Each year, the editors of Multichannel News choose 40 movers and shakers under the age of 40 who are helping their companies grow and succeed, while playing an important part in mapping the future of cable and telecommunications.
From networks to operators, from the worlds of finance and technology to programming, marketing and customer service, these individuals represent a cross section of a multitude of disciplines. But they share in common the fact that they’ve come a long way in a relatively short time and continue to make invaluable contributions in their respective areas of expertise.
By no means intended as a comprehensive list of young executives to watch, the “40 Under 40” is a sampling of some of the most innovative and influential people at work today and helping shape tomorrow.
Sharon Allen, 39
VP, Program Marketing and Advertising, Showtime
Sharon Allen is responsible for the development and oversight of consumer advertising for Showtime. She also leads the development of integrated-marketing plans supporting Showtime original programming and spearheaded campaigns for series such as Weeds, Dexter, The Tudors and The United States of Tara.
Allen joined Showtime in 1999 and was previously director of advertising, overseeing ad campaigns for several original pictures and series, including Queer As Folk, Huff and Dead Like Me.
“It’s the golden age of cable TV,” Allen said. “The traditional broadcast networks no longer have a monopoly on quality programming. The best shows are consistently found on cable, and it’s an exciting time to be in the industry.”
Previous to Showtime, Sharon held a variety of account-management positions at advertising agencies Bates USA, Grey Entertainment and Anderson & Lembke. She started her career in the ABC Television Network’s photo department.
Chris Behnke, 31
Director of Software Development, Rentrak
Chris Behnke plays a pivotal role in developing Rentrak’s lineup of advanced media-measurement tools. His current projects range from linear television to mobile media content to digital downloads.
Behnke began his information-technology career in 1998, when he co-founded Avalon Technology Group, a small solutions-based technology company. He also helped develop Web-based technology that paved the way for another company, Hyperlinq Technologies.
He joined Rentrak in 2002 as a project manager in the newly formed Advanced Media Information division, where he helped manage the development of Rentrak’s theatrical measurement software suite Box Office Essentials. He also headed up development on Rentrak’s OnDemand Essentials technology.
“In the next two years the most successful companies in the media and entertainment sector, as well as brands and advertisers, will be those that are able to embrace, measure and monetize this multi-screen viewing revolution,” Behnke said.
James Brickmeier, 36
VP/GM, Content Delivery Solutions, Concurrent
James Brickmeier is helping to drive the next generation of video-on-demand, moving beyond the box to a totally mobile, consumer-driven experience.
Brickmeier began his career with Concurrent Computer in 2000, and has held management roles in applications engineering, program management and product management. He has played a key role in the deployment of Concurrent’s MediaHawk Content Delivery System at a variety of MSOs, including Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Vidéotron and Cogeco Cable. He has also helped drive next-generation solutions such as time-shifted television, network digital video recording and multi-screen content delivery.
“Starting with our first VOD deployments, there was no question we were shaping the future of television,” Brickmeier said. “[And] we stand at the brink of another transformation, changing the way people connect with content by providing a seamless experience across the three screens.”
George Chamoun, 34
Co-Founder and SVP, Client Services, Synacor
George Chamoun has been instrumental in creating a company that helps cable operators differentiate their broadband offerings in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Synacor has established itself as a growing provider of cross-platform content and services to MSOs of all sizes.
More than 10 million unique cable-modem subscribers access e-mail, the Web and other services via some combination of Synacor’s broadband portal, value-added services and proprietary platform. Its customers range from GCI and Blue Ridge Communications to Mediacom Communications, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
“It’s energizing to know that on any given day, I get to work with our employees and our customers to figure out what the latest challenges are, and how we can develop products to address them,” Chamoun said.
A 1999 recipient of Ernst & Young’s “Upstate New York’s Entrepreneur of the Year,” Chamoun founded Chek.com, which merged with MyPersonal to form Synacor.
Amy Cohn, 38
Executive Director of Corporate Reputation Management, Cox Communications
A 15-year Cox Communications veteran, Amy Cohn is responsible for leading the Atlanta-based MSO’s executive visibility strategy and speech-writing, corporate social responsibility efforts, public-policy communications and other issues-management and public-affairs activities.
“I’ve grown up in cable, and the changes I’ve witnessed in 15 years are nothing short of revolutionary,” Cohn said. “This industry continues to keep me challenged, engaged and excited about the opportunities ahead.”
Cohn is a Class XV Fellow of the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and was honored with the Women In Cable Telecommunications Atlanta Red Letter Award for Rising Star in 2007. She has received numerous Association of Cable Communicators Beacon Awards and Georgia Chapter of Public Relations Society of America Phoenix Awards, including that trade group’s highest honor — a Silver Anvil Award — in 2006.
She is a three-term WICT Atlanta board member and currently serves as president of the Atlanta chapter.
César Conde, 33
Chief Strategy Officer and EVP, Univision
César Conde is responsible for strategic initiatives focused on the growth and profitability of Spanish-language media company Univision Communications across all of its units, including TV, radio and online.
“I am extremely fortunate to work with the most talented team in the industry at Univision,” Conde said. “I can honestly say that our success is because of this talent and the commitment everyone has to delivering to our audiences.”
Previously, Conde was vice president of corporate development at Univision Networks. He also served as vice president and operating manager of the company’s cable unit, Galavisión Network.
Conde was appointed by then-President Bush as one of twelve 2002-03 White House Fellows. Before that, he was vice president of business development at Univision Networks. He also served as vice president of business development at StarMedia Network, the first Internet company focused on the global Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking audiences.
Lori Conkling, 37
EVP of Distribution, Lifetime Networks
Lori Conkling is responsible for the overall distribution strategy at Lifetime Networks across multiple platforms, including linear, on-demand and mobile. She also supervises the expansion of new and existing product platforms, including Lifetime On Demand, Lifetime HD and Lifetime Movie Network HD. Additionally, Conkling oversees such areas as field sales, national accounts, affiliate marketing, affiliate ad sales, affiliate strategy and distribution legal.
Conkling joined Lifetime from Disney and ESPN Media Networks, where she served as vice president of national accounts since 2004. Prior to that, she was director, national accounts, for the ABC Cable Networks Group.
“When I started out, this industry was solely focused on linear television distribution,” Conkling said. “Now, we distribute to computers, PDAs, cell phones and even automobiles. … I’m thrilled to be part of an industry that continues to innovate and deliver content to viewers in new and exciting ways.”
Jeff Cusson, 39
SVP, Corporate Affairs, Home Box Office
Jeff Cusson serves as the main press liaison for HBO to the business and trade media as well as with corporate parent Time Warner. He also oversees the company’s consumer-relations area.
“It is easy doing my job in a nurturing culture like HBO, where you are surrounded by good people and proud of the product,” he said.
Cusson, who joined HBO as director of corporate affairs in 2000, is responsible for all communication pertaining to the company’s digital innovations, HBO International, HBO Home Entertainment, programming sales and general business practices.
He began his career in New York in 1991 as an assistant in the news-information department of ABC News. Cusson then moved to Fox Broadcasting Co., but returned to ABC in 1995 as a publicist. From 1998 to 2000, Cusson worked at CNN as senior manager, public relations.
Salil Dalvi, 39
SVP, Mobile Platform Development, NBC Universal Digital Distribution
Salil Dalvi is instrumental in NBC Universal’s effort to find business growth opportunities in the wireless market.
Working alongside the channel brands — such as Bravo, USA Network and Sci Fi Channel — and digital distribution sales, he leads a team that’s developed a mobile presence across multiple product categories.
“I am a big optimist about wireless,” Dalvi said. “Mobile media keeps getting easier, more relevant, more useful and more fun for consumers.”
Dalvi first helped NBC Universal get its mobile business off the ground in 2004, when he was part of the corporate business-development group.
Starting with MobiTV, he closed the company’s first mobile-content distribution deals with Verizon Wireless, Cingular and Sprint.
He worked with NBC News to launch NBC Mobile, and in 2006 led the launch of the NBC2Go, CNBC and MSNBC mobile channels available through MediaFLO.
Marc DeBevoise, 34
SVP, Digital Media, Business Development & Strategy, Starz
Marc DeBevoise is the operational and executive lead for Starz’s digital businesses. These include video distribution via Internet, cable and satellite; ad-supported broadband channels; and development of video and gaming products for online and wireless. He also spearheads business development, strategic-investment and growth opportunities for all of Starz’s business units.
“Having the chance to build a number of digital and new-media businesses — all well-positioned to take advantage of the growth this industry sector is expected to experience in the coming years — has been a tremendous opportunity,” he said.
Prior to joining Starz, DeBevoise was the director of emerging markets for NBC Universal Digital Media. He also served as an associate in the technology, media and telecommunications investment-banking group at JP Morgan and has worked in corporate financial planning and operations at Cablevision Systems and motion picture and television production finance at Miramax.
Debbie DeMontreux, 38
SVP, Original Programming, IFC
Debbie DeMontreux oversees the development and production of series, documentaries, features, specials and news programming for IFC.
Among her current projects are season two of Z Rock and the new scripted comedy Bollywood Hero. She is also executive producer of IFC’s exclusive live coverage of the Independent Spirit Awards.
Past IFC projects developed by DeMontreux include The Whitest Kids U’ Know, The Business and Indie Sex.
DeMontreux joined Rainbow Media’s Bravo Networks as a scheduling coordinator in 1993. She served as director of development and production for both Bravo and IFC beginning in 1999, and then solely for IFC when NBC purchased Bravo in December of 2002.
Before being promoted to her current position in 2007, she served as vice president of original series and specials and then vice president of original programming.
“You’re as strong as the people with whom you surround yourself,” she said of her IFC team. “There isn’t a single day that passes without my knowing I’m not solely responsible for my success.”
Derek Elder, 37
SVP, Product Management and Marketing, Arris
Derek Elder is responsible for product strategy, definition and marketing for the Arris Broadband Communications Systems division.
Prior to that, he was senior vice president for North American sales, leading a 70-person sales organization managing $900 million in annual sales to all customers in the U.S. and Canada, and helping to integrate the C-COR sale management team following the December 2007 acquisition.
Elder was directly involved in Comcast’s switched digital video edge quadrature- amplitude modulation unit purchase from Arris, the initial Time Warner Cable cable-modem termination system business and Comcast’s many long-term media terminal adapter and CMTS purchase agreements that have resulted in 300% growth in that MSO’s business with Arris within a three-year period.
“The Internet has changed everyone’s perspective on how they receive content and information,” he said.
“This is only going to be magnified in the coming years.”
Marc Fein, 38
EVP of Programming, Production and Business Operations, Versus
Marc Fein has been an executive at Versus for more than five years and has been a key voice in every deal the network makes — from sports rights and distribution negotiations to digital-media initiatives and on-air production.
Since joining Versus, he has spearheaded the acquisition of a number of sports properties, including the IndyCar Series, college football and World Extreme Cagefighting, while re-signing such major properties as the National Hockey League and the Tour de France.
He was also instrumental in the launch of the network’s 24/7 HD channel last December.
“I am extremely proud to be part of this amazing group who, in such a short period of time, built Versus into a thriving national sports network,” Fein said. “It’s been a great ride that will only continue to get better.”
Prior to joining the network in 2004, he served as vice president of programming and acquisitions for Fox Sports Net. He was also involved in the creation of Fuel.
Karin Gilford, 38
SVP, Fancast and Online Entertainment Comcast Interactive Media
With nearly a decade of experience in digital-entertainment media, Karin Gilford oversees all operations of Web site Fancast, including content, business strategy, monetization and product development.
Before joining Fancast, she spent eight years at Yahoo. There, she served in several roles, including vice president and general manager of Yahoo Entertainment, where she led all programming, content and business strategy for the entertainment consumer Web sites Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! TV, omg!, Shine and Yahoo! Games. She successfully increased traffic and monetization across the company’s entertainment properties and pioneered programming relationships with networks for full-length video content.
“The way television content is produced, distributed and consumed in the future is evolving right now,” Gilford said. “It’s one of the burning issues in entertainment and media, and my job has placed me in the red-hot center of it.”
Rebecca Glashow, 33
SVP, Digital Media Distribution, Discovery Communications
Rebecca Glashow is charged with creating and executing opportunities to expand Discovery Communications’s digital footprint and support the evolving cable business. She works with operators to drive the growth of their video-on-demand, interactive TV and Internet services, as well as broker broadband and mobile deals for content from across Discovery’s family of U.S. networks.
Previously, as vice president of digital media distribution, Glashow oversaw the distribution of Discovery Mobile as well as broadband and ITV programming on digital platforms.
“Digital media provides new opportunities for programmers and distributors to work together in mutually beneficial ways, while giving consumers the choice and content they crave,” she said.
Before joining Discovery, she was director, video-on-demand and interactive television, content acquisitions for Comcast. Prior to that, she was with In Demand Networks, serving as director, content planning and management.
Jacey Godfrey, 32
Marketing Director, Camiant
Since five-year-old Camiant’s inception, Jacey Godfrey has overseen advertising, communications and public-relations initiatives that have taken the company from startup to established provider of broadband-networking technology and services. She has also played an important behind-the-scenes role in organizing conferences, industry events and dialogues among industry leaders to foster appreciation of new technologies.
Godfrey worked in a similar capacity for Broadbus Technologies, where she managed public relations and corporate marketing. She joined Broadbus from ADC Telecommunications.
Her involvement in cable technology dates back to 1997, when she worked as a marketing and corporate-communications manager for Internet Cable Corp., an early cable high-speed-data service company.
Godfrey said that one of the unique aspects of working in the industry is that “people seem to recognize they’re doing important work that matters, and it creates this cascade of enthusiasm that’s great to be around.”
Glenn Goldsmith, 38
VP, Programming, Mediacom Communications
Glenn Goldsmith has been with Mediacom Communications for 11 years, starting as a college intern and then joining for good in 1998 as a staff accountant.
In that time, he has worked his way up through the programming department, from manager to director to senior director, to his current position as vice president of programming.
“My career in the cable industry has afforded me the good fortune to work for a company that encourages innovation, ingenuity and social responsibility,” Goldsmith said. “Our commitment to improve the quality of life for our customers and employees while driving economic development in the communities we serve is the fundamental priority that directs my every decision.”
While working full-time at Mediacom, he earned his master’s degree in business administration.
Previously, he worked as developmental aide for the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
Ishmel Goodrum, 37
VP, Network Operations, Insight
Ishmel Goodrum manages the operation of Insight Communications’s network.
During Goodrum’s three years with Insight, he has helped build a technically advanced network-operations center and implement changes required to enable faster high-speed Internet service, launch IP telephony across the MSO’s footprint and grow basic video subscribers.
In 2008, Goodrum played a major role in Insight’s split from Comcast, which affected services delivered to Insight subscribers as well as those who became Comcast customers.
“Advances in technology have created the need to build a different infrastructure and to manage services to a higher standard of quality than required by traditional cable-TV services,” Goodrum said. “The building of better network-management centers and mechanized systems has provided the perfect environment for me to learn about new technology from industry veterans, and to share and integrate what I know about good process and controls.”
David Goodwin, 37
Senior Product Manager, Motorola
David Goodwin is a senior product manager in the digital video solutions group within Motorola’s home and networks mobility business. Focused on cable digital video recorder set-tops, he has played an important part in Motorola’s separable security program.
Goodwin has provided the day-to-day product management direction required for new DVR and set-top development. Previously, he helped coordinate the transition of Motorola’s complete set-top product line to support CableCard-based platforms.
Goodwin’s current responsibilities focus on set-top environmental improvement initiatives, new technologies and future product concepts, and well as interacting with supply chain, engineering, sales and customer management teams to coordinate product activities within the Digital Video Solutions group.
“Motorola’s and the industry’s DVR cable set-tops continue to evolve to offer new solutions and experiences for MSO’s and consumers,” he said.
Steven Graciano, 33
Director of Marketing, Fox Sports en Español
Steven Graciano has a proven track record of success in different areas of the sports business world — from developing international consumer promotions and forging strategic league-level marketing partnerships to delivering unique sports content to U.S. Hispanic audiences.
In the past two years, Graciano has successfully developed and implemented a comprehensive and strategic marketing plan for Fox Sports en Español to reach a segmented U.S. Hispanic sports audience.
“Given the current state of the industry and the growing list of options available to our consumers, we all need to be more cognizant of effective messaging and how our brands are perceived,” he said. “The ever-changing U.S. Hispanic market has made my position that much more dynamic, and I’ve certainly enjoyed solidifying a connection with our viewers.”
Graciano also developed the National Basketball Association’s Hispanic Marketing program, used by the league’s marketing partners to reach Hispanic basketball fans.
Jason Holzman, 37
VP, Brand Creative, USA Network
Jason Holzman is the creative lead in charge of all on-air and off-air promotion for the USA Network brand, as well as the channel’s original series, movies, acquired programs and special events. His creative campaigns have won numerous awards while helping fuel the network’s ratings success (each quarter since he started in May 2007 has been USA’s best ratings quarter ever).
Holzman recently helped develop a series of brand initiatives inspired by USA’s “Characters Welcome” brand: Character Approved, which honors influential figures in different disciplines; the Character Project artistic initiative; and the Characters Unite pro-social campaign.
“My approach to marketing and promotion has always been that whatever we do — on-air spots, posters, billboards — should be as smart, well-produced and entertaining as the content we’re promoting,” he said.
Before joining USA, Holzman served as a creative director for Euro RSCG. Prior to that, he was a senior writer at BBDO.
Mario Jimenez, 36
VP, Customer Care, Suddenlink
Mario Jimenez supports customer-care operations for business and residential services, and supervises 245 call-center employees serving Suddenlink Communications’s West region of West Texas and California. On the business side, he is responsible for company-wide commercial technical support for video, data and telephone services.
In 2003, he became one of Cox Communications’s youngest vice presidents. Suddenlink later acquired Cox’s properties in West Texas and parts of California.
Jimenez has served more than 10 years in cable and telecommunications. During that time, he’s been involved in all aspects of operations for video, Internet and telephone services, strategic planning, and has helped manage processes involved in divesting and acquiring systems.
“Our industry is an exciting place to be right now,” Jimenez said, “and I’m looking forward to all the new products and services we’re capable of offering, as we work to further enhance the customer experience.”
Michelle Kim, 38
Group VP and Chief Counsel, Programming, Time Warner Cable
Michelle Kim is responsible for all legal matters related to programming across Time Warner Cable’s distribution platforms and plays a key role in negotiating and drafting carriage and distribution arrangements with cable networks, TV stations and other content providers.
Prior to joining TWC in 2002, Kim was a lawyer in the firm of Morrison & Foerster and judicial law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Barrington D. Parker Jr.
“Everybody loves to say that you should welcome competition because it makes you better. In our industry, this particular platitude could not be more true,” Kim said.
“I’m gratified to be working among a group of executives who can look competition in the eye and counter it with a strategic approach and creative thinking and with a team that is committed to doing whatever it takes to pave the way for the company to adapt at a faster pace than the trends we see.”
Tia Lee, 39
Regional Data Engineer, Suddenlink
Tia Lee has been with Suddenlink Communications since August 2007, playing key roles in the implementation of its regional data-transport network, as well as the MSO’s cable-modem termination system upgrade and standardization.
“I’m incredibly privileged to work with a great team at Suddenlink, where we’re always encouraged and empowered to be our best,” Lee said. “I sincerely look forward to coming to work every day in this business, to see what new challenges we can address and what new things we can learn together.”
Lee began her career as a customer-service representative, then took on increased responsibility as a network administrator with Charter Communications. She’s successfully led a technical team that handled core switching and routing projects to upgrade the Internet-service provider network, worked on commercial business fiber projects, led a team of specialists maintaining a cable-modem network, and managed a number of other technical projects and responsibilities.
Tara Walpert Levy, 34
President, Visible World
Tara Walpert Levy is responsible for direction, growth and innovation at Visible World, which delivers targeted television advertising solutions. The company recently partnered with Cablevision Systems to deliver targeted TV ads to 100,000 households across metro New York. Plans call for expanding that to 500,000 homes over the next year.
Visible World currently facilitates targeted TV ads for over 150 national advertisers in the top 100 markets. In 2008, Levy was responsible for securing $25 million in additional funding from venture capitalists and private-equity investors.
Prior to joining Visible World, she was an associate partner at McKinsey & Co.
“This is a very exciting time to be in our industry, as we revolutionize the sophistication and effectiveness of television advertising,” Levy said. “New technologies enable marketers to improve commercial relevance and viewer engagement and to do much more with much less — especially important in today’s economic climate.”
Javier Maynulet, 35
Chief Financial Officer, Telemundo
Javier Maynulet has overall financial responsibility for NBC Universal’s Telemundo Group, including the Telemundo network, its owned-and-operated TV stations and cable networks, digital businesses, international distribution and studios. He is also responsible for overall controllership, strategic and tactical planning and analysis, as well as the short- and long-term financial planning process.
Previously, Maynulet was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Universal Media Studios and Universal Cable Productions.
In 2001, Maynulet was named director of finance at WTVJ, the NBC-owned TV station in Miami, coinciding with NBC’s acquisition of Telemundo. He was finance integration leader of WTVJ and WSCV, which became the first NBC/Telemundo duopoly in the country. He moved to the Telemundo Network in 2003.
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked in so many great roles within this industry and experienced how it has evolved over the last decade,” he said.
Cyndi McClellan, 36
EVP, Program Strategy and Research, Comcast Entertainment Group
Cyndi McClellan leads all research and strategic planning for E!, The Style Network, G4 and FearNet and is responsible for acquisitions and scheduling for E! and Style.
McClellan is responsible for aggregating and analyzing all research on behalf of E!, Style, G4 and FearNet, including the company’s digital initiatives (E! Online, mystyle.com, g4tv.com and Fearnet.com). She also evaluates current programming and new program opportunities to provide strategic guidance and maximize opportunities across the networks.
“As a viewer, I love the flexibility on-demand programming provides (whether on TV or online) but as a programmer, I am terrified by it,” she said.
Prior to joining E!, McClellan served as director of client development at Frank N. Magid Associates. She began her career in research at Twentieth Television, creating marketing materials to distribute the company’s program assets and later moving into distribution as director of the Western division.
Flavio Morales, 36
VP, Programming, Mun2
Flavio Morales was named vice president of programming at Mun2 in February 2005. Supervising overall programming strategy and on-air content, he has helped the network garner widespread recognition, including a 2007 Peabody Award for its original programming aimed at Latino youth.
Morales began creating programming for bicultural Latinos in high school when he launched a local music/variety show in Los Angeles that garnered a cult following, introducing music from diverse artists such as Caifanes and Ozomatli.
Before joining Mun2, he was a co-founder and director of programming and music for LATV. Prior to that, he held several positions in media, from music and TV to advertising. At Wieden & Kennedy, he was the ad agency’s Latino liaison for clients such as Microsoft and Coca-Cola.
“I’m very proud of that fact that my career has allowed me to give others the opportunity to expose our culture, and show how as U.S. Latinos, we are uniquely American,” he said.
Murali Nemani, 37
Head, Service Provider Video Marketing, Cisco
Murali Nemani is responsible for driving Cisco Systems’ video solutions into the telco, cable and satellite/broadcaster markets. He leads the development and execution of Cisco’s service-provider video marketing strategy and helps drive market awareness of the company’s digital video solutions, including the advanced set-top box and content delivery system portfolios.
Prior to Cisco, Nemani held a variety of marketing and portfolio-strategy positions with Alcatel.
Most recently, he led the strategy team in the multimedia applications division, targeting segments such as advanced advertising and content sharing and distribution. Before that, he led Alcatel’s global triple play and IPTV marketing program while based in Paris.
“Our goal is to help service providers evolve to be experienced providers offering consumers a unique set of services they can easily embrace,” Nemani said, “so that ultimately living the 'connected life’ will become a natural part of everyone’s daily routine.”
Regina O’Brien, 37
VP, Marketing and Brand Management, Golf Channel
Regina O’Brien serves as vice president of marketing and brand management for Golf Channel. She has been instrumental in modernizing the network’s brand image and in promoting new programming such as The Haney Project: Charles Barkley.
O’Brien has also played a key role in broadening strategic partnerships and leading Golf’s national campaigns.
Prior to joining Golf, O’Brien worked for Comcast, where she was involved with the successful revitalization of the MSO’s overall brand and the launch of on-demand horror channel FearNet.
“Comcast has enabled me to grow into a fully integrated and diverse marketing specialist,” O’Brien said.
“I have had the opportunity to lead marketing communications campaigns for the largest cable MSO, direct multicultural advertising efforts, assist in the launch of FearNet and now, at Golf Channel, help evolve the brand into a more dynamic and passionate destination.”
Constance Orlando, 38
VP, Development, BET
In her development role at BET, Constance Orlando produces specials and series for the network such as Harlem Heights, A Conversation With the Queen: The Queen Latifah Special, and Road to Platinum.
She was supervising producer for the network’s Countdown to Lockdown and the second season of College Hill. Additionally, she was credited as supervising producer of the TV One reality series I Married a Baller.
Prior to her TV career, Orlando was executive producer of Big Dog Films, where she was in charge of overseeing all production work.
Orlando also has her own full-service production company, CMO Productions, which has found success in the music-video and television-production sectors.
“Over the years, I’ve seen the music, film, and television industries develop not only into a vehicle for cultural change with the explosion of hip-hop and the blogosphere,” Orlando said. “I’ve also had the pleasure of contributing to mechanisms within media that provide a platform for new voices and fresh ideas.”
Jason Patton, 35
SVP, Business Development, In Demand Networks
Jason Patton joined In Demand Networks in 2001, at a time when its Movies On Demand service was in its nascent phase and true video-on-demand was only available in four cable systems representing 250,000 digital subscribers.
Patton managed the look and feel of content on the user interface, worked with individual systems making the business case for adopting VOD and managed the end-to-end technology architecture. By the end of 2002, the platform was available in 5 million homes.
Patton is now leading the charge to turn the “virtual video store” concept into a reality, and to expand the catalog of cable movies on demand to tens of thousands. “My mission is to make every movie ever made available on demand on the TV in your home,” he said.
Patton was also responsible for launching In Demand’s music-on-demand service and was a key part of the team that launched the Mojo HD channel. Aside from his work at In Demand, Patton is also a college hockey broadcaster, including telecasts on ESPN 360 and MSG.
Damon Phillips, 36
Damon Phillips was named vice president of ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, last February. “We have an amazing opportunity with ESPN360.com to enhance the way sports fans consume media,” he said.
A veteran sports-media executive and entrepreneur, his experience spans television, digital media, and sports properties. Most recently, he served as the assistant executive director of USA Football, that sport’s national governing body.
Phillips is also a founder of personalized sports-TV schedule provider SportsTVinsider.com. He was a member of the management teams that launched Fox Sports Grill and ESPN Zone. He has also held positions at DirecTV and the National Basketball Association.
Phillips earned a football scholarship to Stanford University and was an outside linebacker on nationally ranked Cardinal teams coached by Bill Walsh and Dennis Green.
“I’ve been involved in sports my entire life,” Phillips said. “I’m very fortunate that my passion for sports has evolved into a fulfilling career.
Jesse Redniss, 33
VP, Digital, USA Network
Jesse Redniss oversees all digital efforts for the various USA Network properties, including usanetwork.com, westminsterkennelclub.com, universalhd.com, sleuthchannel.com and characterarcade.com. He joined the company in April 2005 as director of interactive marketing, and expanded his responsibilities in July 2007.
Redniss’s first initiative was the complete revamping of the online destination usanetwork.com, turning it into a revenue-generating entertainment destination.
Redniss’s day-to-day responsibilities involve developing digital growth strategies, establishing advertiser partnerships with the digital sales group and overseeing the interactive campaigns for network series.
“Entertainment is a rapidly evolving concept in this era of innovation, therefore it’s of the utmost importance to create content that is engaging and interactive no matter the platform, property or brand,” Redniss said. “Working at USA, I’ve been given the opportunity to explore my passion for digital creativity.”
Kent Rees, 34
SVP, Marketing, IFC
Kent Rees was recently promoted to senior vice president of marketing at IFC, where he is responsible for the oversight and strategic direction of the network’s on-air and print marketing.
Previously, Rees served for two years as the network’s creative director as part of parent company Rainbow Media Holdings’s creative-services department. In that role, he was a chief contributor to the development of the re-energized on-air look and feel of IFC to “TV, uncut.”
Before joining Rainbow Media in 2004, Rees worked as a writer/producer for ABC on-air promotions in the comedy/reality division based in Los Angeles. He has also freelanced for NBC, TBS and ABC Family. He began his career at VH1 in the on-air promotions department and held several posts from 1996 to 2001, including writer/producer.
“IFC is the perfect place for me,” Rees said. “As a former pure creative, I have learned so much about the business side here and have the freedom and the support I need to push myself and the envelope as far as we can.”
Andrew Rosenberg, 38
VP, Programming, Time Warner Cable
Andrew Rosenberg manages Time Warner Cable’s negotiations and relationships with key content providers, including Disney/ESPN, NBC Universal, Scripps Networks and regional sports networks including YES Network. He supports TWC’s field teams in New York and the Northeast region on all programming issues.
Before joining TWC in 2007, he was senior counsel at Comcast, managing content acquisition.
“Not so long ago, we carried only linear cable service,” said Rosenberg. “Now, with VOD, the Internet and all that enhanced TV has to offer, keeping our eyes on those moving parts is more challenging every day — further complicated by a need to be responsive to the growing list of competitors in our video business.
“Even so, the best part of my job is the challenge I get every day from the smart and energetic people — both within Time Warner Cable and from the programming community — who are passionate about delivering entertainment to our customers.”
Brent Rosenthal, 37
Partner, W.R. Huff Asset Management
Since joining Huff Asset Management in 2002, Brent Rosenthal has played a key role in the firm’s private-equity, public-equity and fixed-income investment activities in a wide variety of media and communications investments including cable, measurement, outdoor, content, radio, satellite and wireless.
Prior to joining Huff, Rosenthal worked as director of mergers and acquisitions for RSL Communications.
Previously, he served emerging media companies for Deloitte & Touche.
Presently, Rosenthal serves on the board of directors of Rentrak and as an observer to the board of directors of Virgin Media.
“It is an honor to be recognized for offering entrepreneurial suggestions to enhance shareholder value at our portfolio companies (Time Warner Cable, Virgin Media and Rentrak), which grow operating cash flow as well as accelerate strategic growth initiatives in areas like data monetization, advanced advertising and wireless,” Rosenthal said.
Justin Smith, 39
SVP, Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Comcast
In his role on behalf of the Comcast Programming Group, Justin Smith oversees all legal matters for Comcast programming and affiliated programming networks including E!, Style, G4, Golf Channel, FearNet, Versus, TV One, PBS Kids Sprout and a variety of regional sports network investments and other businesses.
Prior to joining Comcast, Smith served in the Golf Channel’s legal department for nine years, most recently as vice president of legal affairs and general counsel.
“It’s been an incredible experience to participate first in the development and growth of the Golf Channel, and now in the management of Comcast’s programming portfolio as we look to increase our brands’ presence in viewers’ lives,” Smith said.
Smith received his law degree from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at The College of William and Mary. He also received his bachelor’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.
Claudia Teran, 36
SVP, Business and Legal Affairs, Fox Cable Networks
Claudia Teran oversees the business and legal affairs for several Fox Cable Networks divisions, including corporate and digital media, as well as several cable networks.
Teran works extensively with Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español in the U.S., Fox Sports in Latin America, Fuel TV in the U.S. and internationally, and the worldwide Fox Sports syndication-sales business. Her responsibilities include licensing, distribution, production, marketing, affiliate relations, and complex transactional guidance.
“During my tenure at Fox, I have been fortunate to witness amazing growth in all facets of this industry — not only in the penetration of our networks, but also in the diversification of our channel offerings and audiences, and further expansion into new media,” Teran said. “All of that translates into a job that continuously provides opportunities to work on cutting edge deals, with a fantastic team, in the U.S. as well as across the globe.”
Wayne Thompson, 34
VP, Telecom and Internet Management, Cablevision
Wayne Thompson is responsible for cost management, vendor relationships and the development and implementation of strategic concepts for Cablevision Systems’s IP-voice and high-speed-data services, in an effort to continue to lower the MSO’s delivery costs.
“My department continues to successfully reduce the cost of delivering services, while the company continues to realize subscriber growth and continues to deliver award- winning products and services,” Thompson said. “Knowing that I played a role in the success of the company and in the success of the people working for me is rewarding, and that success has transcended my career into a point where I truly enjoy coming to work every day.”
Promoted to his current position this January, Thompson has been with Cablevision since 2003. His previous positions at the company include director of video and data services and broadband service manager.
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