For Gavin Harvey, the chance to work as the CEO of Sportsman Channel appealed both personally and professionally.
Harvey had been serving as executive vice president and general manager of MSG's music service Fuse since last August, before accepting his new job last week.
"I made some great friends at Fuse. We were on track in terms of producing great shows about artists, presenting concerts and music videos, but this was something that's in my heart," he said.
Indeed, Harvey -- who will remain at Fuse through month's end before starting his new gig on July 6 -- counts himself among the ranks of those who feel most alive in the great outdoors.
"For the 80 million plus who enjoy hunting, fishing and shooting, it's their passion, their family heritage, their religion. I'm one of them," he said. "There's nothing I enjoy more than battling a fighting fish. When I'm out in the field in elk country, I feel like Clint Eastwood. I've got that religion."
From a business perspective, Harvey -- who said he was a big advocate of keeping field and stream sports as an integral part of the programming mix during his days heading Comcast's OLN and its rebranded successor Versus -- views the category as being under-served. He's excited about the assets InterMedia can bring to bear for Sportsman Channel, relative to TV production, 15 genre magazine titles and an expanding digital portfolio, all of which are aimed in the right direction.
"There aren't any adventure or motor sports on the network. Sportsman Channel is 100%-laser-focused on this audience. I think we can bring value to distributors and help them with the marketing of this category," he said.
He also thinks that Sportsman will remain on its rapid growth track of the past 18 months that has boosted its sub base to some 26 million, aided in part by upgrades from sports tier to more widely penetrated packages.
"We need to be in 30 million or 35 million homes. That's when we can make the ratings pop," he said, noting the service is not yet gauged by Nielsen. "You'll see Sportsman with a "3" in front of it, sooner than later."