Expanding News Corp.'s influence at Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., the
company named Fox Cable Networks Group affiliate-sales executive Ray Hopkins its
new executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing.
Hopkins joins former Fox Cable CEO Jeff Shell, who joined Gemstar as chief
operating officer in April amid a power struggle between News Corp., which owns
43 percent of the company, and Gemstar CEO Henry Yuen.
After selling basic-cable networks such as FX and National Geographic Channel
at Fox, Hopkins will be charged with selling distributors Gemstar's TV Guide
Interactive digital program guide, the TV Guide Channel passive scrolling guide
and the company's TV Games horse-racing network.
Gemstar has been known to play hardball with affiliates and competitors, and
one of Hopkins' challenges will be to build relationships with its cable and
'This company has had somewhat of a difficult time with our relationship with
cable companies in the past, and Ray brings nearly 15 years of experience,'
Hopkins added, 'I think what you're going to see is a more cooperative team
Hopkins began his career at CNBC in 1989 as an affiliate-relations account
executive. He worked later at Fox/Liberty Networks, where he was VP of national
accounts, before joining Fox Cable, where he had been senior VP of affiliate
sales and marketing.
Hopkins succeeds Mark Allen, who followed former Gemstar co-president Peter
Boylan to Liberty Broadband Interactive Television in May.