National Cable Communications last week chose Greg Schaefer — an executive with extensive experience at broadcast-TV rep firms — as its chief operating officer, a post that had been vacant since John Sawhill's retirement last year.
Sawhill, who also came from a broadcast-sales background, retired last December. Earlier in his five-year stint with NCC, Sawhill was its CEO — a post assumed two and one-half years ago by Tom Olson, who had been CEO at Katz Media Group, one of the rep firm's partners.
Schaefer, who will report to Olson, will oversee the largest spot-cable sales rep firm's spot-sales, technology and operations divisions.
He had spent 20 years with CBS, most recently as station manager of the network's flagship station, WCBS-TV here. Earlier, he had been president of Viacom Station Sales — overseeing 35 owned-and-operated stations — and executive vice president of CBS Television Station Sales.
Schaefer also worked at Westinghouse Broadcasting Co.'s Group W Television Sales, starting in 1983. Westinghouse later acquired CBS.
Citing Schaefer's TV-rep background, Olson said, "With Greg's expertise, we're poised to continue our dramatic growth as we increase our share of business from leading advertisers."
For his part, Schaefer alluded to NCC's interconnect initiative and backroom refinements as he praised spot cable for becoming more buyer-friendly. "Spot cable has made exceptional progress over the last few years, in organizing markets and creating easier and more efficient ways for advertisers and agencies to connect cable's expanding audience," he said.
NCC, which now has more than 400 employees, is jointly owned by Katz Media (its managing partner), AT&T Broadband, Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable.