Kroenke Sports & Entertainment has formed KSE Outdoor Group to hold its burgeoning outdoor assets – including cable channels Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network – tapping Outdoor Channel president Jim Liberatore to lead its network properties.
Liberatore, who joined Kroenke shortly after its acquisition of the Outdoor Channel, will add oversight of the Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network. The company’s outdoor publishing and digital media assets will be looked after by president and CEO Jeff Paro, served in the same role when those properties were part of InterMedia Outdoors.
“These appointments solidify our leadership team and ensure we have strong senior executives at the helm of our industry-leading content and distribution assets in this vibrant market,” KSE president and CEO Jim Martin said in a statement. “Jim and Jeff are passionate voices for the outdoor enthusiast industry and they are committed to strategically investing in our portfolio; increasing our distribution, circulation and, unique views; and expanding the range of experiences we deliver to our diverse and growing audience base. We look forward to maximizing the enormous potential of our portfolio and providing our business partners, advertisers and distributors with an unprecedented platform reaching millions of hunters, anglers and outdoor adventure seekers.”
KSE purchased Outdoor Channel in 2013 and in November it acquired InterMedia Outdoors, which owned the Sportsman Channel and hunting and fishing publications like Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Bowhunting and Florida Sportsman and 17 top websites, including BassFan.com.
As a result of the latest restructuring, Gavin Harvey, Sportsman Channel CEO since 2010, has stepped down. Harvey was pivotal in growing Sportsman Channel, increasing its distribution, expanding its program offerings and developing its key relationships across the industry.
“There’s a tremendous level of energy and purpose across our organization,” Liberatore said in a statement. “We’ve brought together the industry’s leading multichannel assets under the KSE Outdoor Group umbrella, which has created opportunities to share ideas and better utilize our resources, while strengthening our ability to deliver more diverse and engaging content choices for our viewers. This is an exciting time at KSE Outdoor Group and I look forward to delivering on the promise our networks hold in entertaining, inspiring and informing our audiences, and accepting our newfound responsibility as a powerful voice for the industry.”
Liberatore and Paro will report directly to Matt Hutchings, executive vice president and COO of KSE and president of KSE Media Ventures.
“We couldn’t be more excited about joining the KSE Outdoor Group family,” Paro said in a statement. “This is the culmination of a long and dedicated journey by our team to be part of a truly committed multimedia enterprise. Looking ahead, we have never been better equipped to continue our mission to entertain, inform and inspire our consumers in all media across all platforms, and creatively package this engagement for our advertisers, sponsors and business partners. As a member of the KSE Outdoor Group family, our future is exceptional now that we have the financial commitment and resources to build on our success and take our publishing and digital assets to the next level.”