nique, respectively. She was recently appointed by the unanimous vote of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to represent over one million residents of Fulton County on the board of directors of MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority), the nation's ninth largest transit system. She is also a member of the Atlanta Speech School board of directors, the Atlanta Speech School Guild board of directors and serves as co-chair of the Atlanta Speech School's 2011 Patron Party, the school's largest fundraiser. Noni is a member of the Fulton County Public Access Channel board of directors, the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association's (BESLA) board of directors and has served as program co-chair for BESLA's annual conference for several years. She is a member of the Corporate Counsel Women of Color advisory board and has completed the Time Warner non-profit board leadership training program. Noni is a member of the National Association of Minorities In Communications, Women In Cable and Telecommunications and a founding member of the Black Professionals at Turner and Working Parents at Turner business resource groups as well as the Turner Legal Department Diversity Committee. She currently represents the Legal Department on the Turner Supplier Diversity Council Task Force and recently partnered with the Turner Supplier Diversity Department to organize Turner's first supplier diversity event featuring the Turner Legal Department. Noni is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Diversity Program Executive Committee, a T. Howard Foundation mentor and volunteer, a Posse Foundation volunteer and has been a frequent speaker on diversity in the legal profession and a mentor to students and young professionals nationally. She is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. (Atlanta-Buckhead Chapter) and serves on the National Black Arts Festival 2011 gala steering committee. Noni recently served as vice chair of the 27 th Annual United Negro College Fund Mayor's Masked Ball and as a member of the host committee for the American Jewish Committee's 2010 National Human Relations Dinner.
Noni was recently selected by the National Bar Association as one of the 2011 Nation's Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40. She is a recipient of the National Council of Negro Women's "Tribute to Black Women Community Leaders" award, the Trumpet Awards Foundation's "High Heels in High Places" award and is featured in the eleventh and twelfth editions of Who's Who In Black Atlanta. Noni, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana is married to fellow attorney, Arnall, Golden, Gregory LLP Partner, Kenneth Southall, Sr. and is the proud mother of two children, Kenneth, Jr., a student at the Westminster Schools and Kourtney Rose, a student at the Atlanta Speech School.