Christina Miller knows how to multitask.
Given the opportunity to join Turner
Sports in 2009, she jumped at the chance.
“Change is good,” she says, adding that she
grew up in New York City in a die-hard
Sure, Miller liked change—but she also
loved her previous job as senior VP of Cartoon
Network Enterprises. After all, she spent
her early days in the media industry in the
world of kids at HIT Entertainment (purveyors
of Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine and The
Wiggles). So she kept her old job too.
“I enjoyed both worlds,” she says, though the
24/7 “ready or not you have to be smart and
decisive” nature of sports provided her with a
challenge that she relished stepping up to meet.
Then another offer came along last July—to
become senior VP and general manager of NBA
Digital and a chance to oversee day-to-day operations
of NBA TV and the league’s Website.
Seizing this role, Miller relinquished her gig at
Cartoon Network but she kept her Turner Sports
job, where she is still strategizing on everything
from the NCAA basketball tournaments (with
its clever “Brackets” marketing campaign this
year) to Major League Baseball, with golf and
NASCAR thrown in for good measure.
“Turner is a great organization with a lot
of opportunities,” Miller says. “The challenge,
the chance to stretch and learn more, is what
Miller’s comfort with fluid situations and moving
targets proved invaluable. Not only is Turner
getting the new MLB wild card playoff game this
year, but in her first months at the helm of NBA
Digital, she had to deal with an NBA-less world.
And yet, when the sport returned, the ratings on
Turner and NBA TV increased. She is looking to
keep driving growth through ways that will create
“seamless consumption and social conversation”
in this technology-driven age.
“Even in college I was fascinated by the psychology
of consumer brands, of how to keep
something meaningful over a long period,” she
says. “Sports is the epitome of that. People look
to sports to play, to aspire or for nostalgia.”
But she is also looking for “smart risks,” not
just any new avenue.
“Sometimes the decisions you make not to
jump in on something are the most important
ones,” Miller says. “We have to be a strong filter
to cut out the noise and figure out what is most
important for our fans. Our goal has to be optimizing
our business, not maximizing it.”
Stuart Miller has been writing about television for 30 years since he first joined Variety as a staff writer. He has written about television for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Vulture and numerous other publications.
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