40 Under Forty4/18/2011 12:01 AM Eastern
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. These individuals represent a cross-section of disciplines:
networks, operators, finance, technology, programming, marketing
and customer service. But they all have one thing in common: They’ve
come a long way in a relatively short time and continue to make invaluable
contributions in their areas of expertise. By no means intended as
a comprehensive list of young executives to watch, here is a sampling of
some of the key people helping to shape tomorrow’s industry.
Vice President, Director of Video Innovation
Chris Allen’s job is to bridge the gap between traditional
media and emerging platforms. In his role as vice
president and director of innovation at SMGx (the SMG
Exchange) — which was created by media-buying firm
Starcom MediaVest Group as way to exchange ideas and
intelligence — he empowers Starcom’s agencies to test
new models and leverage scale to drive marketplace and
He joined Starcom in 2007 after spending 13 years at GSD&M, a regional advertising
agency based in Austin, Texas.
He’s a member of a group called The Pool, a giant research-and-development
operation involving marketers across the industry that aims to coordinate efforts in
the engagement field.
“Working in both traditional and digital media has given me a unique perspective
on the opportunities and challenges of both areas and I think this experience helps
me to formulate more thoughtful recommendations for my clients,” Allen said. “Our
industry needs to get comfortable approaching media strategy and execution in a
way that focuses less on individual platforms and more on how consumers move
across them to meet their individual needs.”
Vice President – Engineering, Access
And Transport Business Unit
Brent Arnold caught the engineering bug from his dad,
mechanical engineer. He would spend his evenings
meticulously copying the drawings his father happened to
be working on at the time.
After graduating from Penn State, he went to work for
State College, Pa.-based C-COR, which just happened to be
close by. Some 16 years later, he is overseeing the product-development organization
within the Access and Transport Business Unit at Arris.
In a cable environment that has been consistently and historically constrained by
bandwidth, Arnold and his team work to develop solutions to optimize bandwidth capacity
for operations, while decreasing time to market for new service deployment over
existing infrastructure. He spent more than a dozen years at C-COR (acquired by Arris
in 2007), in a variety of roles. He was responsible for the system-test and verifications
labs, support engineering and new product development.
Arnold considers himself lucky to have landed in cable just as the industry was transforming
into a multichannel, multi-service and multiplatform business.
“I’ve been very blessed to spend the first 16 years of my career in such an exciting
industry,” he said.
Vice President of Consumer Strategy Marketing
Brian Angiolet has a lot on his plate. As vice president of
consumer strategy and marketing, he is responsible for
end-to-end accountability and strategy for Verizon Communications’
FiOS TV product, cloud applications, voice
services and broadband offerings, including FiOS Internet
and digital subscriber line service.
Angliolet’s team works on a range of initiatives, including
long-term strategy and product positioning; franchise negotiations
with cities and towns; pricing and promotion; advertising sales; and training the
company’s sales-and-installation force.
He joined Verizon 12 years ago and has held a variety of posts. Most recently, he
oversaw all regional marketing, including the marketing launch for FiOS TV and FiOS Internet.
He led the 2004-05 marketing launch of the fiber-optic-delivered FiOS platform,
developing advertising, marketing and all promotion for the service.
“I’ve been very proud to have been part of the team that has led the transformation
of Verizon from a traditional telecom to an innovative broadband and entertainment
provider,” he said. “It gives me tremendous confidence as we look forward to
helping shape the future of the digital home and connected lifestyle. What we’re
doing here is fun.”
Senior Vice President, Domestic Distribution
Home Box Office
Bernadette Aulestia oversees all of HBO’s affiliate-sales
and marketing efforts for Verizon Communications, AT&T,
DirecTV and Dish Network, as well as HBO’s affiliatemarketing
group, which is responsible for the acquisition and
retention of subscribers across all distribution partners.
As senior vice president, domestic network distribution,
Aulestia also manages HBO’s distribution efforts for the company’s
authenticated video websites, HBO Go and Max Go.
Before her most recent promotion last October, Aulestia was senior vice president,
affiliate and product marketing and was responsible for HBO and Cinemax’s acquisition
efforts, as well as the marketing of HBO’s subscription video-on-demand services. She
also oversaw the marketing efforts for the Hispanic, African-American, Asian and gay
and lesbian audiences.
Aulestia joined HBO in 1997. Responsible for developing strategic marketing plans to
increase HBO’s presence in Hispanic markets, she successfully designed and oversaw
the execution of the network’s first national Hispanic brand campaign and the creation of
HBO Latino. “It is extremely exciting to be a part of the industry at a time where consumer
behavior and habits are being reshaped by technology and the relationship they expect to
have with entertainment brands is on their terms,” she said. “Brands have never been more
important, and being at HBO as the landscape shifts brings an enormous amount of opportunity
to break new ground in the delivery of our content.”
Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer
Don Bowman develops Sandvine’s technical vision, including
the strategic development, direction and future growth of the
Waterloo, Canada-based broadband-equipment provider’s
products and solutions. The company’s technology handles
policy management, including spam control, usage-based
billing, quality of service and peer-to-peer path optimization.
Before co-founding Sandvine in 2001, Bowman was director
of firmware and manager of software engineering for mediaplayer
application creator PixStream, responsible for system
architecture. He also served as manager of software engineering in the Video Networking
Business Unit at Cisco Systems.
“I see myself continuing to define a new industry — intelligent networking — and making
it a core part of the Internet architecture in all access technologies,” Bowman said. “This
will take continued interaction with industry, customers, governments and standards.”
Bowman played a key role in Canada’s debate over network neutrality, working with the
Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the issue of deep-packet inspection. He also filed
comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s open Internet rulemaking.
Chief Architect for Cable, Office of the CTO
Jay Chambers works in a decidedly technical environment,
but he is constantly looking outside the box and coming up
with new consumer content and services. As chief architect
for cable in BigBand Networks’ office of the chief technical
officer, Chambers is on a mission to make cable cool in the
eyes of both consumers and businesses.
Chambers’ job is to translate consumer desires into solutions
that will allow cable operators to deliver and monetize
their services. For instance, he pioneered the commercial use of Digital Living Network
Alliance-compliant products in cable, helping operators compete with over-the-top content
providers and extend their services throughout the consumer’s home.
Chambers oversees the development of new video products and solutions related
to Internet-protocol TV, the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS),
edge quadrature amplitude modulation systems and switched digital video. Before joining
BigBand, Chambers worked for WilTel Communications. He also served as a network
engineer at Cox Communications, Marconi/FORE Systems, Anixter Network Services and
“As new technologies create more possibilities, the industry is only limited by its imagination,”
Chambers said. “I’m so excited about my role using IP video to ‘make cable cool
again’ that I even think about it when I’m walking through an electronics store and my kids
ask for some new gadget — I think about how can I put live video on that.”
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development
In the eight years since Naveen Chopra joined TiVo, he has
helped expand the digital video recorder maker’s global distribution
through a variety of commercial and strategic transactions.
He’s also helped steer TiVo’s overall strategic direction.
Before coming to TiVo in 2003, Chopra already had 10
years of experience in the consumer/media/technology industry.
He was director of product marketing and business
development at Moxi Digital, developing that firm’s first partnership with cable and satellite
companies. He helped negotiate the sale of Moxi to Paul Allen’s Digeo.
Chopra also worked at Microsoft, where he worked on the world’s first integrated DVR
product with EchoStar Communications and developed Microsoft’s Ultimate TV product line.
He has also worked as director of business development for Ofoto and helped the
startup company Mirra, which was eventually acquired by Seagate. Chopra began his
career at Hewlett-Packard, where he held a number of positions in engineering, product
marketing and business development.
Director of Factual Programming
Discovery Channel and Animal Planet,
Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic
Arelys Carballo oversees long- and short-term scheduling
strategies for both Discovery Channel Latin America and
Animal Planet Latin America. Before joining Discovery,
Carballo worked for BBC Worldwide Channels Latin America
as director of scheduling and acquisitions for BBC Entertainment
Carballo’s current stint at Discovery is her second tour of
duty with Discovery Communications: She worked in various programming management
roles there before jumping ship briefly to the BBC.
With more than 11 years of experience in programming, acquisitions and development,
Carballo has also worked for MTV Latin America, E! and The Horse TV Channel.
Her first job: Dressing up as Barney, the purple dinosaur, at kids’ parties. She has
film-making credits, having wrote and co-produced the short film Toxic with two other
Discovery employees. Toxic was accepted to film festivals in Washington, D.C., Miami
and Los Angeles.
Theresa Chillianis held several senior positions at Cablevision
Systems before she was named general manager of
MSG Varsity, the 24-hour cable network, website and interactive-
TV service covering high-school sports in the greater
New York City region, in 2009.
Today, she oversees the strategic management, development
and operation of MSG Varsity’s suite of services.
She was instrumental in all aspects of the service’s
launch, developing MSG Varsity’s marketing, programming, production, scheduling
and digital media.
Under her leadership, MSG Varsity has developed a number of unprecedented partnerships
with hundreds of high schools enabling those schools to become active participants
in telling their story on TV and online.
Before her current gig at MSG Varsity, Chillianis was senior vice president of strategy
and business operations for national music network Fuse. She also served as vice
president of video-product management in Cablevision’s cable-operations division. She
joined the Bethpage, N.Y.-based cable operator in 2000 from Coopers & Lybrand.
“Since our launch in 2009, we’ve had the privilege of working with and showcasing
thousands of talented students across the tri-state area,” she said. “We look forward
to continuing to work with high schools to deliver a service that we believe provides real
value to students, parents, educators and the community at large.”
Senior Vice President, Product
The Weather Channel
Under Cameron Clayton’s watchful eye, The Weather Channel’s
smartphone application has become the second-mostpopular
among users, trailing only Facebook in the category.
As vice president, product for The Weather Channel, he has
also been responsible for making Weather.com a top 20
website. In addition, Clayton and his team are credited with
making The Weather Channel a leading media company in
cross-platform usage (TV, Web and mobile), according to
Clayton, a native of New Zealand, joined Weather in 2004 as manager of business
development, fostering distribution relationships for Weather.com. Before that, he was
director of sales and marketing for MSN in New Zealand.
Clayton started his professional career selling the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor. He subsequently
launched New Zealand’s first digital ad agency, which he eventually sold. He fell
in love and moved to the U.S. to be with the woman he would eventually marry. Clayton
said he went to work for The Weather Channel because of the digital innovation, scale
and potential of the company and the industry.
Senior Vice President, Product & Strategy
It takes a lot of passion, drive and grit to ride the Leadville
100 bicycle race, a grueling 100-mile trek traversing the
mountains outside of Leadville, Colo., where racers grunt
as they climb to higher than 13,000 feet before descending
back into town (elevation 10,152).
Rick DiGeronimo, who has successfully participated in
that race, as well as other cycling competitions in Colorado,
takes his passion for cycling and puts it to work as
Charter Communications’ senior vice president, product
and strategy. He leads the St. Louis-based cable operator’s corporate strategy, business
development, product management and product development teams.
“I’m a lucky guy, both personally and professionally,” he said. “I work with a great
team that I learn from every day, in a stimulating industry, for a company that
expects accountability and offers ample opportunity to learn — from both failure and
DiGeronimo is accountable for crafting the organization’s strategic direction,
forming partnerships, developing new products and managing all of Charter’s existing
offerings to achieve long-term growth and the best experience for customers.
Vice President, Wireless Product Development
Timothy Farrell had eight years of wireless experience
under his belt when he joined Cablevision Systems in 2008
as vice president, wireless product development.
Today, he is responsible for product strategy, evolution
and partnerships for Optimum WiFi, which is provided free
to Optimum Online customers and provides wireless
Internet access in public locations throughout Cablevision’s
New York City-area operating footprint.
The network currently spans tens of thousands of access points, including restaurants,
shopping centers, main streets and commuter-rail train platforms. On average,
Cablevision customers use the service more than 6 million times a month.
Before joining Cablevision three years ago, Farrell had been vice president of product
management, professional services and engineering for Boingo Wireless, a global Wi-Fi
aggregator. He graduated from CTAM University at Harvard University in 2010.
Vice President, Finance and Administration
As Comcast Spotlight’s chief financial officer, Bill Haase
oversees the division’s finance, human resources and legal
Since joining the MSO’s ad-sales unit in 2002, Haase
has become an integral part of its senior leadership team.
He has been a key player in all major negotiations; integration
work, including melding Adelphia Communications
systems with Comcast’s following the acquisition of that
MSO; and in such acquisitions as Vehix.com, STRATA and Spot Buy Spot. He also participated
in affiliation deals with DirecTV, Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV, Dish Network
and AT&T’s U-verse TV.
Before joining Spotlight, Haase worked at Ernst & Young and CDNow.com, a publicly
traded Internet retailer.
“I am constantly challenged with new opportunities and feel empowered by our leaders
to identify ways for us to reach new heights,” Haase said, “and I find it particularly fulfilling
to extend that feeling of opportunity and empowerment to my team.”
Senior Vice President, Original Programming
And Series Development
Damla Dogan oversees the development of programs, collaborates
with outside creative executives and forges key
relationships within the entertainment industry on behalf
She helped steer development of some of E!’s most-popular
reality series, including the entire Keeping Up With the
Kardashians franchise, as well as The Spin Crowd, Snoop
Dogg’s Father Hood and What’s Eating You.
The recently promoted Dogan joined E! from VH1, where she served as director
of series development and original programming. She was the creative executive on
the reality series Dice: Undisputed, Shooting Sizemore and The Fabulous Life Presents:
Really Rich Real Estate.
Also while at VH1, Dogan supervised much of the creative for the docusoap The Rock
Life and scripted the comedy I Hate My 30s.
Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
TV Networks Distribution and Digital Distribution
Jeff Fleeher has spent his entire professional career at
General Electric and currently serves as senior vice president
and chief financial officer for NBC Universal’s TV Networks
and Digital Distribution units. In this role, he manages
financial matters and business operations for NBCU’s cable
networks, the NBC and Telemundo owned-and-operated
broadcast-TV stations, as well as for Olympic Games-related
content on TV and online. He
also oversees financial matters for NBCU’s Digital Distribution
team, which develops and markets new distribution outlets for NBCU TV and film content
across on-demand, mobile and electronic sell-through platforms.
“My past four years at NBCU have been an amazing time to grow and learn in a rapidly
changing distribution environment,” Fleeher said. “Our team’s success has been built on
integrity, collaboration and innovation in everything we do.”
Fleeher began his career with roles at NBCU co-owner GE, with GE Corporate and GE
Energy. Before that, he was an active duty officer with the U.S. Army, holding command
and staff assignments as an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot. He is scheduled to complete
his executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern
California’s Marshall School of Business in May 2011.
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Becky Henderson had worked in just about every
department at The Inspiration Networks, parent
company of Halogen TV, by the time she was tasked with
launching the youth-targeted channel in the fourth quarter
of 2009. As executive vice president and GM of Halogen,
Henderson oversees the network that targets younger
viewers with series, specials and short films, with an
emphasis on motivating the channel’s audience to make
the world a better place.
Henderson’s job is to lure younger audiences to Halogen. The network was rebranded
in late 2009 from i-LifeTV.
Among the innovative programming ideas Henderson has implemented at Halogen
is giving viewers the ability to watch pilots to help determine whether the network
should green-light them as series.
“Entertainment is only the beginning,” Henderson said. “I’ll know I’ve done my job
well when we’re not only friends with our viewers, programmers and distributors, but
we’re changing the world side by side.”
Executive Vice President, Programming
At 35, Adriana Ibañez has already accomplished more than
many people much older than her, and there is no evidence
that she is slowing down. As executive vice president of
programming for Telemundo, Ibañez is responsible for
network design and creation, programming strategy and
program acquisitions at the largest U.S. Spanish-language
Ibañez joined Telemundo in 2003 after serving as vice
president of programming for
Canal Caracol in Colombia. In that role, Ibañez led Caracol
to No. 1 in the ratings. Her decision to bring the first-ever reality-TV show to Colombia —
a local version of Survivor — proved to be a huge ratings winner
for the channel.
Ibañez graduated in business management with an emphasis in marketing from the
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.
Vice President, National Accounts
Scripps Networks Interactive
Barbara Kalosieh, a 12-year veteran of Scripps Networks,
currently oversees the company’s network-distribution
partnerships with Verizon Communications and AT&T for
the programmer’s lifestyle media brands, including HGTV,
DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great
American Country. She also supports the company’s affiliate sales and marketing team’s business development
Before taking her current position, Kalosieh served as regional director of affiliate
sales, where she was responsible for the network distribution of Scripps’ brand in
the Northeastern region of the country. She joined Scripps from NBC Cable Networks,
where she worked in the affiliate-sales department. She has also held sales positions
with TCI Media Services and TCI of Northern New Jersey.
Kalosieh is currently co-president of the New York chapter of the Cable & Telecommunications
Association for Marketing. She has also served on the board of CTAM New
Leah Buhl LaPlaca
Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions
Leah Buhl LaPlaca has been instrumental in the success of
ESPN’s Monday Night Football since its move from corporate
sibling ABC in 2006. As vice president of programming and
acquisitions, LaPlaca oversees the National Football League,
the National Basketball Association and the championship category.
She is also responsible for ESPN’s content-rights group.
Since joining ESPN, LaPlaca has managed ESPN’s golf
programming including coverage of the The Masters, the
U.S. Open, the British Open and the Ryder Cup. She also managed ESPN’s coverage of
The Masters Par 3 Contest. In addition, LaPlaca oversaw ESPN’s soccer, figure-skating
and Arena Football League coverage. She was integral in ESPN’s successful 2005 bid for
the rights to the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup events through 2014.
“Relationships are the cornerstone of successful partnerships, and I’m fortunate to
work with a great team of people not only here at ESPN, but also with leaders from some
of the industry’s top sports organizations,” LaPlaca said. “The key is to always focus on
what’s best for both parties over the long term — not just over a single issue or current
contract — and that’s the approach I try to take.”
Managing Director, Media Equity Research
Miller Tabak & Co.
With 18 years of experience in equity research and investment
banking, David Joyce is well-positioned to analyze
the cable industry with a veteran’s eye.
Joyce joined Miller Tabak in 2005 as the company’s
equity-research media analyst. He had been senior analyst
covering the media business at J.B. Hanauer & Co.
and at Guzman & Co.
He started his career on Wall Street at Salomon Brothers,
where he was an investment banking analyst covering
fi nancial institutions. In 2004, Joyce placed third in The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on
the Street” ranking of stock analysts.
“I’ve been increasingly interested in highlighting to investors the robustness of the
cable platform as it can enable interactive advertising and other applications across
the TV ecosystem, which can help the operators monetize their multiple billions of
capital expenditures with new ways to generate returns on their investments,” Joyce
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Jennifer Khoury Newcomb has helped tell Comcast’s story
during a period of unprecedented growth for the fivedecade-
old company, now the nation’s largest cable company
and owner of giant media firm NBC Universal.
She has risen through the ranks, starting as vice president
of public relations for Comcast Cable’s New England
She was senior director of consumer and corporate
communications until 2007, when she was appointed to her
current position as vice president, corporate communications.
Before joining Comcast, Khoury Newcomb managed community relations and media
relations for AT&T Broadband and MediaOne’s New England territories.
“Seeing Comcast grow through my 12 years with the company has been an incredible
experience,” Khoury Newcomb said. “I’m lucky to have the rare opportunity to work with
smart people in a company that is a leader in multiple industries.”
Marisol Martinez de Rodriguez
Senior Director, Target Marketing
Time Warner Cable
Multicultural marketing is a passion for Marisol Martinez
de Rodriguez. As corporate Hispanic and African-American
director for Time Warner Cable’s corporate marketing
group, Martinez de Rodriguez’s charge includes corporate
branding and competitive advertising, video-on-demand,
sports marketing, interactive marketing, loyalty programs
“A mentor once told me, ‘When you’re passionate about
what you do, you will drive change, so always challenge the status quo,’ ” Martinez de
Rodriguez said. “Brand-building, which is what I do, is all about humanizing a company,
product or service, so that it’s meaningful to a core audience. Multicultural marketing is
a business imperative, not just a ‘nice thing to do.’ To win the hearts and minds of this
growing segment, brands have to understand their core cultural insights, passions and
aspirations, and that’s what inspires me every day at my job.”
Before joining TWC, Martinez de Rodriguez held marketing positions at Unilever and
Verizon Communications. She also worked for Grey Worldwide/Wing Latino Group and was
responsible for consumer packaged-goods branding, entertainment and cable products.
For years, the cable industry
has tried to offer security
services to its customers.
Now, when it looks like
the technology will really
work, Dennis Mathew is
leading Comcast’s charge
to launch Xfninity Home Security.
Mathew helped build the business case for Xfninity
Home Security, a new initiative for Comcast, and for
home-automation services, and is now working with
cross-functional teams to execute local trials.
Mathew manages the unit’s budget, negotiates business
terms with vendors and builds financial forecasts.
He also works with the engineers, sales, marketing,
customer care, technical operations and third-party
vendors to design and implement successful operational
Before joining Comcast, Mathew worked as a consultant
with PricewaterhouseCoopers and with Arthur
“Comcast is an innovative company that is looking to
transform this industry. I am fortunate to be part of it
and to work with incredibly smart, hard-working individuals,”
he said. “Outside of work, I enjoy spending time
with my wife and two daughters. I also enjoy actively
leveraging my professional experiences to help non-profi t
Crown Media Holdings/
As Crown Media’s executive
vice president of marketing,
Susanne McAvoy’s job
is to ensure all aspects of
Hallmark Channels’ brand
promise and integrity. She
is responsible for developing multiplatform campaigns
for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel for for
consumers, affiliates and advertisers.
McAvoy also oversees the creative-services department,
including print, on-air and Web design. And she
serves as the key liaison with Hallmark Cards, developing
synergistic and strategic opportunities.
Before joining Hallmark, McAvoy was an ad-sales marketing
consultant for Bravo, where she managed branded
entertainment integrations for major clients and oversaw
the 2007-08 upfront sales and marketing initiative.
McAvoy also worked at Comcast Spotlight as director,
ad sales, corporate marketing, where she created and
executed the company’s first-ever upfront event. She
also held marketing positions with Oxygen, MTV and
Turner Broadcasting System. McAvoy is actively involved
with the Cable & Telecommunications Association for
Marketing at the local and national level. She recently
finished a two-year term as president of the New York
chapter and is currently serving her second term as a
Mark Awards committee member.
Senior Vice President,
Bill McGoldrick returned to
USA Network almost two
years ago, after moving to
Viacom-owned Spike TV in
2005 as vice president,
original series programming
of the guy-focused channel.
When he returned to USA in June 2009, he took the
role of senior vice president, original scripted programming,
overseeing all of the “Characters Welcome” network’s
scripted development. He has worked on several
series including Monk, The Invisible Man, Psych and The
“As someone who tried writing scripts in college, I was
interested in scripted development right from the start
of my career,” McGoldrick said. “I tell all aspiring executives
that you learn more from reading bad scripts than
good ones, because good writers make it look easy.”
McGoldrick said it’s an exciting time to work for USA
right now as the network is boldly branching out into new
types of programming.
“We are expanding out into new genres because …
people remember that we didn’t get to the place we are
now by playing it safe,” he said.
Senior Vice President,
In his role as senior vice president of product engineering
for Comcast’s National Engineering and Technical
Operations divisions, Mark Muehl is responsible for
managing integrated product development lifecycle at
the nation’s largest cable operator, from design through
customer care and support.
Before taking on his current role with Comcast, Muehl
served as senior vice president of Internet operations for AOL, where he was responsible
for architecture, construction and operation of a $400 million global Internetprotocol
Muehl holds a U.S. patent for throttling electronic communications from one or
“The best part of my job is that I get to work with some of the best and brightest
in the entertainment and communications industries on a wide variety of products
and services used by millions of people every day,” Muehl said.
Vice President of Business
Development and Sales
NBC Universal Digital Distribution
As vice president of business development sales, Jennifer
Pirot has been very successful in closing deals for NBC Universal
with several major multichannel, hotel and wireless
She is also a key player in the development of the
company’s overall film and television content-distribution
strategy. Moreover, Pirot oversees wireless deals, including
video and app distribution on mobile devices and tablets and out-of-home distribution
to key commercial institutions.
Pirot launched NBC Universal’s first on-demand TV offerings, as well as its first mobile
offerings in Canada, and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the media giant’s
TV Everywhere strategy.
“Never be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone,” Pirot said. “In fact, seek
those opportunities out and embrace them.”
Prior to joining NBC Universal in 2005, Pirot served as vice president at In Demand,
where she was responsible for all strategic planning and financial analysis for the videoon-
demand and pay-per-view content distributor.
Executive Vice President/Business Development
BBC Worldwide Americas
Clare Reichenbach is responsible for developing and implementing
corporate and divisional strategies designed to grow
BBC Worldwide Americas’ business in the U.S.
A relative newcomer to the U.S. — she moved from London
to New York in November 2009 — Reichenbach also
works with business leaders across the company to project
trends, access growth opportunities, launch initiatives and
strengthen commercial activity. She works closely with BBC
Worldwide Americas president
Herb Scannell, advising on strategic business issues as well
as the development and employment of corporate strategies for the company’s six units.
Before coming to the U.S., Reichenbach spent two years as BBC Worldwide’s head of
strategy. Before joining BBC Worldwide, she served in a similar role as head of strategy for
BBC Vision, the BBC’s television arm. While there, she oversaw a review of the unit’s inhouse
production arm that led to a new structure, commissioning system and production
approach. Reichenbach began her BBC career in 2003 as corporate strategy manager and
has also been a strategy consultant for both Sky and Gemini Consulting. After graduating
from Oxford, Reichenbach worked for two years at an international startup media company.
Vice President, Production Management,
Operations and Administration
WE TV and Wedding Central
Weddings are big business, and Theresa Patiri makes
sure the business of wedding-related TV, production and
operations runs smoothly and profitably.
As vice president, production management, operations
and administration for WE TV and Wedding Central, Patiri
is responsible for business affairs and financial oversight
of all original productions including deal negotiations, talent
contracts, rights and clearances, show budgets, international and domestic program
sales and royalties and day-to-day production operations for all original series,
specials, documentaries, pilots, interstitials and demos. Before joining the Rainbow
Media-owned networks, Patiri worked at NBC News & Entertainment Operations.
“Over the past 10 years, I’ve been a part of a team that has grown WE TV to become
a go-to women’s destination, launched Wedding Central and expanded WE TV’s popular
shows to the international marketplace,” she said. “These successes would not have
been possible without the hardworking, inspiring and dedicated individuals at WE TV,
many of whom I am proud to call friends.”
Vice President, Business Development and
Turner Broadcasting System
Michael Quigley leads the charge at Turner on initiatives
such as TV Everywhere, interactive TV, connected devices,
content research and navigation, and electronic sellthrough.
As vice president of business development and multiplatform
distribution, Quigley has been instrumental in developing
Turner’s strategic multiplatform business model.
Quigley evaluates new Internet-protocol video-distribution technologies, develops
advanced video products, cultivates partnerships with consumer-electronics manufacturers
and develops new business models with internal and external constituencies. He
also serves as the primary liaison between the business development and Animation,
Young Adults and Kids Media units.
Prior to joining Turner in 2006, Quigley was vice president of business development
and strategy for DMX Music.
He also served as director of business development for Liberty Digital and as manager
of strategic planning for Time Warner Inc.
“I can’t think of another industry I’d rather work in than the media industry,” he said.
“ Working on shaping the future of the industry — and how to do so profitably — is a
once in a lifetime opportunity. I get to work front and center on changing the media
landscape as we know it, and I do it alongside extremely smart and passionate people
at Turner. It makes coming to work every day that much more gratifying.”
Director of Original Series
Disney Television Animation
When Walt Disney said, “Animation can explain whatever
the mind of man can conceive,” he may have been characterizing
Jill Sanford. As director of original series for Disney
Channel, she has been involved in all stages of development
Sanford is the executive on Disney Channel’s Phineas and
Ferb, which has been ranked at the top of the ratings among
tweens aged 9 to 14 for the three consecutive years (2008-
10). She also oversees the new animated hit Fish Hooks.
Sanford has been with The Walt Disney Co. since 2003, where she started as a development
assistant in the Disney Channel original series department. Since then, she’s
been involved with animated shows The Replacements and The Emperor’s New School, as
well as the live-action pilots for Hannah Montana, The Wizards of Waverly Place and The
Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Before joining Disney, Sanford was a researcher and production assistant for the Fox
Sports Net sports-biography show Beyond the Glory and an assistant at the production
company Hungry Man.
Head of TV Ads,
As one of the founding
members of the Google TV
Ads team, John Saroff has
been at the leading edge of
the development, structure
and execution of business
alliances between the online giant and cable and satellite
He came to Google in 2007 after serving as a director
at NBC Universal. While there, he oversaw efforts
to acquire content for NBCU’s digital-video syndication
arm, NBBC, and worked on the company’s
Hulu.com transition team.
Before his stint at NBCU, Saroff was an attorney
with the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Upon
graduating from college in 1998, he received a Thomas
J. Watson Fellowship to travel and live in Scotland and
South Africa studying the effects of race, class and
gender barriers in golf. The project was called Lies In
the Rough: Race, Class and Gender Barriers in Golf in
Scotland and South Africa.
“I lived at golf clubs and courses in both countries,
made tons of friends, worked really, really hard (seriously)
and learned a heck of a lot about life and golf,”
Jeff Sherwin founded This
Technology five years ago,
providing operators and networks
with open-source software
that facilitates dynamic
ad insertion between cable
opeators and programming
networks. Earlier this year,
This Technology introduced Spotlink, a free product for
the advanced-advertising market that connects an programmer’s
ad-serving equipment with operators using
the SCTE 130 interface.
Before forming This Technology, Sherwin was a cofounder
and managing director of technology at Cauldron
Solutions (now Anystream Media), was a financial consultant
and worked on Wall Street as a software developer.
Sherwin’s entrepreneurial roots took hold during his
days as a Columbia grad student at Columbia University.
A project he proposed in the Lang Fund Foundation
competition was essentially his business model for This
Technology. He won the competition and now serves as
a judge for it each year.
“Thus far, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished
as the only independent vendor providing ad inventory
management solutions to contribute to this market’s
growth, innovation and longevity,” Sherwin said.
“There are certainly more challenges to overcome and
opportunities to seize and we are committed to remaining
at at the forefront of advanced advertising.”
Senior Vice President,
System AYAKM Division
Jill Shields develops and executes
for Turner Broadcasting
System’s Animation, Young
Adults and Kids Media division.
As senior vice president of marketing and promotions,
Shields delivers ad-sales solutions across the
division, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and the
unit’s new-media properties. Shields also supervises all
the division’s special events and trade marketing, as well
as the upfront ad programs for Cartoon and Adult Swim.
Before taking her current gig, Shields served as vice
president of promotions marketing and sponsorships
for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. In that role, she
was responsible for developing national advertiser promotional
programs and sponsorships across multiple
Shields began her tenure at Turner in 2000 as a new
media consultant for Cartoon and was quickly hired fulltime
as senior manager of promotions marketing and
sponsorships for Cartoon Network New Media.
“[The job] offers me the opportunity to keep abreast
of many different industries and exposed to different
marketing challenges and strategies,” Shields said. “It’s
truly the best of both worlds and let’s face it, being close
to the money is fun and always a good place to be.”
Senior Vice President,
Jeff Siegel is relatively new
to Rovi — he joined the
company in October 2010.
But as a 20-year ad-industry
veteran, he brought with
him experience at all levels
of the business and
strong relationships with agencies, publishers, networks,
sports leagues, vendors and distributors.
In the short time he has been with Rovi, Siegel has
grown the company’s client base and led the advertising
team to expand on the sales opportunities for conventional
advertising for auto companies, household
goods, financial firms and retail outlets. As senior vice
president of worldwide advertising for Rovi, Siegel is
in charge of all digital advertising initiatives, including
guide ad sales and distribution across the Rovi Advertising
Before joining Rovi, Siegel worked for Ensequence.
He also spent 13 years at ESPN, eventually serving as
senior vice president, advanced media sales and marketing,
where he led the sales, marketing and development
of advanced-media platforms.
“I’ve always been fascinated by technology and how
it can improve the entertainment experience,” Siegel
said. “I’m fortunate to work in a company that pushes
the boundaries of the changing media landscape and
with customers who are willing to take risks.”
Senior Vice President/
Like the stars of the shows
that DIY Network features,
Andy Singer has been a
builder: First as head of
programming and currently
as senior vice president and
He has been responsible for program development,
production, on-air acquisition and talent. He recruited celebrities
including Snoop Dogg, Rainn Wilson, Jay Leno,
sportscaster Dan Patrick and wrestler Bill Goldberg to
participate in DIY Network series. During his tenure at
the network, DIY has surpassed 50 million homes and
shown impressive ratings gains.
Today, Singer is responsible for supervising all aspects
of the brand and works closely with sister network
HGTV to foster greater cooperation and collaboration
between the two Scripps Networks Interactive co-owned
Prior to joining DIY, Singer was vice president of original
programming for HGTV, supervising such series as
My First Place, House Hunters, Dream House: After Katrina
and Living With Ed, a docusoap following the green
lifestyle of actor Ed Begley Jr.
Before joining Scripps Networks in 2005, Singer was
a show producer at VH1. His TV career, which started
at age 16, has also included stints at A&E Network,
20th Century Fox, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.
I’ve always been passionate
about content,” Maggie
McLean Suniewick, Comcast
Interactive Media’s vice
president of programming,
said. “What I love about my work is that I get to collaborate
with all the programmers to figure out new ways to
increase viewership of their shows on TV, on demand
Suniewick is responsible for programming and editorial
services across Comcast’s online products and
services, including Xfinity.com and Xfinity TV, the Philadelphia-
based operator’s “TV Everywhere” website
(xfinitytv.comcast.net). Since those services launched,
consumers now have more than 150,000 programming
choices available on Xfinity TV.
Suniewick also maintains programmer relations.
She and her team manage Comcast Interactive
Media’s partnerships with around 90 content
providers. She has been with Comcast since 2006,
when she signed on as director, new business
Before coming to Comcast, Suniewick was one of
the original employees of Oxygen Media. She spent
seven years with the women’s programmer, in a variety
Executive Vice President,
Digital Media and
A&E Television Networks
Dan Suratt is a six-time
Emmy Award winner who is
responsible for all strategic,
operational, editorial and
business functions for AETN
As executive vice president, digital media and business
development for AETN, he also oversees the
broadband and mobile elements of A&E Network, History,
Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Channel and Bio; as well
as Roiworld.com, a site where fashion meets games;
DressUpChallenge.com, a dress-up fashion site;
MothersClick.com, a community site for women; and
Suratt has overseen the expansion of Lifetime’s digital
footprint; its website has become one of the most popular
destinations for women.
Under his watch, Lifetime Digital sites registered an
all-time high 3.8 million unique visitors and 93 million
page views in May 2009. During his three-year tenure,
the sites have experienced a 319% spike in unique visitors
and a 901% growth in page views.
Before joining AETN, Suratt was vice president,
business and new-media development for NBC Olympics.
At NBC, he worked on three Summer Olympics
and two Winter Games. He won one of his Emmys for
NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1997 NBA Finals.
Since joining BlackArrow
as president, Nick Troiano
has been in the forefront of
helping cable to monetize
the shift in consumer viewing
habits toward consuming
more and more on-demand
The San Jose, Calif.-based
company has announced agreements with Comcast and
Bresnan Communications, and has signifi cant traction
among pay TV operators, cable programmers and Web
Prior to his gig at BlackArrow, Troiano served as vice
president of business development within the U.S.
partnership group at Yahoo. Prior to that, he was
senior vice president of sales and business development
for Maven Networks (acquired by Yahoo in February
“Enabling on-demand monetization to keep pace
with on-demand viewing is absolutely essential to the
future of the cable industry,” Troiano said. “At
BlackArrow, we’re seeing tremendous enthusiasm
from operators and programmers for solutions that
provide advertising agencies with the addressability,
accountability and timeliness they need to drive new
TV advertising to another level.”
Vice President, Content
For NBA Digital
For the last 15 years, Albert
“Scooter” Vertino has
been making sure Turner
Sports delivers the best
sports product on television
by making content decisions, implementing new
approaches, providing editorial direction and intimately
working with the TV and online production staff.
He has played a key role as lead producer of
TNT’s coverage of the National Basketball Association
All-Star Game and the NBA Conference Finals. He has
also served as a producer for TBS’s Sunday afternoon
Major League Baseball package and coverage
of the MLB Division and League Championship
Although Turner Sports is an NBA veteran — it’s
been covering pro hoops for some 27 years — the
rights deal that put Turner in charge of NBA Digital and
NBA TV marks the first time the division has operated
a 24-hour network.
In his current position, Vertino has helped create
new programming including the Trade Deadline Show and the Midnight Free Agent Show last summer. He will continue to
lend his expertise to help raise the profile of NBA TV
and escalate the service as a destination for casual
and hard-core pro-basketball fans.