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Channeling the Future: Part 3 Of MCN's 30th Anniversary Special

Welcome to the final installment of
a three-part series celebrating 30
years of Multichannel News’ coverage
of the cable-TV industry.

In the past two weeks, we’ve
honored 30 cable legends who
helped change cable history and 30 who are changing
the industry today. This week, we’ll shine a light
on those building cable’s future. These are the leaders
to watch.

The list is by no means comprehensive, but offers a
sample of the ingenuity and vision of those poised to
take their companies — and the industry — further.

This edition again features guest columns from some
of the brightest minds in the TV industry, including Univision
CEO Joe Uva and George W. Bodenheimer, cochairman,
Disney Media Networks and president, ESPN
Inc. and ABC Sports.

The stories in this package were reported and written
by K.C. Neel. As always, we urge you to share
your memories from the past 30 years with us at


Now that the Republicans
have taken control of the
U.S. House of Representatives,
it’s possible that
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.)
will retake his seat as
chairman of the powerful
Energy & Commerce

Bar ton — who scuttled
a network-neutrality
bill earlier this fall, when
he determined that there
wasn’t enough GOP support
to ensure the measure
would preserve an
open Internet without stifl
ing innovation — could
face some resistance following
his outburst last
summer claiming the
government was shaking
down BP following the
Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
He apologized, but the
Republican leadership
was embarrassed with
the outburst and threatened
to yank his committee

That’s not Bar ton’s
only problem. To lead the
panel, top Republicans must waive a rule forbidding lawmakers from
serving more than three terms as the party’s leader on a committee.
Many lobbyists told Texas Cable News in October that Rep. John Boehner
(R-Ohio), likely the next House speaker, is not inclined to grant the
waiver because he and Barton have been rivals in the past.

A Boehner spokesman told Texas News Channel that waivers have
been granted only “in rare circumstances.”

In cable circles, Barton is considered a friend of the industry. He
voted against the 1992 Cable Act, which reregulated the cable industry,
and was instrumental in the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications

In 2006, Barton partnered with Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to create the
Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act, which
allowed telephone companies to compete with cable companies.


Bob Miron may be the chairman of
Bright House Networks, but Steve
Miron, CEO, and Nomi Bergman,
president, have been running the
day-to-day operations for some
time, with strong results. The elder
Miron plans to retire at the end of
the year and his offspring are ready
to fly on their own.

Bergman and the younger Miron
have worked in the cable industry
for years, but it was only in 2002
when the three family members
began working asd a team at the
same company, at the same time.
That was when the TimeWarner Entertainment

par tnership was restructured,
giving Advance/Newhouse day-today
management control of some
of the largest TWEAN cable markets.
Bright House Networks
was born.

Bright House operates
systems in and around
Tampa Bay, Fla.; Central
Florida; Indianapolis; Birmingham,
Ala.; Bakersfield,
Calif.; and Detroit,
along with several smaller
systems in Alabama and
the Florida panhandle.

Steve Miron has been working
in the cable industry since he was
a kid (he climbed poles and did installs
during his summer breaks).
He spent about a decade at Time
Warner Cable
, eventually serving
as president and general manager
of the MSO’s central and northern
New York cluster of systems. He
was named president of Advance/
in 2002 and became
CEO in 2008.

After the formation of the TWEAN
in 1992, Bergman joined Time
Warner Cable, working in customer
care, business operations and
IT. As vice president and general
manager of high-speed data services
for TWC’s Charlotte, N.C., operation,
she oversaw the launch of
Road Runner. She initially served
as Bright House’s executive vice
president of strategy and development
and was named president in


Aryeh Bourkoff is one of a handful
of analysts who’s transitioned
from vetting deals to making and
closing them. He was named vice
chairman of technology, media
and telecoms investment banking
for UBS Investment Bank in 2007.
He had been head of the firm’s media
and communications sector research

Since his move to the other side
of the investment banking house,
Bourkoff has been busy. Along with
Credit SuisseGroup, UBS ran the recent
auction of Bresnan Communications,
which resulted in a $1.37
billion sale to Cablevision Systems;
advised Comcast on its NBC Universal
joint-venture deal; represented
the pivotal creditor group in Charter
’ bankruptcy; and
sold German cable operator Unitymedia
to Liberty Global for
$5.2 billion (U.S).

“[Bourkoff’s] deep experience analyzing
this sector for both equity
and fixed income markets will bring
a unique, investor-oriented perspective
to the team,” Rick Leaman, joint
global head of UBS’s Investment
Banking Department, said when
Bourkoff was elevated to investment

Before his latest promotion,
Bourkoff had been Institutional
’s top-ranked cable and
satellite fixed-income analyst
for seven straight years. Before
joining UBS in 1999, Bourkoff was
the senior cable and telecommunications
high-yield research analyst
at CIBC World Markets.

Bourkoff is also a film producer.
He made the The Last Jews of
, which was narrated by Isabella
Rossellini and shown at the Tribeca
Film Festival in 2007. The movie was
about his family history.


What’s new for Steve Burke is also
old again. Comcast’s chief operating
officer has been tapped to run
NBCUniversal when that company
merges with the cable operator’s
programming assets to form a new,
Comcast-controlled joint venture.

Before he joined Comcast in
1998 as president of its cable unit,
Burke had been president of The
Walt Disney Co.
’s ABC Broadcasting.
In that role, he was responsible
for the 10 ABC-owned TV stations;
the ABC Radio Group, consisting of
27 radio stations and eight radio networks; and Buena Vista Television, the
company’s domestic syndication arm.

“For the same reasons I was delighted to have him join Berkshire [Hathaway’s]
board (last December), NBC Universal ought to be delighted to have
Steve oversee that operation,” Warren Buffett told Jonnie Roberts of The
Wrap earlier this year. “He’s got everything you want in an executive. He’s
high-grade. He’s smart. His judgment is good.”

Burke is going to have his work cut out for him. For one thing, he’s inheriting
a struggling fourth-place network in need of change. NBC’s news division
and late-night programming have remained strong, but its primetime
lineup is weak. NBCU also owns Telemundo and its 26 TV stations; cable
channels USA Network, Bravo, Oxygen, Syfy, CNBC and others; Universal
and Focus Features; theme parks in California, Florida and Japan;
and part of online video site Hulu. He will also have the opportunity to alter
the media landscape as it exists today on issues including retransmission
consent and content distribution.

Burke has broadcasting in his blood. His dad, Dan Burke, was the No. 2
guy at Capital Cities/ABC. Ratings and the broadcast business were nightly
discussion topics in the Burke household. The younger Burke went to work
for Disney after he graduated from Harvard Business School, staying for
13 years before defecting to Comcast. Under his leadership, Comcast has
launched high-speed data, phone services and a slew of new video offerings,
including high definition and video-on-demand.


Cesar Conde was named president
of Univision in 2009 at the tender
age of 35. He had been the company’s
chief strategy officer and has
been instrumental in Univision’s
strategy to extend its mandate beyond
news and entertainment to a
civic leadership role in the Hispanic

Among Conde’s first big projects:
the launch of Univision Studios in
late 2009. The company is building
on the 4,000 hours per year of original
programming it already produces
across multiple genres. The new division
is producing and co-producing
telenovelas, reality shows, dramatic
series, entertainment specials and
other programming formats for all of the company’s platforms including its
three television networks — Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión — as well as and Univision Movil. In March, Conde realigned Univision’s news
and entertainment divisions into a new, company-wide management structure.

Univision dominates the U.S. Spanish-language TV universe and is nipping
at the heels of the larger English-language broadcasters, which have
seen their viewership numbers dwindle in recent years. It was the mostwatched
broadcast network among 18-to-49-year olds — regardless of
language — for an entire week last summer, beating ABC, NBC and CBS,
according to Bloomberg Businessweek. It did it again in September, according
to The Miami Herald.

“Our goal is to be the No. 1 network in this country regardless of language,’’
Conde told the Herald. “[If] we continue to perform the way we have — and
you have to have some macroeconomic trends continue — it is feasible that
Univision, a Spanish-language network, can be the No. 1 network in this country,
regardless of language, within the next five years.’’


As the world of television and content
delivery expands to new platforms,
Albert Cheng’s job gets more
complicated and exciting. Cheng
serves as executive vice president,
digital media for Disney/ABC Television
. He’s in charge of the
company’s digital media strategy,
as well as development of ancillary
digital revenue streams for the
group’s portfolio of broadcast and
cable networks, including ABC Entertainment,
ABC News, ABC Daytime,
ABCFamily, Disney Channel
and SoapNet.

He oversees product development,
marketing and operations
for the group’s digital media content
platforms, including video-ondemand,
broadband, Web-based
and mobile platforms, as well as interactive
television. Before his most
recent gig at Disney, Cheng served
as senior vice president, business
strategy and development for Disney
and ESPN Networks’ affiliate
sales and marketing.

“When we attract an audience
to specific shows on our broadcast
and cable networks, we are creating
a community of fans who make
appointment television a priority,”
Cheng told iMedia Connection in
2006. ”Online distribution is a way
to help viewers catch or sample
a show they missed on the linear
network, and in many instances,
we can attract new viewers that
had never thought of watching the
show because it didn’t fit into their

Cheng told in
2008 that there is too much emphasis
on distribution deals and
not enough concentration on how
to attract advertisers. “I don’t care
how many distribution points you
have,” he said. “We have enough
people watching our stuff — with
440 million episodes streamed.
What we’re doing right now is helping
drive monetization, because
it’s a consistent ad model; everyone
knows exactly what they’re getting
because there is one particular
access point.”


Jessica Reif Cohen, media analyst at
Banc of America Securities-Merrill
Lynch Research
, ranked first in her
industry and sixth among 2,700 analysts
in 2009, based on data provided
to Forbes by Zacks Investment
Research in Chicago. Zacks bases
these rankings on both the ability to
predict earnings and to pick stocks.

Cohen began as a media analyst
in 1984 at Arnhold & S Bleichroeder
and went on to join Merrill Lynch
(now Banc of America Securities-
Merrill Lynch Research) in 1994,
because she was attracted to Wall
Street and particularly entertainment.
“Everyone uses it and has an
opinion on it ... and it hasn’t been
the same for the 25 years I’ve been
[in the business],” she told Forbes
in 2009.

Her influence is impressive. In
April 2009, CBS’s stock rose more
than 21% after she predicted sales
of reruns to cable channels would lift
results in the year’s second half — a
signal both to her prescience as an
analyst and her influence on investors,
Forbes reported in May 2009.

“I learned the hard way that you
really need to dig and do your homework,
not take what companies say
at face value. Be a good detective,”
she told Forbes in 2009.

Cohen has always been somewhat
of a bull when it comes to
media stocks and despite declining
subscriber numbers, a sluggish
economy and anemic housing
market, she told Multichannel News
last month that she remains positive
on the cable sector. Cohen believes
new services’ growth will be
strong and higher-end customers
will result in better fi nancial numbers
going forward.


When you work for Sumner Redstone,
you don’t expect to stick
around very long. Indeed, the chairman
of both Viacom and CBS Corp.
has a reputation for firing his top executives
after relatively short periods
of time. Philippe Dauman has
bucked that, serving as Viacom’s
president and CEO since 2006.
He’s been a Viacom director since
1987. Earlier this year, he signed a
new five-year contract.

“Philippe has strengthened Viacom’s
iconic entertainment brands,
increased efficiency in every area,
profitably extended our worldwide
footprint, and forged significant
long-term agreements with distribution
and other partners,” Redstone
said in a statement when Dauman’s
contract was renewed. “Most important,
he has revived our creative
spirit and our focus on innovative
and distinctive content. With nearly
25 years of entertainment-industry
experience and a unique connection
to Viacom, Philippe has the
perspective and the vision to lead
Viacom to new levels of success for
many years to come.”

Dauman, whom Redstone has
characterized as a good friend,
has proven he can produce strong
results for the media conglomerate.
After experiencing a dip in results
and stock price, Viacom is
experiencing a resurgence. Snooki,
“The Situation,” and the rest of
the crew on MTV’s Jersey Shore
helped push Viacom’s secondquarter
profits up 52% as cable ad
sales rebounded.

As an attorney with Sherman
Shearling, Dauman was hired
in 1986 to oversee a routine SEC
filing for Redstone. The two men
hit it off — they are both passionate
poker players — and Redstone
asked Dauman to serve as an adviser
in Redstone’s hostile takeover
of Viacom. He took a seat on
Viacom’s board, and six years later
agreed to serve as its senior vice
president and general counsel.


When A&E Television Networks
took control of Lifetime Entertainment
late last year, it
didn’t take long for AETN president
and CEO Abbe Raven to tap Nancy
Dubuc to run Lifetime Networks.

Dubuc, who also serves as
president and general manager of
History, succeeded Andrea Wong
as president of Lifetime Networks
in April. She is responsible for strategic
planning, programming, consumer
marketing, publicity and
brand development for the Lifetime
and History brands.

Women-focused Lifetime, once a top-ranked network, has languished in
recent years. AETN’s top brass believe Dubuc can turn it around. During Dubuc’s
tenure at History, it launched its 10 best-rated shows, including Ice
Truckers, Pawn Stars, The Universe, Ax Men, Life After People and How
the Earth Was Made

“Nancy is one of the most dynamic executives working in television. Her
track record of success by focusing on a brand’s target audience and creating
programming for them is extraordinary,” Raven said in April, when Dubuc
was named Lifetime president and GM. “Nancy has great respect for
the power of the Lifetime brand and I am confident she will lead the terrific
team there to new heights.”

Dubuc has reshuffled Lifetime’s executive circle and ratings are already improving.
In the third quarter, Lifetime drew 1.3 million viewers in prime time,
raising its stake among viewers 18-to-49 by 3%, according to Mediaweek. A
year ago, Lifetime slipped 12% in that demographic.

“Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network are two of the most powerful
and evocative brands on the media landscape. I am excited for the challenge
to explore the unlimited potential of programming for women,” Dubuc
told MultichannelNews in April.


Joan Gillman leads Time Warner
’s advertising-sales initiatives
as executive vice president
and president of Media Sales. Her
experience with interactive TV at
TWC, OpenTV and British Interactive
has been handy
as the MSO develops advanced
and interactive advertising applications.

Time Warner launched Promotions
on Demand (POD) last year,
enabling viewers to request more
information or coupons from advertisers
through their remote control.
POD is a turnkey product that
advertising executives across the
country began offering to clients in
late 2009.

“When customers get marketing materials they really want and advertisers
get customers who are interested in their offers, everybody wins,”
Gillman told Multichannel News in 2009.

Gillman has plenty of experience with ITV. Before she took over media
sales, she was vice president of interactive TV and advanced advertising,
with responsibility for the development and deployment of new interactive
and advertising products and services.

Before joining TWC, Gillman was president of a subsidiary of OpenTV,
where she had oversight of the Playjam games channel and the production
of ITV channels. Before that, she oversaw the business development,
legal and regulatory teams of British Interactive Broadcasting, the joint
venture of BSkyB, British Telecom, Matsushita and HSBC.

“Joan is the architect of our advanced-advertising strategy and has
also played a significant role in the foundation of Canoe,” TWC chief operating
officer Landel Hobbs told MCN in 2008. “She is an invaluable asset
to the company and the sector, and has made Time Warner Cable a
leader in offering new advertising tools through the development of interactive
TV and on-demand technology.”


Pat Esser has worked in cable for
his entire professional career — and
in just about every part of it. He began
by climbing poles. However, he
fell a lot and was soon selling cable
door to door. He joined the Hampton
Roads, Va., Cox Communications
system in 1979, system.

Through the years, he oversaw local
programming, local ad sales and
operations at both the local and corporate
level. Today, Esser is Cox’s top
dog, serving as the company’s CEO.

“I’m a classic story: A kid picked
out of Iowa who was given jobs
and skill sets and the opportunity
to succeed,” he told Multichannel
in October, when the Cable
& Telecommunications Association

for Marketing awarded him
the Grand TAM, its highest honor.

Esser is highly regarded among
his peers and his bosses are
pleased with Cox’s performance.
“What’s really terrific about Pat is
that he cares very deeply about his
customers and his employees,” Cox
CEO Jimmy Hayes told
Broadcasting & Cable in October,
when Esser was inducted into B&C’s
Hall of Fame. “He’s also an aggressive
competitor because of the years
he spent in sales. That’s a powerful

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian
Roberts told B&C that Esser “embodies
absolute passion and commitment
to the customer … He’s not
afraid to really challenge conventional
thinking and the status quo.”

Cox has won numerous awards
and accolades for its quality customer
service and the company has
been on the cutting edge of marketing
and launching new products. It
was the first MSO to offer residential
phone service and coined the
phrase “triple play” to describe its
video, voice and data bundle.


Federal Communications Commission
chairman Julius Genachowski
is intent to reclassify broadband service
under the framework of Title II of
the Communications Act. The two Republican
commissioners — Robert
McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker
— have publicly slammed the proposal.
But Democrats Michael Copps and
Mignon Clyburn are both on record as
supporting reclassifi cation and when
it comes to a vote, he’ll need both
commissioners to win the day.

“If we truly support universal access
to broadband, if we are serious
about transparency in broadband
speeds and billing, if our aim is to
strengthen our nation’s cyber-security,
and if we care about ensuring
meaningful access to communications
technologies by people with
disabilities, then Title II authority is
essential,” Clyburn said in May.

But stakeholder talks about a
possible legislative solution to the
debate broke down in August, leaving
the FCC to continue collecting
information and support in Genachowski’s
effort to reclassify broadband
as a common-carrier service.

The FCC chairman remains steadfast
in his desire to see broadband
reclassified as a Title II service but
he and his fellow Democrats could
find themselves pushing a rock uphill,
now that the GOP controls the
House of Representatives. Rep. Fred
Upton, (R-Mich.), former chair of the
House Communications Subcommittee
and a leading contender for
the chairmanship of the Energy &
Commerce Committee
, has strongly
opposed the effort to reclassify

There has been a long-running
debate over whether the FCC is returning
broadband to a Title II regime,
or, as the Republicans have
put it, crossing a regulatory Rubicon
into new territory. Either way,
the chairman appears set on bringing
at least the transmission component
of Internet access under a
“Title II Lite” regime.


Bonnie Hammer has a lot on her
plate these days. As president of
NBC Universal Cable and Universal
Cable Productions
, she controls
USA Network and Syfy, as
well as UCP (formerly part of Universal
Media Studios), overseeing
the development of new and existing
shows including USA’s Psych,
Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica franchise
and others. She also oversees
NBCU’s emerging-networks division,
including Sleuth, Chiller and
Universal HD. She renewed her contract
with NBCU in 2008.

Her trajectory into cable was not a
direct one. “I’m one who zigged and
zagged throughout her entire career,
with each moment building upon another,”
she told Multichannel News
in May. “I didn’t have a singular path
— I’ve experienced the entire gamut,
from the lowest of the lowest
jobs to managing others.”

Hammer’s introduction to the
communications industry was virtually
by accident, having taken a photography
course as part of a liberal
arts and psychology studies major
at Boston University. She fell into
communications after stumbling on
a photography class in college. Her
first introduction to television was
a freelance photography gig for a
PBS show called Infinity Factory in
the late 1980s.

She spent a short time at Lifetime
as an original programming
executive, but joined Universal
in 1989 as a producer
for USA.

Then-president Barry Diller
tapped Hammer to run the Sci-Fi
in 1999. Hammer took
control of USA in 2004 and in
2008, she became president, cable
entertainment and cable studio.


Carol Hevey started her cable career as a secretary in Warner-Amex
’s national division in Columbus, Ohio, in 1982 and has steadily
moved up the ranks. Today, she is executive vice president for Time Warner
’s East Region, a role she’s held since the fall of 2009, when
the No. 2 U.S. cable operator reorganized its divisional structure.

Hevey is responsible for cable operations serving more than 4.2 million
residential video and commercial, high-speed data, digital phone and
wireless customers in the company’s operations in the East.

Hevey has held a variety of operational positions during 28 years with the
company, including executive vice president of TWC’s Carolina Region from
2004-2009. She consolidated the Carolina operations so well that TWC chief
operating officer Landel Hobbs tasked her with creating the East Region.

She was also president of the
MSO’s divisions in Milwaukee, Wis.,
Portland, Maine, and Boston, Mass.
Hevey has been involved with some
of TWC’s most ambitious and successful
new product launches.

She oversaw the massive hybrid
fi ber coax upgrade in Boston, which
was the company’s most densely populated
region at the time. In Portland,
Hevey oversaw the rollout of voiceover-
Internet protocol telephony.
Hevey and her team came up with the
bold idea of bundling local and longdistance
telephone service at a fixed
price. It proved to be a great success.

Hevey has been actively involved
in expanding diversity at both TWC
and the industry overall. She founded and chairs TWC’s Diversity Council
and Women’s Leadership Council. She is also an active member of
the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, Women
In Cable Telecommunications
and the NationalAssociation for Multi-
Ethnicity in Communications


Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has
made headlines with his efforts
to revamp the way people listen
to music and watch video but the
company’s Apple TV, now more
than three years old, has yet to
make a dent in the multichannel
delivery arena.

In September, Apple introduced
a $99 Apple TV product — $200
less than the original offering —
that is designed to allow consumers
to wirelessly hook up their TVs
to stream movies, TV and music.
High-definition movies sell for
$4.99. TV show rentals cost 99
cents, but only Fox and ABC are
participating at this point.

Unlike its predecessor, the new Apple TV does not have any internal
storage and will deliver only streamed content from either Apple or from
a user’s computer.

During Apple’s fiscal fourth-quarter conference call in October, Jobs
said the company has sold more than 250,000 new Apple TV units.
Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu told Bloomberg Businessweek in August
that he estimates Apple has sold fewer than 3 million Apple TV units
since the product was introduced in 2007.

Jobs has repeatedly said that Apple TV is really more of a hobby
than anything at this point, because the company has no interest
in a line of business that precludes it from rolling out a viable go-tomarket

The television industry is subsidized by multichannel video providers
that “give everybody a set-top box for free, or for $10 per month. That
pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation, because nobody’s
willing to buy a set-top box,” Jobs told attendees of the All Things Digital
conference in June.


Landel Hobbs likes change. Time
Warner Cable
’s chief operating
officer has watched the cable industry
grow from offering a onesize-
fits-all video product to a
telecommunications offering a
slew of different voice, video and
data products.

“Every morning I come in to work
and something has changed,” he
told Broadcasting & Cable in October,
when he was named to B&C’s
Hall of Fame. “We have to change
our approach nearly every day.”

As TWC’s chief operating officer,
Hobbs is in charge of the the
company’s operations, but he focuses
specifically on how the MSO
is serving its customers. TWC has
segmented its customer base and
is developing and delivering products
that are designed to make every
customer happy with what they
get each month.

Branding has become important,
he told B&C in October, “because
it’s a highly competitive
world. No matter what new product
we come up with, someone is
going to copy it, and quickly. You
differentiate yourself by delivering
a stellar customer experience and
by attaching a brand to that experience.”

Hobbs got his start in the cable
business in 1993, when he
became Turner Broadcasting
’s senior vice president,
controller and chief accounting officer. Before that, he had been a
senior manager with KPMG Peat
and an audit director for
Bank One Illinois.

At first, the idea of working for a
television company didn’t appeal to
him. But after some research into
founder Ted Turner and his company,
Hobbs took the plunge and
moved to Atlanta.

“It was the best move I ever
made,” he said.


Ken Jautz took control of CNN following
the ouster of Jon Klein in September.
Jautz, who had previously
been in charge of HLN, will serve
as executive vice president of CNN/
U.S., reporting to Jim Walton, president
of CNN Worldwide.

Jautz has managed several networks
for CNN and Turner Broadcasting
in both Europe and
the U.S. including HLN, CNNfn, and
, a news channel in Germany.
Jautz revamped and rebranded HLN
(formerly CNNHeadline News), creating
an entirely original lineup of
evening talk shows that more than
doubled the network’s primetime

Under Jautz’s leadership, HLN
launched signature programs, including
Nancy Grace, Joy Behar,
Showbiz Tonight, Issues With Jane
Velez Mitchell
and Morning Express
With Robin Meade
. While ratings
for CNN have been plummeting in
recent years, HLN’s ratings have
soared with Jautz at the helm.

In a memo to employees when
Jautz’s new assignment was announced,
Walton wrote, “Ken is a
rarity — a working journalist who is
an even better news executive. The
reinvention of HLN is the latest in a
string of successes he has led at
CNN. Ken has launched, made profitable
and turned around businesses
for our news organization, Turner
Broadcasting and Time Warner literally
around the world.”

The timing of Jautz’s ascention to
CNN was a bit unusual given the fact
that the network was in the throes
of launching some new primetime
shows when it ditched Klein. “We
felt it was important to make the [executive]
moves before we launched
the new programs because we
didn’t want to have any disruption
once the programs were on the air,”
Walton told USA Today in September.

Jautz, who speaks fluent German,
joined CNN in 1989 as the
network’s bureau chief in Germany.
Before that, he had been an international
correspondent for Associated


Cable has made great strides in
diversifying its ranks, and Kathy
Johnson, president of the National
Association for Multi-Ethnicity
in Communications
, makes sure industry
executives keep up with diversification efforts.

By some measures, cable can
look at significant progress toward
fostering diversity as NAMIC turns
30 this year. A 2008 NAMIC survey
of the industry’s workforce found
that African-Americans, Hispanics
and Asian-Americans made up
about 30% of employees — close
to their proportion in the overall
population — and that the ethnic
groups comprise about 25% of all
managers, up from 19% in 2006.
Still, only 12% of senior managers
in 2008 were minorities.

“There is still a lot of work that
needs to be done in terms of representation
at the most senior
levels of the industry,” Johnson
told Multichannel News in September.
“There also needs to be
more of a focus on the hiring side
and the retention of people.”

Johnson has been affiliated with
NAMIC for more than 20 years, initially
as a member of the association.
She joined NAMIC as the
group’s first full-time executive director
in 1998 and was named
president in 2006.

Johnson entered the cable industry
as a Walter Kaitz Foundation
Fellow with Times Mirror Cable TV.
She spent five years at Disney Channel
as a senior affiliate marketing
representative in Los Angeles and
Phoenix. Johnson also served as director
of marketing for BET Action
Pay Per View
for three years.

“[Kathy] has been very effective in
reaching out to the key leaders in the
industry to keep diversity at the forefront
of their thinking,” A&E Television
Networks CEO
Abbe Raven told
Multichannel News in September.


Paul Liao had big shoes to step into
when he took control of CableLabs
last year, but he’s up to the task.

“There’s a lot to be done to move
the cable industry in the direction
of more openness and inclusiveness,”
Liao told Multichannel News
in 2009, when he was tapped to replace
as CEO CableLabs’ longtime
leader and founder Dick Green, who
was retiring. “To me, there’s a tremendous
amount of contribution
that can be made by other industries
… consumer-electronics companies
and so on.”

Indeed, Liao’s connections to
other industries, namely the consumer-
electronics industry and Silicon
Valley, impressed CableLabs’
board of directors.

“People complain that cable is
slow because they (CE and technology
companies) don’t see themselves
as being a part of what’s
happening in the cable industry,”
he told MCN last summer when he
was hired. “The fact that they’re not
is to the detriment of the industry.”

Under Liao, CableLabs has focused
on several fronts, including
interactive TV, EBIF, TV Everywhere
and interactive advertising aimed
at keeping cable at the forefront
of technology trends. Liao wants
CableLabs to be able to take advantage
of open systems.

Liao most recently served as vice
president and chief technology officer for Panasonic Corp. of North
and led Panasonic’s technology
direction and R&D in North

Prior to joining Panasonic, he
held a number of positions at Bell
Communications Research Inc.

(Bellcore) and BellLaboratories.
He is a graduate of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
Columbia University and is a recipient
of the Institute of Electrical
and Electronics Engineers


Rob Marcus has always been
a deal-maker. The fast-talking,
sharp-witted Marcus has held positions
at TimeWarner Inc. and
has served as senior executive vice
president and chief financial officer
of Time Warner Cable since January

A lawyer by trade, he joined Time
Warner Inc. in 1998, after seven
years at the New York law firm
Paul,Weiss,Rifkind,Wharton &
Garrison, then Time Warner Inc.’s
principal advisers on mergers and
acquisitions. As a result, Marcus
has had a hand in virtually every
M&A deal the media giant did during
his tenure.

Beginning in the early 1990s
with the creation and eventual unwinding
of Time Warner Entertainment,
Marcus has been integral in
several deals. Among a few: TWC’s
joint purchase of Adelphia Communications
with Comcast for $17.6
billion; Time Warner’s sale of its
Warner Music Group division in
2004; the sale of Time Warner’s
CD and DVD manufacturing division
in 2003; and the sale of Time Warner’s
50% stake in Comedy Central
to Viacom in 2003.

The Time Warner Entertainment
partnership — a complex
and sometimes controversial joint
venture with Toshiba, Itochu and
U.S. West, created to help pay
down debt from the 1990 merger
of Time Inc. and WarnerCommunications
— was eventually unwound
in 2006. The Adelphia deal
took more than a year to button
up and Marcus told Multichannel
in 2007 that it seemed like it
would never close. But in the end,
the Adelphia acquisition bolstered
TWC’s subscriber base by about
3 million customers and secured it
as the dominant cable company in
New York and Los Angeles — the
two top advertising markets in the


Craig Moffett has been predicting
and analyzing cable and satellite
companies for Sanford C. Bernstein
& Co.
since 2002. Institutional
ranked Moffett as the
No. 1 cable and satellite analyst
in the U.S. in 2010, marking the
fifth straight year he has topped
the prestigious list.

Hailed by one investor for his
“spot-on predictions on share gains
at cable companies,” Moffett urged
clients to buy Time Warner Cable
way back in July 2008, well ahead
of its spinoff from parent Time Warner
, Institutional Investor wrote
on its website in October. “He reiterated
his stance in April 2009, at
$27.06, citing Time Warner Cable’s
improving cash flow, broadband
technological advantage and debtreduction
strategy. In May 2010, after
the stock had flown to $48.90
— a stunning 80.7% gain that outpaced
the sector by 42.1% points —
he finally pulled the plug, on fears of
price regulation by the Federal Communications

Before joining Sanford Bernstein,
Moffett spent 11 years at
the Boston Consulting Group,
where as a partner and vice president
he led the firm’s global practice
in telecommunications. At
BCG, he led client relationships
spanning the local exchange, wireless,
long distance and equipment
sectors in the U.S., Latin America
and Europe. In 2000, Moffett
served as president of, the e-commerce venture
of the venerable auction house,
where he led a team of 300 people
through the company’s technology
development phase and
launch in early 2000.


After serving as Charter Communications
interim CEO in the wake
of Neil Smit’s departure earlier this
year, Mike Lovett, previously chief
operating officer, was made permanent
CEO in April.

“Mike has sound strategic vision,
strong operational skills and a commitment
to leading Charter in delivering
an exceptional experience to its
customers, making him clearly the
best candidate for this position,” the
MSO’s chairman, Eric Zinterhofer,
said last spring. “With impeccable
industry credentials, Mike has been a key member of the Charter leadership
team for many years and his professionalism and leadership will
serve Charter well as we enter the next phase.”

Lovett has been with St. Louis-based Charter since 2003, when he
joined as senior vice president of operations support, providing strategic
and tactical support to field operations. He was promoted to COO in 2005.

Lovett dropped out of college in 1980, after his freshman year, to join
Centel Communications, where he held a number of operations positions.

“I decided it was time to start my career,” he told the St. Louis Business
earlier this month. “It may not have been the best decision,
but it worked out.”

After Centel’s acquisition by Jones Intercable, Lovett worked for Jones
until 1999 as senior vice president. He spent about a year at AT&T Broadband
running the company’s Chicago operations.

Charter was delisted by NASDAQ shortly after it filed for bankruptcy
protection in March 2009, and emerged from bankruptcy in November
2009. The company was relisted by the exchange on Sept. 14, after an
18-month hiatus.

Lovett is especially proud of Charter’s cash flow, which increased to
$467 million in the first nine months of 2010, compared with $171 million
a year earlier. “We have the luxury of thinking about how we will use
that money in terms of customer experience, peer products and services
and buying down overall debt,” he told the St. Louis Business Journal.


Sue Naegle had never been a network executive when she was hired to
serve as president of HBO Entertainment in 2008, and some industry players
scratched their heads at the decision. But in a short period of time, she
has made a significant impact.

Naegle oversees all series programming and specials for the network.
Before joining HBO, Naegle was a
partner and co-head of TV department
at United Talent Agency,
where she represented many notable
writers and producers including
Alan Ball, producer of Six Feet Under
and True Blood — both significant hits for HBO.

When she took over, HBO was offering
programming that hadn’t lived
up to the network’s previous standards,
she told Multichannel News in
January when she was named to the
2010 class of Wonder Women.

“The bar is really high for programming
here,” she said. “The perception
in the media was that HBO
needed a comeback.”

With True Blood, which she
brought to the network as the agent for Alan Ball, as well as original series
developed under her watch including Hung, Bored to Death, Tréme and
Boardwalk Empire, Naegle has helped recapture buzz and re-establish HBO
as a haven for talented, unique writers.

“The company hadn’t had a lot of new blood in a long time, and we wanted
someone to come in here with a fresh eye,” Michael Lombardo, president
of HBO’s programming group and West Coast operations, and one of
the executives who hired Naegle, told MCN earlier this year. “There were
people who on paper clearly were more experienced. But [Naegle] has the
most remarkable taste in writers and writing. She has an unerring ear.”


Team Coco is back and cable has
another big notch in its belt against
broadcast in the battle for ratings.
Conan O’Brien’s new show, Conan,
debuted on TBS on Nov. 8 beating
his late-night, broadcast talk show rivals
with an average of 4.16 million
viewers in the 11 p.m. ET timeslot,
including 3.29 million coveted 18-to-

The premiere of Conan on TBS
gives the cable network a strong
contender in late night, an arena
that has always been dominated by
the broadcast networks. When TBS
signed O’Brien in the wake of his battle
with Jay Leno over NBC’s The Tonight
, it made big headlines.
But O’Brien had to wait eight months
until his new show could bow, due
to non-compete clauses in his NBC
contract. No problem. It gave him
months to build anticipation and
buzz. And it worked.

The Nov. 8 debut of Conan edged
out CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman
by 1.34 million viewers.
Conan also sort of beat Conan the
. The 1982 feature film
starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, the
main guest that night on The Tonight
, which claimed only 952,000
viewers in 18-49 but 3.5 million

Conan shot out of the gate
strong, but some industry observers
wonder how the show will do long
term. Nevertheless, TBS executives
are encouraged and confi dent Team
Coco will prove to be a boffo success
for the network.

Social media help O’Brien lure
young viewers, Steve Koonin, president
of Turner Entertainment Networks,
said in a release. “Conan’s
audience has been very vocal online,
and he clearly made a smooth transition
from Twitter to TBS.”


After successfully navigating Charter
through Chapter
11 bankruptcy, impressing many
cable CEOs in the process, Neil Smit
joined Comcast Cable Communications
as president in January.

Smit joined Charter in 2005. Before
that, he had served as president
of Time Warner Inc.’s America
Access Business, overseeing
Internet access services, including
AOL, CompuServe and Netscape.
He also served as AOL’s executive
vice president, member services
and COO of Mapquest.

While at Charter, Smit increased
the number of its customerservice
representatives by 55%
and its service technicians by
12%. He also restructured the
MSO’s technician dispatch system
to run more efficiently, reducing
wait times. He regularly listened in
on customer calls to make sure he
was on top of what Charter customers
were saying and wanting.

He also navigated the MSO
through the choppy waters of
bankruptcy. Weighted down by
$21 million in debt, Charter filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
in 2009. Eight months later,
the company emerged from bankruptcy
and Smit felt it was time to
move on.

At Comcast, Smit has taken over
some duties from Steve Burke,
who served as both president and
chief operating officer until he was
tapped to run the post-merger NBC
joint venture.

“Neil is widely respected
throughout the cable industry as
a strong leader with deep knowledge
and expertise across a broad
spectrum of topics. We look forward
to having him on our team as
he helps take us to the next level
of our company’s evolution,” Comcast
chairman and CEO Brian Roberts
said in January, when Smit
came on board.


Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), former
chair of the House Communications
, is a leading
contender for the chairmanship of
the Energy & Commerce Committee
if Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), the
last Republican to hold that position,
is not seated there first.

By most accounts, Upton is a
somewhat moderate Republican. He
has already served as chairman of
the HouseCommunications, Technology
& Internet Subcommittee
He lambasted the October firing of
commentator Juan Williams from
National Public Radio, after the
commentator made a controversial
statement about Muslims on Fox
News Sunday, calling NPR’s move
“an egregious assault on free speech
and individual expression, the touchstones
of American journalism,” reported
Broadcasting & Cable.

Upton has weighed in strongly
against the Federal Communications
Commission’s classifi cation of
broadband transmissions as a Title
II service subject to some of those
common-carrier regulations. Mincing
no words, according to B&C, Upton
came out firing in a letter to FCC
chairman Julius Genachowski: “Despite
overwhelming opposition within
a Congress that possesses the
actual authority that the FCC covets,
the Commission now inexplicably
appears poised ... to take another
misguided leap towards its investment-
suffocating attempt to regulate
broadband providers as common carriers.”

Upton also tossed cold water on
any potential rewrite of the Communications
Act that governs the FCC
and its authority over phone, Internet
and cable networks, according

“There is no need at this point
to rewrite the [act] unless the FCC
grabs too much power and we
have to physically rein them in,” he
told the website on Oct. 28. “You
shouldn’t have an overbearing FCC.
Let the market work itself. By allowing
companies to compete in an
unregulated forum, you’re going to
allow the faster deployment of new
services and new equipment consumers
are going to want.”


Tom Rutledge has seen a lot of changes in the 33 years he has been in
cable, and he has been integrally involved in many of them.

As chief operating officer of Cablevision Systems, Rutledge is responsible
for overseeing the company’s cable operations; Rainbow Media,
the company’s national programming business that includes AMC, IFC
, Sundance Channel, WE TV and Wedding Central; Optimum
, Cablevision’s all-
Ethernet, carrier-grade business
telecommunications company; and
Clearview Cinemas. He also oversees
Rainbow Advertising Sales
, as well as Cablevision’s local
media and programming properties
that include the News 12
local-news channels,
high-school sports programmer
MSG Varsity and the newspapers
Newsday and amNewYork.

Rutledge oversaw Cablevision’s
$5 billion fiber-optic network upgrade,
which enabled the MSO
to be the first operator to provide
video-on-demand in HDTV and to
offer a voice-over-Internet protocol
phone product across its entire
service area.

Rutledge began his cable career in 1977 at Time Warner Cable predecessor
American Television &Communications as a management
trainee after graduating from college. He managed individual systems,
divisions, regions and finally served as TWC’s president before joining
Cablevision in 2002.

“It’s a great business,” he told Multichannel News in 2008. “I’ve never
had a bad year or even a bad week. Every experience has been gratifying
and enlightening. One of the best things about the cable industry is its
future. Cable has always had a future. We’re always looking ahead.”


Linda Yaccarino is constantly
challenging her team to push the
boundaries of conventional thinking
and take TurnerBroadcasting
’s brands to a new level.

As executive vice president
and chief operating officer of
Turner Entertainment Ad Sales/
andAcquisitions, she
was integral in developing an integrated
deal that tied Toyota to
TBS’s new series Are We There
Yet?, which launched in June.
Working through multicultural
media sales firm ACE Media
and multicultural buying agency
Burrell Communications Group,
Toyota is the exclusive auto
sponsor of the series, which is
based on the Revolution Studios film of the same name.

Yaccarino said Are We There Yet? is another big step in Turner’s embrace
of the multicultural space. That strategy began with the groundbreaking
deals with Debmar-Mercury for Tyler Perry’s House of Payne
and Meet the Browns — both of which TBS made initial series commitments
and then green-lit multiple-season orders. Similarly, TBS, which
helped bring diversity to late night via George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight, has
ordered 10 episodes of Are We There Yet?, with an option for an additional
90 episodes.

Yaccarino joined Turner for the first time in 1993 as a member of its syndication
division, which was later absorbed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television
when Time Warner Inc. purchased Turner. After working for a year
as vice president of sales for CNBC, she came back to Turner in 1997 as
vice president and sales manager for Turner Entertainment Sales. She told
Multichannel News in 2007 she was motivated to return because of Turner’s
“commitment to quality, in terms of staff-acquired programming and
original productions — a culture that supports innovation.”


Lauren Zalaznick currently serves as president
of NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle
Entertainment Networks
, overseeing Bravo,
Oxygen and iVillage. It’s unclear whether her
role with the company will change or morph
when the NBCU-Comcast deal closes, but
some published reports have indicated she
would like a bigger role. DeadlineHollywood
reported on Sept. 29 that Zalaznick has met
with executives at MTV Networks.

Zalaznick’s early career was focused on
film — she produced a number of independent
features, including Kids, Safe and Girls
. She began her career in television at
VH1, where she was senior vice president,
original programming and development. Zalaznick
was president of Universal’s Trio arts
and pop culture network from May 2002 to
December 2005.

She took control of Bravo in May 2004
and expanded her oversight in May 2007,
when the network announced the formation
of Bravo Media. Under her watch, its ratings
have soared. Zalaznick took control of
Oxygen in 2007 when NBCU bought it from
Geraldine Laybourne and her partners for
$925 million.

Zalaznick is co-chair of Peacock Equity, a
joint investment fund of GE Capital’s Media,
Communications & Entertainment business
and NBCU. She also sits on the Women@
advisory board. In 2009, Time magazine
named Zalaznick one of the “Time 100
World’s Most Influential people;” Vanity Fair
named her to its “New Establishment” list;
and Fortune named her among the “50 Most
Powerful Women.”


David Zaslav took control of Discovery Communications
in 2007 and since then, the
company has hit its financial targets and performed
well. One highlight: It went public in
2008. Zaslav didn’t wait long to put his imprint
on the company, shuffling and reorganizing
senior management and undertaking
a number of initiatives that have focused the
organization on growth, performance and operational

Zaslav partnered with Oprah Winfrey
and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is
set to launch in about 70 million homes
in January.

Under his watch, Discovery has also
formed joint ventures with Hasbro to launch
The Hub, a children’s television network,
and with Sony and Imax to launch the first
24-hour 3D television network. In addition,
Zaslav has expanded Discovery’s digital
media strategy through the acquisitions of and

Discovery Communications’ third-quarter
earnings nearly doubled as the company contained
costs and increased revenues.

“He’s rejuvenated Discovery and taken
it to a different level, which is really
pretty tricky,” former NBC Universal
CEO Bob Wright told USA Today in 2009.
“They’ve re-created the novelty of what
Discovery was in the mid-1990s.”

Before joining Discovery, Zaslav had been
president of NBC Universal Cableand Domestic
TV and New Media
Distribution. He
joined NBC in 1989 and was instrumental in
developing and launching CNBC that same
year, which now reaches more than 88 million

Under his leadership, Bravo added more
than 7 million subscribers following its acquisition
from Rainbow Media Holdings in December
2002 and is now seen in more than
80 million homes.

Zaslav also played a key role in the creation
and successful launch of MSNBC.