Title: Executive Chairman, ESPN (effective Jan 1) Years in Cable: 30Education: Denison University
Title: Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks/President, Disney-ABC Television Group (pictured, left) Years in Cable: Plenty Education: BA, College of New Rochelle; EdM, Harvard Best Advice In 7 Words or Less: Take the job that scares you most.
Why Them? With this mag only days away from going to press, news surfaced that Bodenheimer would become executive chairman at ESPN and that John Skipper would transition into his role running day-to-day operations, effective Jan 1. For now, we’re leaving Bodenheimer in his usual spot with his Disney Media Networks co-chair Anne Sweeney. Once Skipper proves himself, he’ll no doubt occupy this space, with Bodenheimer perhaps ascending to Above It All. Until then, a bit about Bodenheimer and Sweeney: Simply put, these two cable powerhouses consistently deliver, and 2011 was no exception. Sweeney negotiated an agreement to provide TWC customers ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD and SOAPnet programming, as well as retransmission of ABC stations in key markets. She also brokered the deal between DATG and Verizon that included retransmission consent carriage deals for ABC owned stations. Disney’s Media Networks segment, which Sweeney and Bodenheimer co-chair, continued its up cycle this year, and Bodenheimer got 2011 off to a celebratory start with ESPN’s highest-rated day ever and the third-largest audience in cable history with the Rose Bowl, two ESPN “Monday Night Football” games and the Fiesta Bowl. ESPN also launched its first true live authentication product for mobile and tablets, and with more than 50 entities, including seven 24-hour networks to oversee, there’s plenty for Bodenheimer to play ball with in 2012.
Year Ahead: Preschool parents are awaiting the arrival of 24/7 tot-targeted Disney Junior with open arms if the rebranded preschool block on Disney Channel—which saw a 36% growth in its core demo vs. the prior year average—is any indication. With six ESPN nets available on alternative devices, look for Bodenheimer to guide Skipper as he focuses on more out-of-the-box content deals.
George Bodenheimer One thing I tell my kids about success in life: Never stop learning. Favorite sports team: All of them. Favorite iPad app: WatchESPN Biggest innovation in cable over the last year: Progression of authentication of cable networks. I believe this is very beneficial for the industry. You can now watch six ESPN networks online and on mobile devices.
Anne Sweeney The one burning question I have for Siri on my iPhone 4S: Which of these questions should I answer? My favorite meal that I can also prepare myself:Chicken pot pie (from scratch). The one topping that should never be put on a hot dog:Any kind of fruit My favorite “going out” town:New York The one thing I tell my kids about success in life: You have to define it for yourself. Worst thing I’ve ever heard someone say in a meeting:“We can’t.” My best technique for deterring time-wasting office visits from co-workers:The fabulous Ellie Stockwell and Geri Graley. What I admire most about Millennials is:They’re redefining our culture and driving our business:Before they’re even out of school. If I invented my own app it would:Identify the hits from the misses each development season. Number of companies I’ve worked for since graduating from college: 4
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