Colorado Law is proud to announce that Niki Frangos Tuttle (’84) has been selected as January’s Alum of the Month. Tuttle, a partner at the Denver office of Hogan Lovells, has represented large content providers and distributors in their programming negotiations. She successfully negotiated cable, broadcast, and radio agreements on behalf of Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League teams, and represented the Oprah Winfrey Network in securing its initial carriage agreements. In 2003, she was named the “Best of the Bar, Telecommunications” by the Denver Business Journal. Tuttle is an active supporter of Colorado Law, serving as a mentor to recent graduates, volunteering on the Dean’s Advisory Council, and leading the charge in organizing her class reunion.
Tuttle, a native Coloradan, was born in Hilltop, a neighborhood in east Denver. By age 15, she knew that she wanted to be a lawyer. After graduating high school, she chose to stay close to home and drove up Route 36 to begin college at the University of Colorado, where she was a member of the university’s swim team. Tuttle graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in international affairs and enrolled in law school immediately afterward, making her a “double Buff.”
At first, Tuttle planned to use her undergraduate degree to pursue a career in international law. However, she quickly changed her mind and decided to take “a little bit of everything” during her three years in law school. She spent her 2L summer working for the Colorado Attorney General’s office.
Following graduation, Tuttle clerked for Judge Berman on the Colorado Court of Appeals and then took a position with Ballard Spahr in Denver. She initially worked in their public finance department, an area that was new to her. Her first assignment was an industrial development bond issuance on behalf of Albany County, Wyoming, the proceeds of which were loaned to Union Pacific Corporation to clean up an EPA Superfund Site in Laramie.
In 1990, Tuttle had the opportunity to enter the cable television industry, and worked as outside counsel representing TCI, the largest cable company in the United States at the time. As her career progressed, Tuttle used her ability to adapt to take on new challenges and to get a seat at the negotiating table, where she was more than just a scrivener. She played an integral role in negotiating the initial carriage agreements for ESPN2, Food Network, and Fox News, and she began to learn the business from the ground up.
Ten years into her career, Tuttle decided it was time to take her professional goals to the next level. In the summer of 1995, she became a partner at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). While she considered the move at the time to be a leap of faith, she felt that she had the industry expertise to succeed and that the firm gave her the platform to expand her horizons. Her feeling was right and, at the new firm, she was tasked with helping the Colorado Rockies complete their inaugural cable, television, and radio deals. Tuttle looks back on that first opening day at Coors Field as a meaningful day in her career.
Taking on new and more challenging tasks has resurfaced as a theme throughout Tuttle’s career. As the media industry continued to evolve and change over time, so did Tuttle, responding to each new innovation in the market. Today, she assists clients with the licensing and distribution of cable television networks and other programming content across a variety of distribution platforms, including cable, satellite, telco, mobile, and broadband using linear, video-on-demand, “TV Everywhere,” and “over-the-top” business models.
When Tuttle isn’t negotiating or closing programming and carriage deals, she enjoys her downtime with her friends and family. She and her husband met two weeks into their first semester of law school. Together, they have two children; a son who is a senior in the business school at the University of Colorado, and a daughter who recently completed her first semester at the University of Texas. The Tuttle family enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, with recent destinations including Africa, Italy, Greece, Paris, Barcelona, and London. When she is not trekking the globe, she enjoys spending time at home, where she can often be found cooking in the kitchen, experimenting and dirtying every pot and pan. Outside of her family life, Tuttle also works with some Denver-based nonprofits.
What is your fondest memory at Colorado Law?
Meeting my husband and spending time with him and our fellow classmates, Allan Singer and Harry Brod, all of whom are among my best friends to this day.
What do you know now that you wish you had known in law school?
Network, network, network.
What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
Be flexible and willing to explore areas that you have not previously considered.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
In addition to my parents, who taught me the value of hard work and a kind heart, I have been fortunate to have mentors at each key stage of my career who challenged me, believed in me, and freely shared their knowledge and strategies for success.
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?
Surrounding myself with family, friends and colleagues who allow me to balance having a rewarding career and a fulfilled personal life.