Melissa M. Ingram, recently promoted to Senior Vice President of Multicultural Networks & Strategy for UP Entertainment, is responsible for driving the growth and success of AspireTV, Cine Romantico, and other multi-cultural brands from parent company UP Entertainment across all distribution platforms. In her new role and as a member of the Executive Team, Ingram provides guidance and strategy on how to best serve multi-cultural audiences for all UP Entertainment brands and champion a winning work environment for its diverse employee base.
In her previous role as Vice President, General Manager, Ingram oversaw the content, brand, and operations for AspireTV, the television network, founded by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, that reflects contemporary black culture and urban lifestyle in programming that is inspiring, authentic, and entertaining. Ingram oversaw the network’s content, brand, and operations, and was responsible for long-term strategy, planning, and personnel.
Under Ingram’s leadership, AspireTV emerged as a premium lifestyle content brand that serves a fast-growing, dynamic audience of black xennials with the promise #SeeYourselfHere. That promise is supported by hit shows like the cooking series Butter + Brown, executive produced by Issa Rae and celebrity chef, G. Garvin, the interview special Idols, Icons + Influencers, hosted by comedian Chris Spencer, design series Unboxed with Nikki Chu, and the network’s expanding web and social footprint.
Ingram joined AspireTV in August 2012 as Senior Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs, and was promoted to Senior Director of Business Affairs and Development in December 2014. In her role as Senior Director, Ingram was successful in executing partnerships with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (WHI-HBCUs) and launching an unprecedented partnership with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and its member schools to produce original programming, highlighting the rich legacy and history of HBCUs and their students.
In 2013, Ingram was selected as one of Multichannel News’ 40 under 40 industry executives and was also honored in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as one of Cablefax’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable.” She was also named to the “Who’s Who in Black Atlanta” list in 2017 and was selected to the Cablefax “Most Powerful Women” list in 2018. In addition, Ingram was honored with the WICT SE 2018 Horizon Award for Woman to Watch as well as being the first female recipient of the 2018 SYNERGY Award by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).
Ingram joined AspireTV from its sister-network UPtv, where she was Senior Counsel of Business and Legal Affairs, serving as lead counsel and negotiator for programming acquisition agreements. While at UPtv in 2011, Ingram was awarded a scholarship from the Walter Kaitz Foundation and was selected to attend the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program in San Diego, California.
Before joining UPtv in 2008, Ingram was an associate lawyer with an Atlanta-based boutique entertainment firm, The Carter Law Firm, PC where she handled various entertainment contracts. She began her career in 2004 as an associate lawyer in the Labor and Employment group at Alston & Bird, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ingram earned a Juris Doctorate (J.D) from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, magna cum laude, from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Ingram is a former board member of the Southeast Board of Directors for WICT and is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and The Links, Incorporated.