Charter Communications officially said it has named former Madison Square Garden executive Michael Bair as executive vice president of Spectrum Networks, overseeing the enlarged companies local news and sports networks. Separately, Charter named Clifford Harris as senior vice president of law – programming, product and regulatory. Both executives will be based at Charter’s Stamford, Conn., headquarters and will report to newly named senior EVP David Ellen.
Multichannel News first reported in May that Bair was on board at Charter and was being tapped for the EVP role. According to Charter, Bair will oversee all aspects of its local news and sports networks, including its regional sports networks in Los Angeles. Harris will oversee all legal support for the programming and product groups as well as for all regulatory compliance and policy matters at Charter.
“We are thrilled that Mike and Cliff will be joining our leadership team at Charter” Ellen said in a statement. “Their proven leadership and valuable industry experience will be critical as we work to align Charter as one company, on a path to continued growth and success.”
Bair joins Charter from Bleachers Corp., a start-up streaming media company, where he served as CEO. Prior to Bleachers, Bair served as president of Madison Square Garden’s Media Group, where he led MSG Networks, Fuse Music TV, MSG Interactive, MSG Radio and all sponsorship and ad sales for the parent company. Before MSG Media, Bair served as president of product management and marketing for Cablevision's cable division, where he was responsible for product strategy, programming, marketing, and advertising, as well as brand management, for the company's video, voice and internet services. Bair also held executive positions at Rainbow Media, HBO, Showtime Networks and Ogilvy and Mather Advertising.
Harris is another former Cablevision executive, tallying 11 years at the former cable operator – it was purchased by Altice USA in June. At Cablevision he served as Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel – Cable. In this role Harris oversaw all legal matters relating to programming, product, sales and marketing. Throughout his tenure with Cablevision, Harris advised the Company on copyright issues, privacy and data security, trademark, terms of service matters, and retransmission consent. He also managed cable and marketing-related litigation, including copyright and anti-trust cases. Prior to joining Cablevision, Harris served as general counsel to the financial start-up WOTN, LLC, providing guidance on all aspects of business strategy and planning, including corporate structure and raising capital. Before WOTN, Harris served as an associate at both Arnold & Porter and Sullivan & Cromwell.