GSN’s Sakin Expands Duties - Multichannel

GSN’s Sakin Expands Duties

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Game Show Network has put its affiliate-sales operation under the wing of its
ad-sales chief, officials said Wednesday.

Michael Sakin, formerly senior vice president of advertising, has been
promoted to the new post of senior VP of sales and distribution, adding
affiliate sales to his responsibilities. So the sales staff Sakin oversees,
currently 25 ad-sales employees, will now double in size to 50, with 25
affiliate-sales staffers added in.

Sakin, a veteran of Fox Cable Networks Group, joined GSN in January 2002 and
essentially built its first in-house ad-sales operation from scratch, according
to GSN president Rich Cronin.

"He did a spectacular job," Cronin said. "It exceeded all of its sales
goals."

GSN saw 97 % growth in ad revenue during the fall-2003 upfront season
compared with the prior-year season.

While it’s unusual for one executive to oversee both affiliate sales and ad
sales at a network, it’s not unheard of. Cronin pointed out that Dave Cassaro,
E! Entertainment Television’s senior executive VP of sales and distribution, and
Dale Hopkins, senior VP of distribution and sales at G4, have similar dual
duties.

Sakin’s leadership abilities and his talent for developing sales strategies
can be applied to the distribution side of the business, according to
Cronin.

Since Cronin joined GSN in 2002, its distribution has increased to 51 million
from 35 million. The network has distribution with all of the major MSOs, but it
is angling to get off tiers and to expand its carriage on basic, Cronin
said.

Sakin, who will split his time between New York and Los Angeles, will
essentially take over the duties formerly held by Anne Droste, ex-senior VP of
distribution.

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