Bridgen In as Comcast Affiliate Chief

Comcast Corp. is expected to name the former president of HorseRacing TV to head up affiliate sales for its growing content portfolio, several informed sources said Monday.

Bill Bridgen -- who left the horse channel in February and is also a veteran of Fox Cable Networks Group -- is being recruited as a Comcast executive vice president, and he would be in charge of affiliate sales and marketing for the MSO’s various networks, according to sources.

Bridgen is being courted by Jeff Shell, president of Comcast Programming, who is taking steps to consolidate affiliate-sales functions for the company’s content holdings. Shell reportedly knows Bridgen from their days at Fox Cable, where Shell once served as president and Bridgen was a Fox Sports Net affiliate-sales executive.

As part of the creation of a more centralized affiliate-sales and marketing operation at Comcast, Brad Fox will take the title of senior VP, several sources said.

Fox, who most recently was E! Entertainment Television’s senior VP of affiliate sales, will essentially be in charge of operations for Comcast’s networks, running their affiliate-sales field offices.

Comcast declined to comment Monday.

The MSO’s content portfolio includes national services such as E!, Style, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Channel, G4 and several regional sports services.

Over the coming months, Comcast has a number of changes afoot in terms of affiliate sales. One source claimed that the company is looking to name a senior VP of national accounts somewhere down the road.

In terms of the consolidation, sources said Comcast is planning to only have two affiliate-sales locations for its networks -- Philadelphia, where the MSO is headquartered, and Los Angeles.

Comcast networks currently have affiliate offices in several additional places -- namely E! in Connecticut, where Fox has been based, and Golf in Orlando, Fla.