December 10, 2009
CableFAX: 54. Brand New: Bob DeBitetto
Title: Pres/GM, A&E, Bio Channel Age: 51
Education: BA, SUNY Stony Brook; JD, UCLA
Social Media Quotient: 7
Title: Pres/GM, History Age: 40
Education: BA, Boston U College of Communications
Social Media Quotient: 1
Why Them? We’re hard pressed to name a pair of Pres/GMs who’ve done more to re-brand their networks and gotten better results (History and A&E are on pace for record-setting ratings in ’09). DeBitetto’s A&E now is heavily into destructive behavior, intervention and rehab, along with solid original dramas. Dubuc’s midas touch with the reality genre is well known, but her instinct to go with a narrator-less look at 9/11 — 102 Minutes That Changed America — earned 3 Emmys and led to use of the same formula to examine the JFK assassination ( 3 Shots That Changed America).
Proud Moments: A&E’s work on substance abuse led to DeBitetto receiving the ’09 Larry Stewart Award from the Hollywood Radio and TV Society. Season 3 of History’s Take A Veteran To School program kicked off with a special Veterans Day breakfast at the White House with the Obamas.
The Year Ahead:
We see more Emmys ahead for WWII in HD and anticipate America, The Story of Us. A&E will host Kevin Costner’s initial TV foray with a western he’ll produce, direct and co-star.
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite Restaurant: Via Quadronno, Upper East Side
Last Book Read: See Spot Run
When I Need to Recharge I: Watch movies
Prediction for Cable in ’10: Will be better than ’09.
In 2010 the Economy Will: Let me know, will ya?
Favorite iPhone/Blackberry App: Koi Pond, calms me down
Twitter is: Going corporate big time
Favorite Part of My Job: Taking a pitch and hearing that rare, brilliant, totally fresh idea...doesn’t happen enough!
Trait I Most Admire in People: Compassionate decisiveness
If I Were a Mad Men Character I Would be: Please...
Childhood Hero: Soupy Sales
Favorite TV Show Not on AETN: Top Gear or The City, it’s close
Favorite Part of My Job: Working with the best team in TV. Their dedication, creativity and ping-pong skills are second to none.
Trait I Most Admire in People: Guts
If I Were a Mad Men Character I Would be: A Pawn Star
Favorite TV Show Not on AETN: Project Runway
Best Business Advice: Pick your boss, not necessarily your job.