Since 2006, Multichannel News has been spotlighting, on an annual basis, a select group of executives who are leading, innovating and delivering for their companies and organizations in and around the pay TV universe. This year, you’ll notice more names attached to online content creators, as well the mainstay multichannel-video providers, programmers and technology firms, as business lines continue to blur. We think you’ll learn from their stories that this industry has a diverse mix of young men and women making their mark in leadership roles. One thing they share in common: all were younger than 40 as of our May 15, 2014, cutoff. As always, we appreciate suggestions from readers as we shape this list anew each year.
Senior Vice President of Program Planning & Acquisitions
Recently promoted from vice president of scheduling and acquisitions for A&E Network and Bio (recently rebranded to FYI), Mark Apter is a key strategist who has been instrumental in the accomplishment of 10 consecutive years of growth for A&E. He brings a high level of industry expertise and strategic thinking that has helped to drive the network’s success in a competitive and dynamic landscape.
Apter leads A&E’s scheduling team and is responsible for developing and implementing the network’s programming, scheduling and acquisition strategies, as well as developing and executing scheduling strategy for all of the brand’s digital extensions, including VOD, broadband and newmedia platforms. A 15-year veteran of the network, he played an integral role in orchestrating the strategy for the rollout of the No. 1 nonfiction series in cable history, Duck Dynasty, and A&E’s top original drama series, Bates Motel. Earlier, he was A&E’s manager of program research, and before joining the network he held positions at Nielsen Media Research and Fox Sports Net.
Apter’s influence extends beyond the Program Planning and Scheduling group, as he is a key contributor in the network’s development and greenlight process. He also serves as counsel to A&E Network general manager David McKillop, as well as the entire senior management team at the network group.
Vice President/Director, Video
In her role within media agency Starcom USA’s Video Center of Excellence, Darcy Bowe directs video investment and drives future opportunities within the “video is everywhere” strategy — whether it’s on broadcast networks, kids’ television, cinema, cable or elsewhere.
A star negotiator, Bowe looks across the marketplace holistically and consistently adapts the agency’s approach to video investment to reflect the consumer’s changing viewership behavior, helping marketers make the smartest investments within the video space.
An example of her creative negotiating prowess came during the 2013 upfronts, when she, along with other key members of Starcom’s investment leadership team, made it a clear priority that Starcom was approaching the upfront differently — more screens, more data and a bigger-than-ever focus on innovation wrapped within deals.
One highlight was a deal with Turner for product integrations across its entire slate of shows, briefi ng producers and writers at the start of production for seamless, low-impact integration opportunities. Bowe also supported the deal Starcom drove with Yahoo! to explore how data can inform content development and reshape personalized distribution.
As a lead buyer on kids’ media negotiations, she’s also helped her team drive groundbreaking research and add value to client programs.
Senior Vice President, Business & Brand Development
Monica Austin has been responsible for the integration and expansion of the MasterChef (Fox) and The Biggest Loser (NBC) brands during her time at Shine America, where she also leads the company’s strategic on-air brand integration and sponsorship initiatives and off-air merchandising and licensing opportunities for all scripted, unscripted and digital properties.
Shine America is a U.S. division of Shine Group, created in March 2012 after the merger of Shine Americas, Shine USA and Reveille Productions. Most recently, Austin secured a partnership with Skype for Fox’s MasterChef Junior and launched a global MasterChef culinary tour. She also manages the on-air brand integration and sponsorship for all of Shine’s scripted and unscripted digital properties and is responsible for major integration deals with global brands such as Ford, Subway, Brita and Walmart.
Before coming to Shine, Austin worked for Super! Alright! as vice president of business and content development and for ITV Global Entertainment, where she developed and implemented comprehensive brand strategy for various clients, such as Nat Geo Wild, and shows such as Hell’sKitchen and Nanny 911, both on Fox. She continues to find new and innovative ways to create lucrative brand partnerships and consistently elevates her brands into well-known, household names.
Senior Vice President, Head of Programming
For the last two-plus years, Paul Cabana has been on a mission to turn a nascent network into a cable powerhouse. He has gone a long way toward achieving that goal in a short period of time.
As the head of H2, a network rebranded in September 2011 (previously History International), he fully embraced the network’s tagline “More 2 History.” Today, H2 is the No. 1 emerging network (under 70 million homes), showing double-digit growth versus full-year 2013 among total viewers, adults ages 25-54 and 18-49 and men ages 25-54 and 18 -49. H2 has more than doubled its audience among all key demos since its rebranding.
Cabana formed a targeted strategy to differentiate H2 from History, while giving H2 its own voice: As History is going broad, H2 is going deep, giving more core information. America Unearthed — Cabana’s first original series, which launched in 2012 — is breaking records for H2, nearly tripling its average.
Throughout 2014, H2 will roll out a new slate of original series, providing audiences with more to explore, reveal and know about history. He was the executive producer on some of network’s most prolific programming, including the The Men Who Built America, Mankind The Story of All of Us and Life After People. He also introduced History’s first competition series, Top Shot.
Vice President, Consumer Marketing
Jack Daley is responsible for developing marketing and advertising campaigns in support of show launches and live events, as well as overseeing consumer relationship management and social media for the Nickelodeon brand. Over the past two years, he has helped build Nick’s social-media presence to more than 250 million fans across multiple platforms.
Using these platforms, Daley has constructed creative, innovative campaigns that expand the Nick brand beyond its core demo. For example, last year’s Kids’ Choice Awards were promoted through the “Fan Armies” program, which pitted groups of fans of top nominees against one another in a series of daily challenges across various social platforms. It helped the network score a record-breaking 392 million votes across multiple platforms.
Daley oversees marketing strategies and advertising planning for Nick series and special events such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Legend of Korra, TeenNick’s HALO Awards and NickMom, as well as the Kids’ Choice Awards.
He also leads acquisition efforts in support of Nick’s mobile app and digital-gaming businesses. The 10-year veteran developed the award-winning “Korra Nation” viral marketing campaign in support of The Legend of Korra launch. And he catapulted SpongeBob’s social-media presence to more than 70 million fans across Facebook and Twitter.
Senior Vice President, Distribution, Strategic Analysis
Promoted to his current post in March, David Espinosa provides critical strategic analysis and guidance across the full range of Fox Networks’ distribution activities involving 44 owned-and-operated and joint-venture TV networks. He also takes a leadership role in the strategy, negotiation, implementation and administration of affiliate and retransmission- consent agreements between Fox and all major cable, satellite and telco providers. He provides crucial guidance on budgets, pricing, proposals, network-specific analysis and cross-account initiatives to shape and support the Fox Networks portfolio.
An eight-year Fox veteran, Espinosa is a well-respected executive who has proven skillful at navigating strategically through the constantly shifting television-distribution landscape. He is known for cultivating success in those around him and advocating for young executives throughout the company. His contributions are essential to the success of many of Fox’s recent landmark affiliation and retransmission-consent deals.
Fluent in English and Spanish, the Mexico native joined Fox in 2006 as director of national accounts and was promoted to vice president, distribution, strategic analysis, in 2010. Prior to Fox, he was vice president, corporate banking at Citibank (Banamex USA) and later VP, electronic payment orders. He started out at Banco Nacional de Mexico as an analyst in 1996, and later was manager of commercial lending.
NADINE C. FINNERTY
Executive Director, New Growth & Development
Nadine Finnerty is responsible for identifying, assessing and developing adjacent growth opportunities within Cox’s Connected Home Portfolio and is currently overseeing exploration in the home health and education spaces. In her multifaceted role, she is tasked with seeking strategic partnerships, developing product and packaging, executing marketing, spearheading trials and monitoring assessments. Her ultimate mission is to identify exciting new concepts that meet overall company objectives.
This past year, she drove an “Aging in Place” initiative through a three-market trial, forging a partnership with a top medical monitoring provider and developing a creative operating model. She also developed strategy and sourced partners for the creation of a data-driven targeted advertising platform, completed a company-wide data monetization review and led a home health-and-wellness assessment for new business.
Prior to Cox, Finnerty was senior director of TV Networks Distribution for Comcast/ NBCUniversal. She also held senior roles within Comcast’s programming division and Comcast Cable. As senior director of distribution strategy and finance for Comcast Networks, she formed a deal finance team and led all deal strategy, analyses and budgeting for affiliate sales. A certified public accountant, before joining Comcast she served as senior associate and consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Vice President, External Affairs, Oregon & Southwest Washington Region
At Comcast, Theressa Dulaney has been an innovative leader and influential industry spokesperson. With nearly 20 years of public-relations experience, she has built long-term, successful relationships with local, national and regional media, as well as other influencers.
Prior to joining Comcast in 2004, she was responsible for corporate communications with the National Basketball Association’s Portland Trail Blazers, where she managed communications around the team’s community giving, corporate and marketing initiatives, placement of players’ nonsports initiatives and a myriad of other corporate issues for the Trail Blazers and the Rose Garden Arena. She also edited the team’s publications, Rip City Magazine and Hoop Magazine, and placed stories about the team with such national media as USA Today, The New York Times, The Tonight Show, CNN and Good Morning America.
Earlier in her career, she worked for a Portland advertising agency and publicrelations firm and interned for a U.S. congressman. She also owned and operated a dance studio. She is currently president of the WICT Pacific Northwest chapter and is a past president of the Oregon Cable Telecommunications Association. She was a member of Leadership Portland and served as a leader of its alumni committee.
Senior Vice President, Distribution, National Accounts
Jessica Fang oversees Fox Networks’s day-to-day relationships with national distributors, including the negotiation of distribution agreements covering all 44 owned-andoperated and joint-venture TV networks, VOD and other media platforms.
Promoted from VP this past March, Fang also negotiates retransmission-consent compensation for Fox’s owned-andoperated broadcast stations and advises on strategies and tactics in dealing with the network group’s top distributors. She is involved in all aspects of Fox’s distribution efforts, including the creation of comprehensive financial models. Described by co-workers as bright, diligent and strategic, she plays a critical role in many of Fox’s most challenging negotiations while maintaining an excellent rapport with distribution partners. She is a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications, the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.
When she’s not at the negotiating table, Fang finds time to mentor Fox’s junior executives. She joined Fox in 2002 as manager of national accounts after earning her MBA from Pepperdine University and degrees in psychology and business from Carnegie Mellon University. She was elevated to director of national accounts and sales strategy in 2005, where her focus expanded to include strategic plans for emerging networks.
Executive Vice President of Finance
Rural Media Group
Gatsby Gottsch is making a mark in the cable industry through her integral role driving the growth of Rural Media Group, the privately-owned programmer founded by her father, Patrick Gottsch. She joined RMG in May 2010 after studying international business at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas-ICADE in Madrid, Spain, and earning her B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.
At RMG, she has worked closely with other members of the executive team on various initiatives, including creating a corporate structure, expanding its international distribution and relaunching its digital assets. In 2012, she assisted chief financial officer Steve Campione with the launch of RMG’s second network, Rural TV, and later that year with the acquisition of FamilyNet.
The combination of those assets created a second cable network for RMG (after flagship RFD-TV) of more than 20 million subscribers in just six months. She rebuilt the company’s website and its paid streaming and video-on-demand service in 2013. Also in 2013, she helped build the operational plan for Rural Radio, RMG’s satellite radio network available to more than 27 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada on SiriusXM channel 80. She serves as part of the executive team and board of directors, and manages the RFD-TV Theatre in Branson, Mo., as well as RMG’s digital media assets.
Vice President, Advertising Sales
Crown Media Family Networks
Cheryl Grimley wears two hats at Crown Media Family Networks, home of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel. She oversees all aspects of advertising sales in the Western Region for both networks, including all integrations for Hallmark Channel’s popular daytime lifestyle series, Home and Family.
She is charged with identifying and executing clientspecific opportunities while also negotiating upfront and scatter deals. In addition, she manages the West Coast ad-sales team and is responsible for driving sales revenue through strategic advertising solutions and cultivating partnerships with new and existing clients. For the 2013-14 upfront, Crown’s ad-sales team outdelivered its 2013 revenue goals, with a total increase of 10% for the full year. Grimley was instrumental in that success, contributing an increase of 73% in dollars and increased shares from a key West Coast packaged-goods client. Through unique custom integrations, Grimley was also able to persuade that client to double its dollars. In 2013, Crown Media’s integrations were up 22% from the previous year, mostly due to Grimley’s efforts.
She led the charge for a commitment to organic integrations with Crown Media’s programming, focusing Home & Family. Before joining Crown in 2012, she was director of new business development at Viacom Media Networks, developing business partnerships for Nickelodeon Network Group.
Chief Technology Officer
An Illinois native who moved to Mountain Home, Ark., for his sophomore year of high school, Jason Hansen has worked for Conway Corp. for 14 years, starting out as a customer- service representative in the Internet department. He soon became the Wide Area Network administrator and then manager of broadband and video services. In 2011, he was named Conway’s first chief technology officer, leading a dedicated team that provides support, direction, security and infrastructure for the company and the citizens of Conway, Ark. The desire to fulfi ll and exceed business objectives and expectations for both Conway and its customers allows Hansen and his team to function as a catalyzing change agent driving innovation. Because Conway is a municipal provider, his role as CTO requires him, in addition to supervising internal information-technology services, to direct the Wide Area Network department, which provides the city with Internet, telephone and cable TV services. He is one of three top officers at Conway that report to the CEO.
As CTO, Hansen led the development of a customized cable-modem provisioning system, the deployment of next-generation broadband services throughout the system and the all-digital cable transition of 18,000 Conway households. He’s overseen the launch of the multiroom DVR and the release of Conway’s mobile application. He also is an entrepreneur and small business owner, having co-founded a rental-home business in 2006. And he is the chief operations officer at Swap for Tomorrow, an Arkansas-based startup.
Chief Financial Officer
Revolt Media & TV
A graduate of Harvard Business School and Dartmouth University with 15 years of experience in entertainment private equity and $20 billion in mergerand- acquisition deals under his belt, Key Kiarie joined Revolt Media & TV in January 2013 as a strategy steward, building the corporate infrastructure from the ground up.
On a day-to-day basis, he works with Revolt’s board to steer financial planning and capital management, oversees U.S operations and technology for offices and systems, acts as chief negotiator for high-value deals and talent and balances the company’s startup budgets, in the tens of millions of dollars. The Bronx, N.Y., native and longtime volunteer for the “A Better Chance” program for innercity youth has not only kept the music network founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs on target for financial profitability, but has managed its funds so diligently that the network called capital several months after target.
Before coming to Revolt, he was the managing director at media entrepreneur Haim Saban’s Saban Capital Group, where he worked on deals including those for Univision Communications, Bezeq Communications, Tiger Gate (a Lionsgate pay TV joint venture in Asia) and Next New Networks (sold to Google in 2011). Earlier, he worked for private-equity firm AEA Investors, at investment bank JP Morgan and at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. A resident of New York and Los Angeles, he is an active public- and private-market investor and is on the boards of Juke, DisconnectMe and Xaisle.
Head of Content Partnerships
A former YouTube executive who managed a series of landmark deals for the platform and led education initiatives for the Global Sports Team, Julie Kikla moved from London to New York, where she launched The Whistle Network, the first sports-focused multichannel network, on Jan. 1.
The Whistle launched with 2 million subscribers, later adding more than 1 million additional subscribers and continuing to grow; it recently acquired The Lacrosse Network. Of late, Major League Baseball joined the National Football League, the PGA of America and other major leagues as Whistle investors, as well as some 40 content partners.
Her years at YouTube and the National Agency Team at Google taught her the market opportunity available at the intersection of kids, sports and entertainment, and she believed The Whistle’s progress in building its professional league partnerships, investment team, content strategy and leadership best positioned it to own that intersection. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was on the school’s gymnastics team. She was marketing director for a digital startup. She worked as a research associate in the Children and Media Lab at the Annenberg School of Communication. And she was a management consultant, where she helped create go-to-market opportunities for new companies.
Senior Vice President, Current Production
A six-year veteran of NBCUniversal-owned Bravo, Jenn Levy was promoted in March to spearhead production on some of the network’s biggest hits, including Shahs of Sunset and the Million Dollar Listing franchise. She also oversees the executives in charge of production on Below Deck, new series Top Chef Duels and the Emmy Award-winning Top Chef. Under her direction, Shahs of Sunset garnered massive media attention and averaged more than 1 million viewers ages 18-49 for its recently-completed third season. She also oversaw development and production for Bravo’s 2013 summer series Below Deck, whose season finale delivered more than 2.3 million total viewers. With her guidance, last year’s season-six premiere of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles was the highest-rated start in the franchise’s history among all key demos, and Million Dollar Listing New York’s season-three premiere in 2014 garnered the series’ highestrated season start ever among all key demos. As VP of development and production, Levy developed hit series, including Vanderpump Rules, and oversaw Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Prior to Bravo, Levy was at VH1 as director, development and production. There, she developed and produced several pilots and series including The Cho Show and What Perez Sez. While at VH1 she also founded and ran a development think-tank where the series Motormouth was created.
Director, Product Line Management, CMTS/CER Products
Tal Laufer helps some of world’s leading cable operators realize unrivaled bandwidth efficiencies in their networks. Laufer is committed to innovating technologies and architectures that improve the density and cost-efficiency of edge routers for Arris customers.
Technically talented and dedicated, she helps operators break through new barriers to improve efficiency and make the necessary room in the broadband pipe to meet increasing consumer demands for high-definition channels, video on demand and a greater range of digital content choices. Laufer drives the video implementation of the Arris E6000 Converged Edge Router Converged Cable Access Platform product, deciphers customer requirements and helps create the CCAP architecture for a long list of MSOs. To date, the E6000 has been deployed worldwide and now provides service to more than 2 million subscribers.
A native of Israel, Laufer holds an MBA as well as a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University. She is a member of the CableLabs working group and has contributed to the CCAP Technical Requirements publication. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading and building Lego models. In her obligatory army service, Laufer served as a personal assistant to the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
Director, Head of Entertainment East Content Partnerships
Laura Lee leads YouTube’s Entertainment East team focusing on broadcasters, cable networks, film studios, aggregators, digital media and original programming partnerships for the East Coast and Canada.
Her team works to maximize the YouTube presence of companies ranging from large media partners such as Discovery Networks to more emerging brands such as Vice. Since joining YouTube in 2007, she has spearheaded relationships with partners including Vice, Discovery, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, CBS and Scripps, and led the launch of YouTube’s video-rentals product.
Previously, she was vice president and head of business development and operations for MTV Networks’ Music & Logo Group, where she led the acquisition of Harmonix and launched several vertical broadband businesses. She also served in production and development roles at VH1 and Spike TV, including the GQ Man of the Year Awards. Before that, she worked in special projects at Time Warner Inc., including as interim controller at Africana.com, and advised on digital launch initiatives, such as Parenting.com. A former media investment banker for J.P. Morgan, Lee is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School, a proud mother of two rambunctious children and an avid karaoke singer.
Senior Director, TV Networks Distribution
NBCUniversal Content Distribution
An essential member of NBCU’s national sales team, Lindsay Libramonte manages the negotiation, distribution and execution of a multibillion-dollar content portfolio, including its cable properties as well as NBCand Telemundo-owned TV stations, Olympics content, video-on-demand, pay-per-view and set-top box content. She has direct oversight of 14 accounts, including Time Warner Cable, Google Fiber, WOW! and various SMATV and IPTV aggregators. She also manages the sales process for all U.S. territories and a team of two employees.
Most recently, Libramonte played a key role in securing and expanding TV Everywhere rights and distribution for NBC, Telemundo, Esquire Network, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, and Sprout through long-term direct agreements with Time Warner Cable, Google Fiber, Liberty Cablevision, NTTC, GTA Teleguam and Puerto Rico Telephone Co. Her biggest achievement in 2013 was successfully securing distribution deals with TWC, Google Fiber, Liberty Cablevision, NTTC and Puerto Rico Telephone that resulted in two new network launches, CSN Bay Area and CSN California, and about 5 million incremental subscribers for Sprout.
Diagnosed with breast cancer last October, she chose not to take time off, despite undergoing aggressive treatment, and finished securing three expiring deals.
Vice President, Broadband Voice
Patti Loyack is responsible for Xfinity Voice and Communications at Comcast — which serves more than 10 million U.S. customers, is the fourth-largest U.S. voice provider and generates $3.6 billion — including identifying key business growth drivers and overall management. She has become a highly effective leader and member of Comcast’s Communications, Data and Mobility Product Management Team. She joined Comcast in 2001 as an information technology program manager for Comcast Business Communications. In 2002, she was part of a corporate team responsible for launching Comcast Digital Voice and led various efforts to support its deployment.
In 2007, she was responsible for data and communications product planning, including packaging, pricing and market-research activities that supported the development and launch of new products (notably the Xfinity Connect Mobile app, with popular features such as visual voicemail). Her outstanding 2013 included hitting the 10 million-customer mark and launching international calling plans and next-generation IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) voice features. Prior to Comcast, Loyack was a consultant for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Basis of Behavior and master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from St. Joseph’s University.
Vice President, Branded Entertainment And Integrated Marketing
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
Creative skills and a knack for client relationships recently landed OWN’s Eileen Mathews a promotion from director of branded entertainment. She has played a big role in some of the network’s biggest advertising partnerships, including an overall deal with its largest advertiser, Procter & Gamble. She was a key player in a successful crossplatform integration between the Emmy award-winning series Oprah’s Lifeclass and the popular Secret deodorant brand. Working alongside P&G, Mathews helped developed the integration’s crossplatform element, such as informational video vignettes, a 30-day “Stress Less” challenge that viewers could sign up for, a digital hub on Oprah.com, a personalized mobile app and a retail partnership with Walmart that marked the first time a P&G product included a network logo on its packaging.
Mathews spent her formative years in New York at MTV, writing and directing in the on-air promos department. After she moved back to her home state of California, she became executive producer of Stardust, a bi-coastal motion graphics/ production company . In 2007, she formed Best Company Ever Inc. with another MTV alum. For fi ve years, the two were an award-winning writing/directing team known as BEST*, creating viral videos, TV shows and commercial campaigns.
Vice President of Programming
Heather McCallion oversees deal negotiation, implementation and compliance for all of cable provider Atlantic Broadband’s video content. With 15 years of distribution experience, she has a deep understanding of the programming contract landscape and how to collaborate with partners to build value for consumers. Previously, she was as a vice president at NBCUniversal, overseeing all field sales and marketing endeavors. In that role she was responsible for all deal implementation, compliance and incremental growth for the NBCU portfolio of 20 brands, including retransmission consent for NBC-owned stations. Her credits while there include launching more than 3 million new Oxygen HD and 1.5 million Sprout HD subscribers in the Eastern Region, and she gained ad-sales insertion in several key markets including New York.
She was extensively involved in the Women’s Network @ NBCUniversal, which exposed her to 3,000 employees across its 90 business units. After five years as the co-lead of the Tri-State hub, she became a hub adviser, helping to leverage relationships inside and outside the company to bring exposure and professional development opportunities to female NBCU employees. She has held other leadership positions within NBCU, Starz and The Walt Disney Co., and aided in the industry-wide rollout of the Starz “Super Pack” suite. She also was a key leader in the repositioning of Disney Channel as an expanded-basic service.
Chief Marketing Officer
James Moorhead joined Dish Network in 2012 to lead the No. 2 U.S. satellite-TV distributor’s marketing organization. A Procter & Gamble veteran, he has led his team with a back-to-basics approach, resulting in significant impacts for the business and his team’s engagement and expertise. The past year brought two key brand partnerships that Moorhead and his team promoted through a strategic media mix with greater focus on digital. This became pivotal as Dish embarked on two campaigns with Apple and Southwest Airlines. Kicked off last year and renewed for this coming year, Dish struck an exclusive partnership with Apple that had never been done before — new customers received an iPad when they signed up. Initial results showed that more than 60% of consumers who accepted the iPad offer said they have a much more positive impression of Dish because of its Apple partnership. These consumers are also telling an average of five people about the Dish iPad offer.
Dish also extended its partnership with Southwest Airlines to provide in-flight TV. Since the government changed rules regarding personal electronic device usage, mobile video viewing on Southwest Airlines flights has increased more than 20%. For the fourth straight quarter, Dish top-of-mind brand awareness topped DirecTV. In the most recent quarter it reached 68%, two points higher than DirecTV.
Co-host, TakePart Live
Meghan McCain, The New York Times bestselling author, TV producer and commentator, generated accolades for her perspectives on the Pivot talk show Raising McCain. In the series, McCain went on the road, exploring a range of topics from bullying and feminism to sex overload and the death of romance. She drew national attention to Pivot, a new network created from combining Halogen TV and Documentary Channel assets. The reaction was so positive that Pivot expanded its relationship with her, naming her cohost of the network’s late-night topical show, TakePart Live, beginning this spring.
This year, she has championed a campaign, “Return the Service,” to educate Pivot’s younger audience about the contributions made by returning service men and women in the U.S. armed forces. “I’m incredibly proud of my father and my brother who served our country,” she said. As the outspoken daughter of U.S. Sen. John McCain, she was propelled into the national spotlight at an early age. She joined her father’s presidential campaign in 2008 and launched a blog that quickly gained an avid following. Her 2010 book, Dirty Sexy Politics: A True Story, and a subsequent children’s book were both inspired by her time on the campaign trail. Her latest, America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom, recounts the cross-country road trip she tool with liberal comedian Michael Ian Black in 2011.
Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy
Evan Minskoff is a savvy marketer, admired leader and a mentor to each member of his team, which includes consumer marketing, consumer and corporate communications, social media and digital, research and brand partnerships. At Ovation, he has spearheaded a number of successful campaigns. Most recently, he led the relationship with Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue to secure the participation of Anna Wintour and Jenna Lyons in a marketing campaign promoting original series The Fashion Fund. The campaign was a hit, reaching hundreds of taxi tops, billboards, digital displays and more across the U.S. and winning accolades from CNE and Vogue for the relationship and trust that was established, as well as its ease of execution, organization and level of style.
He also brings online, e-commerce and brand experience to the network, having headed marketing and branding for Gilt.com. Prior to Gilt, Minskoff was vice president and head of marketing for The About Group, then three New York Times Co. digital properties. He led the brand’s strategic and creative reposition, growing consumer interaction as well as premium advertiser consideration, intent and revenue. He has also held senior marketing roles at The Walt Disney Co., Citigroup and Digitas. He is a comedy writer in his spare time and was a columnist in his early days.
Vice President, Programming Acquisition
Responsible for negotiating agreements with video content providers, Mandy Orzo’s efforts have significantly expanded Cablevision’s Optimum TV offerings across platforms and categories, including broadband, VOD, pay-per-view and linear programming. Her responsibilities include negotiating programming agreements, writing contracts, providing contract management oversight, managing day-to-day relationships with suppliers and providing guidance on programming matters to internal departments. Before joining Cablevision, Orzo honed her expertise in cable programming, focused on scheduling and network content acquisition. She worked for Versus (now NBC Sports Network) in program acquisitions and planning and at MTV Networks in program planning. That experience now enables her to construct transactions that appeal to all parties.
Since joining Cablevision in 2008, Orzo has shaped long-term programming strategies that have laid the foundation for Optimum TV. Over the past year, Cablevision increased its Optimum TV VOD content by 150% and TV Everywhere offerings by more than 400% — growth directly linked to Orzo’s strategic thinking. Orzo majored in TV production at Hofstra University and is a 2010 graduate of CTAM’s Cable Executive Management program at Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Human Resources, Southeast Region
Shortly after receiving a bachelor’s degree in business administration from James Madison University, Kia Painter began her career with Cox Communications in Hampton Roads, Va., as a part-time human-resources assistant. She rose through the ranks, ultimately overseeing the Cox Hampton Roads talent-acquisition team. In her 16 years with Cox, she has been a part of great transformation and growth. As VP of human resources for the Southeast region, she was instrumental in the successful merger of the Gulf Coast, Central Florida, and Middle Georgia markets. She has remained focused on keeping 2,000 employees engaged amidst ongoing transformation to successfully deliver uninterrupted, optimum customer service.
This past year, Cox experienced a significant year of consolidation, and Painter remained faithful and ambitious in leading the Southeast Region. She prepared her team for change upfront and implemented ongoing mentoring programs and career circles. She has a true talent for staying connected to all of her employees at every level. She also portrays a real authenticity and love for the cable industry despite the ever-changing environment. Her commitment and dedication to Cox have allowed her to successfully climb the ranks and provided her with the opportunity to become a key player in driving growth for Cox. A Norfolk, Va., native, she resides in Kenner, La.
Vice President, Operations
Since joining Comcast Spotlight in 2001, Travis Parrill has been on the fast track to success — not only because of broad knowledge, but also because he is a change leader.
He has become an integral part of the division’s leadership team and a proven player for Spotlight nationally. His leadership has been indispensable as the company has evolved from local spot-TV sales into the industry’s leading multiplatform digital marketing solutions provider.
Parrill oversees the division’s operating functions, including engineering, master control, traffic, information technology, creative services and sales integration. He and his team support about 700 employees, 375 advertising zones and steward 400 million commercials per year. He has been a key player at the table when Spotlight has worked to optimize its operations and systems. He was instrumental in consolidating three operations centers into one centralized location. This included the migration to one traffic system, establishing a staffing model to support the division and integrating traffic, engineering, IT and master control. He is currently leading a companywide effort to launch an application that serves as a single point of order entry.
Parrill held several leadership roles at Spotlight before transitioning to Comcast Cable in 2009 to lead the Regional Engineering function. In late 2011, he rejoined Spotlight to lead the West Division Operations team.
Senior Vice President, Programming and Development
Recently promoted to senior management at the growing (after acquiring Fuse TV) NUVOtv operation, Lynnette Ramirez is an integral part of the programming team for the leading English-language destination for Latino entertainment. This includes development of an entire new slate of original series and specials since NUVOtv’s July 2013 relaunch, including House of Joy, Love & Salsa, Knockout and The Collective, Powered by Vevo, as well as helping to bring Dexter to NUVOtv — a move that has already positively affected the value of the brand. She was closely involved in closing the co-production deal with Vevo, while helping to develop the premise of The Collective. She was personally involved in selecting the cast of tastemakers who act as hosts and is involved in selecting the talent that is featured on each episode. She was also involved in hiring the series’ executive producer and segment producers and personally produced much of what of was recently captured for the show at SXSW.
Ramirez began her development career at Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films. In 2002, she launched indie producer Vida Films, where she produced the ensemble drama The Blue Hour. In June 2007 she began her post as senior VP of development and production for George Lopez Presents. There, she produced the Nickelodeon original movie Mr. Troop Mom. She is also a member of the Writers Guild of America.
Vice President, Media Strategy
Sharon Peters is responsible for developing integrated media strategies for the Optimum family of business and residential products. She also oversees Optimum Channel, which provides customers with valuable information and entertainment. Throughout her work, she injects innovative marketing strategies that significantly and measurably increase awareness and results.
Over the past two years, Peters has conducted deep research and developed fresh profiles of today’s TV, phone and Internet customers and prospects. She then leveraged her insights and expertise to design marketing campaigns activated based on custom data and cutting-edge technology. Cablevision is positioned to deliver addressable TV to the set-top box, and Peters applies a precise audience-measurement data tool she developed to target Cablevision’s different customers. She strengthened Cablevision’s search-engine optimization practices across digital properties, increasing sales from organic search and overall while also decreasing costs per sale.
Before joining Cablevision in 1998, Peters worked in programming and ad sales at Rainbow Media Holdings. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and an executive management certifi cate from New York University, and is a 2003 graduate of CTAM’s Cable Executive Management program at Harvard Business School.
Vice President, Games & Partnerships
In six years at ESPN, Raphael Poplock has driven pivotal negotiations and signed key deals in the gaming and digital media space. His responsibilities have expanded beyond games to include social-media revenue strategies, business development and partnerships across all of ESPN’s platforms.
For the past several years, he was the lead negotiator with Microsoft’s Xbox Live. He inked a first-of-its-kind deal for ESPN that changed the sports viewing experience through interactivity and personalization on the gaming console since the Xbox Live’s debut in November 2010. It brought ESPN3 to the TV screen through a platform with mass-market penetration, enhancing the ad sales opportunity, extending reach and providing value to fans, ISP affiliates and rights sellers. It also positioned ESPN as leader in the digital space, driving new opportunities with other distribution partners.
As the primary liaison for ESPN’s long-standing relationship with EA Sports, Poplock supports new content strategies with deeper in-game integrations such as full broadcast treatments in such titles as FIFA ’14 and NCAA Football ’14. He also leads the work with other leading developers in their space, including Codemasters and Ubisoft. Through these partnerships, ESPN now has a presence in all three sports gaming categories, simulation, action and casual.
In January, IAC-owned multimedia entertainment studio Electus created Electus Digital, merging CollegeHumor Media with other properties. Under Electus Digital, the CollegeHumor Originals team created the full-service production company Big Breakfast, with Sam Reich at its helm. He established the CollegeHumor Originals department in 2006 and was its president of original content. His work there earned the website more than 2 billion views, a top-rated YouTube channel and 13 Webby Awards.
Reich has overseen the creation of such hit Web series as Jake and Amir, Very Mary-Kate and Precious Plum and Badman, a Batman parody series with comedian Pete Holmes. Big Breakfast’s first projects also include a development deal with TBS to bring Jake and Amir to television, and a partnership with IFC to produce the first-ever CollegeHumor Comedy Music Awards.
A native of Cambridge, Mass., and the son of political economist Robert Reich, he dropped out of high school to pursue a career in the arts. He directed his first play, Waiting for Godot, at the Burton Taylor Theatre in Oxford at the age of 15, and has been creating digital video content since before there was a YouTube. In 2003, he formed the comedy group Dutch West, which produced Internet content for Comedy Central, Tribeca Films and CollegeHumor, among others.
LORI ROTHSCHILD ANSALDI
Senior Vice President of Development & Corporate Communications,
Lori Rothschild Ansaldi joined LMNO Productions in 2011, and her passion for finding outrageous characters and concepts created an entirely new approach to LMNO’s development docket centered on casting. In her short tenure, she has sold 13 projects, including Pageant Wives for TLC and Deadly Wives for BIO, and helped launch the career of The Golden Sisters, who became an online viral sensation that led to a 10-part series on OWN. She currently has multiple projects in production and development with a variety of networks and serves as the co-creator and executive producer of Graham of Evidence for A&E.
Her nonfiction TV career started at Discovery Communications, serving on the production and development teams at Travel Channel and Discovery Channel. At Travel, she co-created and executive produced the treasure-hunting series Cash and Treasures and won a national Daytime Emmy for Passport to Latin America with Samantha Brown. She also served as executive producer on World Poker Tour, which created a new vanguard in televised poker. At Discovery, she served as supervising producer and sat on the development team responsible for Cash Cab, Deadliest Catch, I Shouldn’t Be Alive, Dirty Jobs and Planet Earth. Specials credits include Last Mysteries Of The Titanic With James Cameron and Biker Build Off — The Ultimate Chop.
Senior Managing Director
Jason Sobol focuses on advising companies in the media, information and Internet sectors in his role at Evercore, where he has worked for 10½ years. Before joining Evercore, he was VP of acquisitions for the Davis Cos., the holding company for Marvin Davis-controlled entities, focusing on private equity and leveraged buyout opportunities primarily in media and entertainment. He was also a principal of the Davis family’s venture fund, Stone Canyon Venture Partners. Before that he was senior director of business development for Launch.com, which was acquired by Yahoo!, and prior to that, a member of the mergers-and-acquisitions group of Goldman Sachs.
He has advised on a broad range of transactions, including sales, acquisitions, carve-outs, IPOs, spinoffs, capital raises, recapitalizations and restructurings. In his first year as a senior managing director at Evercore, he led or co-led a number of important deals, including advising BNA in its $1 billion sale to Bloomberg, LoopNet in its $860 million sale to CoStar Group and M&F Worldwide Corp. on its $2.5 billion sale to MacAndrews & Forbes. Recent credits include advising Warburg Pincus and iParadigms on the sale of iParadigms to Insight Venture Partners and GIC Special Investments for $752 million; advising Genstar Capital and TravelClick on the sale of TravelClick to Thoma Bravo for $930 million; advising R. L. Polk & Co. on its sale of Polk and Carfax businesses to IHS for $1.4 billion and advising The New York Times Co. on its sale of its New England Media Group (including The Boston Globe) to a company owned by John Henry.
Senior VP, Global Head of Strategic Content Partnerships
Bloomberg Media Group
Todd Swidler has spent his career at the edge of some the industry’s most recent transformations: digitization, globalization and direct-to-consumer content. His experience demonstrates a deep understanding of linear TV and the ability to successfully balance traditional and emerging revenue models. At Bloomberg Media Group, he oversees global digital distribution of content; Bloomberg TV agreements with cable, satellite and digital operators in the U.S., Canada and Latin America; and international brand licenses for local editions of Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Before this, he was senior director of business development for the National Basketball Association, where he managed global distribution of programming and digital products in 215 countries in 41 languages. He launched digital subscription service “NBA League Pass” as well as the flagship international Game Time mobile App. Before that, he was in digital product strategy and marketing at for Cablevision Systems, driving efforts around the launch of the triple play, voice-over-IP and commercial services. He led product launches for Optimum Voice telephone service and worked with media buyers and creative agencies to execute a regional marketing program. He won a 2006 CTAM Mark Award for his work there. A Montreal native, he held consulting roles at Adeo and Accenture before moving to New York to earn his MBA at NYU Stern.
Host, Brain Games
National Geographic Channel
As host of National Geographic Channel’s top-rated, Emmy-nominated series Brain Games, Jason Silva guides viewers through the twists and turns of the human brain. Through man-on-the-street demonstrations and experiments, Silva — joined by top experts in cognitive science, neuroscience and psychology — explain the “why” behind the “wow” in a way that earned him the description by The Atlantic as “a Timothy Leary of the Video Viral Age.” (The show returns for a second, 10- episode season on July 14.) Venezuela-born Silva had been a presenter on Current TV, where he hosted, wrote and produced more than 100 hours of original content between 2005 and 2011. He left to become, again according to The Atlantic, “a parttime filmmaker and full-time walking, talking TEDTalk.”
Silva recently launched a series of noncommercial micro-documentaries exploring the co-evolution of human and technology. An active and prolific speaker, he has addressed SXSW Interactive, TEDGlobal and Google Zeitgeist, and has keynoted events for Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Oracle and the Sydney Opera House Festival of Dangerous Ideas. In 2011 he became a fellow at the Hybrid Reality Institute, examining the symbiosis between man and machine. He also was recently named a National Geographic Society fellow . He lives in New York.
George Strompolos is the CEO and founder of Fullscreen, a media company that powers the creation and sharing of video with the connected generation. Before founding Fullscreen, he served as strategic partnerships manager at YouTube and was responsible for establishing distribution channels with new media companies and content producers. In 2007, he co-created the YouTube Partner Program, which provided new monetization opportunities for a new class of online content producers around the world. He also led YouTube’s first multimillion-dollar programming fund and spearheaded key initiatives, including Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.
Strompolos began his career in various business development roles at Wired magazine, CNET Networks and Google. He regularly speaks at industry events such as NATPE, Digital Hollywood, VidCon and SXSW. He was named one of Advertising Age’s “40 under 40” in 2013.
He holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and lives in Los Angeles. He volunteers at Citizen Schools, where he helps junior high students express creativity through video. He also enjoys going to concerts, watching movies, cooking and spending time with curious people “IRL” (in real life).
Jim Tanner is one of the founders of Clearleap, a top provider of multiscreen video-logistics solutions for the television industry. He was instrumental in many of the company’s recent successes and has been a key player in the multiscreen ecosystem for many years.
Prior to the founding of Clearleap in 2007, Tanner served as a senior engineer focusing on software design and development at Raytheon, eSoft, FundTech, N2 Broadband, and Tandberg Television, where he built his base of expertise in enterprise billing systems, high-transaction network servers, component-based architecture and massively scalable database-driven applications. A leader at N2 Broadband, he architected an innovative product that was acquired by Tandberg and eventually Ericsson.
His cutting-edge architecture at Clearleap is the foundation for the company’s signature platform, which enables delivering streaming video solutions across multiple devices for such infl uential names in television as Scripps Networks, HBO, In Demand and Time Warner Cable. In 2012, he received a U.S. patent for a network transcoding system he invented with three other Clearleap team members: Tom Campbell, Drake Henderson and John Vecchio. He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s of science degree in 1997 and currently resides in Atlanta.
Chief Executive Officer
Kerry Trainor is responsible for the strategy, oversight, and development of IACowned Vimeo, the 10-yearold video-sharing service popular with filmmakers, ad executives and videographers for its high-quality, high-definition platform. He has overseen a major business transformation with the launch of Vimeo On Demand, a new platform that allows filmmakers to sell their work directly to their audience and keep a 90% share of the revenue. Launched in March 2013, Vimeo On Demand has already accumulated more than 8,000 films organically and recently hit a major milestone with the global worldwide day-anddate release of Joss Whedon’s supernatural romance film In Your Eyes.
He joined Vimeo in 2012 from AOL, where he had most recently served as senior vice president and general manager, entertainment, for the Huffington Post Media Group. He oversaw the online content company’s portfolio of entertainment properties, including AOL Music, AOL TV, Moviefone, Huffington Post Entertainment, Huffington Post Celebrity and Huffington Post Comedy. Prior to AOL, Trainor was co-founder and CEO of FlipGloss Media, which was acquired by Forbes Media. FlipGloss is a photo distribution platform enabling publishers and advertisers to embed interactive, magazinestyle photo packages across the Web. Prior to FlipGloss, Trainor was head of global media products for Yahoo! Music. He began his Internet career at music startup Launch.com before it was acquired by Yahoo.
Vice President, Creative And Brand Strategy, Marketing
IFC’s Kevin Vitale is responsible for the overall creative look and feel of the network, connecting viewers and partners to its “Always On. Slightly Off ” comedic voice. He oversees IFC’s creative presence across all platforms, from on and offair campaigns comprising video spots, print design and digital executions, to on-air media planning and innovative customized sponsorship solutions.
Vitale was a key architect of IFC’s rebrand to its current “Always On. Slightly Off” positioning, which was a major turning point for the network as it shifted focus from an indie film channel to a growing comedy destination, which today features the award-winning Portlandia, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Maron and other original comedies. He also has developed co-branded campaigns for IFC with such major consumer brands as Absolut, Acura, Asics, Bombay Sapphire, Dewar’s, Sony PlayStation and Ubisoft.
Prior to IFC, Vitale, was senior writer/producer for the CBS Marketing Group, where he was responsible for image and nightly promotion for Late Show With David Letterman and produced creative for various other network initiatives such as daytime programming blocks and the CBS upfront. He started out at VH1 in a number of roles in the digital, programming and on-air promotions departments. He sings and plays guitar in in his New York-based rock band of more than 20 years, The Clay Pigeons.
Director, Marketing And Social Media
In less than five years, Maya Watson has advanced from intern to director, making her the youngest director at Harpo Studios at 28.
A rising star at the company, she is a key member of the social-media team that was awarded OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s first primetime interactive Emmy Award in 2013 for Outstanding Creative Achievement — Social TV Experience for the popular series Oprah’s Lifeclass. She was a central player in developing the digital classroom that accompanies Lifeclass and that stretches around the globe with over 1.4 million worldwide “students” in 200 different countries.
She is responsible for conceiving, designing and executing marketing strategies across all of Oprah Winfrey’s and OWN’s social-media platforms. She has also created and developed fully integrated campaigns and strategies for The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Dr. Oz Show and The Nate Berkus Show.
Earlier, she worked in publicity at Harpo Studios, aiding in getting the word out about Winfrey’s campaigning for President Obama, the launch of the reality show Oprah’s Big Give and the feature film The Great Debaters, as well as The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Watson worked as a regional field director for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008, was a promotions coordinator for ESPN and a general-assignment reporter for WSBT-TV, the CBS affiliate in South Bend, Ind. She lives in Chicago with her daughter, Michelle.
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