As the mother of 5-year-old twins, Jamia Bigalow has her hands full and her days are chock-a-block with activity. As Fox Networks’ senior vice president of distribution marketing, it’s pretty much the same.
For the past three years, Bigalow has headed up Fox’s marketing efforts to support the thorny and often tumultuous retransmission-consent and pay TV carriage negotiations with multichannel-TV providers. Bigalow was a key player in the marketing surrounding the carriage deals Fox struck with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems in 2010, and she took the lead in marketing efforts for a number of other renewal deals, including those with DirecTV and Dish Network. In 2011, she was promoted from vice president.
Fox Networks president of distribution Mike Hopkins, who has worked with Bigalow since she joined the company in 2005, describes her as “an instrumental leader in that group, and I appreciate her ability to push herself and our team to continue to innovate in terms of creative and execution.”
As if she didn’t have enough going on, Bigalow effectively relaunched FoxNetworksInfo.com, Fox Networks’ business- to-business resource website. The new site houses programming, schedules, network logos, marketing materials, promotional opportunities and technical information for distribution partners, with a brand-new interface and state of the art mobile capabilities.
“Jamia is a pace-setter,” Hopkins said. “[She] sets tough standards for her team, which are only surpassed by the standards she sets for herself. She is highly self-motivated.”
She’s also responsible for developing marketing initiatives between Fox Networks and its key distributors, and has developed marketing campaigns that merge traditional marketing with new technologies and distribution platforms.
“I want to be a leader and on the cutting edge, and I want to know how our business can run with other businesses,” Bigalow said.
Char Beales, president of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, calls Bigalow one of the industry’s best leaders. When her then-boss, Todd Schoen, left in 2011, three executives vied for the job that went to Bigalow, according to Beales. The other two executives stayed on at Fox despite that, and continued working on her team. “That is a testament to her style of leadership,” Beales said.
She cultivates success in those around her, as well. Under her leadership, the distribution creative group has earned numerous Promax/BDA awards and CTAM Mark Awards.
“Jamia’s meticulous attention to detail and keen strategic insights is evident by the results of her team’s efforts, leading to numerous industry accolades,” Hopkins said. “Her innovation and leadership have helped the Distribution Marketing group achieve success, and her experience at managing all aspects of Fox’s affiliate marketing and local ad-sales programs has become a valuable tool as Fox continues to expands its cable channels, broadcast network and digital extensions.”
Bigalow joined the cable industry after working in public relations in Arizona. In 1996 — two years out of college — she moved to Denver with no job prospects. But she knew that city was a hub of cable activity, and she answered a classified ad for a job as a marketing coordinator at the Starz premium channel. She had been an intern at the Walt Disney Co. during college and Starz had just cut a big output deal with the content provider.
“I think they saw my experience at Disney as a plus,” Bigalow said. “Starz was a great place to cut my teeth.”
By 2000, she was itching to move to Los Angeles. Again, she showed up in the City of Angels with no job prospects but was quickly hired by Fox Family Channel, which would eventually be sold to Disney as ABC Family, making Bigalow a Disney employee again a decade later.
“It was also a great experience, because it was the first time I had the opportunity to work with multiple networks at the same time,” she said.
REBOOTED MARK AWARDS
A longtime sports fan, she jumped at the opportunity to work for the NFL Network. In 2005, after a few years at the pro football channel, Fox called and lured her away. She’s been with the programmer ever since. “My background and interest allows me to move back and forth between entertainment and sports,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”
When she is not developing marketing plans or rejiggering websites, Bigalow is at home with her husband and twins, Lila and Grant. She volunteers at the kids’ school, which luckily is only about 10 minutes from the office.
Her husband’s family has a place in British Columbia and they take the kids to Canada every summer to take advantage of the boating, bike riding, playing and general relaxation in the area. “You get a little bit of everything up there,” she said. “In Los Angeles, you just don’t get the kind of access to that kind of thing. I want to make sure we give our kids the chance to do those things they don’t have the opportunity to do in the big city.”
Bigalow also is actively involved in various industry initiatives. She has been a member of Women in Cable Telecommunications and CTAM since 1997. As chairman of the CTAM Mark Awards committee, Bigalow reconfigured the awards ceremony, modernizing the awards and presentation into more of a celebration than a stale awards ritual.
“The Mark Awards are a much more fun event and more salient for the industry,” Beales said. “It’s one of the reasons we awarded Jamia a TAMI [award] in 2012.
“Jamia is very particular about the projects she takes on but she wants to make a difference when she commits to something and the Mark Awards is certainly an example of that,” Beales added. “No one complains about coming to that event anymore. People want to come.”
TITLE: SVP, Distribution, Fox Networks
CAREER: Joined Starz in Denver as a marketing coordinator in 1996; moved to The Walt Disney Co. in Los Angeles in 2000; Worked at Fox Family Channel/ ABC Family and NFL Network before rejoining Fox Networks in 2005.
QUOTABLE: “Distribution marketing is the hub that brings internal and external customers together. My job is a lot fun. It combines sports and entertainment, TV Everywhere with linear TV. It keeps me on my toes and it’s always something different.”