Williams Out at Outdoor Life2/23/2004 9:50 AM Eastern
In a surprise move, E! Entertainment Television marketing executive Gavin Harvey will take over the president’s position at Outdoor Life Network, replacing outgoing network head Roger Williams.
Williams -- who has been the network’s president and CEO -- said he’s leaving to "pursue other opportunities in the cable business," but he will remain a consultant to the Comcast Corp.-owned network.
Williams is leaving at arguably the most successful point in the 56 million-subscriber network’s nine-year history. OLN broke ratings records with its telecast of the Tour de France last July, when it finished 400% above its average of 0.1. All told, the network finished 2003 -- its first year as a Nielsen Media Research-rated network -- with a 0.2 primetime average.
The network earlier this month acquired the Gravity Games extreme-sports franchise from Octagon Inc.
Harvey -- recently named executive vice president of marketing at E! -- joined the entertainment network in 2001 after working as senior VP of marketing and brand director for In Demand.