Sportsman Channel Takes Aim With Harvey As CEO

Sportsman Channel has named cable veteran Gavin Harvey its chief executive officer.

Harvey, who had been serving as executive vice president and general manager of MSG's music network Fuse, will report to the the board of directors of InterMedia Outdoor Holdings Inc., the parent of Sportsman Channel. InterMedia Outdoors, which bought Sportsman in June 2007, is a portfolio company of InterMedia Partners VII, the media-focused private-equity firm run by Leo Hindery.

Harvey, who has experience in the outdoor and field and stream space during his time with Versus and its predecessor Outdoor Life Network, will be partnered with InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. CEO Jeff Paro in his new post, which he begins on July 6.

Willy Burkhardt, who was tapped as president of Sportsman in March 2009, will continue with the network through a transition period before leaving the company.

Sportsman, which has been adding distribution through positioning upgrades from sports tiers to more widely penetrated packages, now counts almost 26 million subscribers

"Sportsman Channel is the last piece of the puzzle for InterMedia Outdoors," said Paro in a statement. "We have long been the leader in magazines, internet, and TV production. With the recent explosive growth of Sportsman Channel and the addition of Gavin, who brings tremendous experience in cable and the outdoor space, we are extremely excited about further asserting our overall market and industry leadership. I have known Gavin for a long time and am personally thrilled to be working with someone so accomplished in the network space who is equally committed to, and passionate about, the outdoors."

All told,  Harvey has more than 20 years of experience with cable television networks. Prior to joining Fuse last August, Harvey served as the president of Comcast's national service Versus, where he was credited with expanding the network's outdoor television and digital media franchises.

"I'm extremely excited to be back in outdoor television and to join a network with so much momentum. With all the complementary media and content assets that exist in InterMedia Outdoors, Sportsman Channel is uniquely positioned to deliver unbeatable value to distributors, advertisers, and outdoor enthusiasts,"said Harvey.  "InterMedia Outdoors is the authoritative voice of the outdoors in TV, print, and digital, and has really succeeded in building a true multiplatform enterprise that reaches millions of hunters and anglers. This is a great time for the outdoor category and I intend to elevate Sportsman Channel to the prominence it deserves."

Harvey's career also includes a stint as executive vice president and marketing and brand director at Comcast's E! Networks, where he was in charge of brand strategies worldwide, as well as advertising, creative services, public relations, marketing, and all promotions for E! Entertainment Television, The Style Network, E! International and E! Online.

Harvey began his career at Disney Channel, and has also held executive positions at In Demand and FX Networks.