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Outdoor Channel Hires Liberatore as CEO

A little more than a month after its ownership regime changed in a sometimes heated auction, Outdoor Channel has picked a new CEO to lead the outdoor lifestyle network to its next level, former SportsTime Ohio chief Jim Liberatore.

Outdoor Channel was the focus of a sometimes contentious battle between Denver billionaire Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and Leo J. Hindery Jr.’s InterMedia Partners, owner of the rival Sportsman Channel. Kroenke won the prize in May with a bid worth about $267 million.

Outdoor Channel is available in about 40 million homes across the country and beefing up that carriage will be a top priority for the new CEO.

Liberatore replaces Tom Hornish, who has been at the outdoor lifestyle channel for about nine years. Outdoor said Hornish will stay on for a transitional period.

Prior to his stint at SportsTime Ohio, which was purchased by Fox Sports Media Group in December, Liberatore served as president of motor sports network Speed Channel for five years. He has held executive positions at Fox Sports Florida/ Sunshine Network and Madison Square Garden.

Liberatore’s new boss — Kroenke Sports CEO Jim Martin — is also a Fox Sports veteran.