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MCNWW 2015 Claudia Teran: Fox Sports’ Utility Player

Versatile EVP Sets Division’s Legal, Business Playbook 1/26/2015 8:00 AM Eastern Last updated at 3/09/2016 12:44 PM

CLAUDIA TERAN

TITLE: EVP and Deputy General Counsel, Fox Networks Group, and General Counsel, Fox Sports

AGE: 41

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: After several years at a private law firm, Teran moved to Fox where she had a “vibrant and exciting” 15-year career supervising a broad international portfolio. She leads a team responsible for all global business and legal affairs at Fox Sports.

QUOTE: “Mom came to the States to go to college and had a very clear mindset from the beginning that … she wanted her daughter to have even more access to do whatever it is she wanted to do.”

 

Working with Fox Network Group’s Fox International Channels, Claudia Teran has served as a key strategic executive in the expansion of Fox Sports’ international investments, including advising on acquisitions in Latin America, and the launch of Fox Sports Brazil in 2013, as well as acquisitions in Asia for the acquired ESPN/STAR Sports.

 

On the domestic side of the business, she served as the chief legal adviser on Fox Sports’ successful bid for U.S. rights to the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and 2022.

 

She has also been a key player in the company’s digital and distribution strategies, moving the linear businesses forward with innovative digital products and opportunities.

 

There are times, she said, it feels like she’s juggling “a lot of plates spinning 24 hours a day, seven days a week — especially coming with an international background,” said Teran, executive vice president and deputy general counsel for Fox Networks Group.

 

SPORTS IN HER PURVIEW

She was also recently appointed as general counsel of Fox Sports, where her top priorities this year are restructuring and leading the integrated business and legal affairs of the Fox Sports group globally, and finding new and creative approaches to content delivery across all non-linear platforms, including over-the-top, broadband delivery, as well as video on demand, which, ultimately is part of the job that about bringing the plates together.

 

“It’s all interlinked,” Teran said. “I started working with international sports, and then we launched an action sports network [that] was domestic. Then it went international. Then it was the involvement in the digital arena, and how it’s become such an important part of our business. It’s about working your distribution, whether it’s on the cable side or the broadcast side; domestic cable or international cable. It all becomes one big picture.”

 

As if this weren’t enough on her proverbial plate, Teran is in throes of wedding plans with fiancé David Wisnia, "a reformed lawyer" who is the president of POP (the network formerly known as TV Guide Network) and a former executive at CBS and Fox. Three months ago, the couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Grayson Aaron Wisnia.

 

“That is probably the most challenging transaction to get my mind around,” Teran said of motherhood. “I’m used to working on a schedule, and there are so many things that you want to pack into your day and then this little person arrives and takes up all of your attention. They don’t necessarily work on your schedule.”

 

Said Fox Sports president Eric Shanks: “It’s rare when you find a spectacular business partner who’s also a spectacular human being. Claudia’s first foray into Fox Sports was our acquisitions business for the FIFA World Cup, and you can imagine all the ins and outs of an international bidding process and working with an agreement of that scale and scope, and she handled it flawlessly. And we have a great relationship with FIFA now because of Claudia.”

 

Rita Tuzon, executive vice president and general counsel at Fox Networks Group, refers to Teran as “the executive whisperer.”

 

“She can walk in a room, and everybody’s eating out of her hand in 10 minutes,” she said. “And it’s not just charm. It’s an incredible skill at reading a room, dealing with people. They walk out of there liking her, trusting her and respecting her.”

 

HER MOM: ROLE MODEL

It’s business acumen Teran learned from her mother. “She’s a really tough cookie,” the Silicon Valley native said. A first-generation American of Bolivian-born parents, Teran’s father was an engineer, now retired; her mother had a dual career, first in computer science before starting her own nurses’ registry.

 

“I remember watching her at work when I was a kid, and hearing her on the phone when she was having to resolve some kind of issue in her business,” she said, “and I took a lot of that in, in terms of how she interacted with people, how she resolved problems and what her priorities were.”

 

Teran had long dreamed of resolving complex issues in court. Since kindergarten, she’d wanted to be a judge. It seemed like a great job, “at least in the movies,” she said.

 

While in law school at New York University, reality set in. “I looked into what my life was going to become if I went that route, and very quickly realize, ‘Meh, maybe that’s not exactly what I thought it was going to be,’ ” she said.

 

In 1997, she worked as a transactional attorney at Sidley & Austin in Los Angeles for three years, before landing at Fox.

 

“A lot of what I enjoyed at the law firm was interacting with the clients,” she said. “You work with a client on a deal, and then the client goes away. You work so closely with them and sometimes you never know what happened with the business and, sometimes, with these people that you’ve worked so closely with.”

 

Being in-house gives her the chance to build the kinds of relationships she wants. “It’s really rewarding to work like crazy on these deals,” she said, “and have a relationship with the end result. To be able to turn on a television or a tablet or a phone, and be able to see the link to thing you’re working on is very, very rewarding.”

 

Editor's Note: This story was edited on Jan. 26 to correct the description of David Wisnia.

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