Randy Freer

Title: Co-President/COO, Fox Sports Media Group

Years in Cable: 14

Education: BA, business and history, St. Joseph’s College

Eric Shanks

Title: Co-President/COO, Fox Sports Media Group

Years in Cable: 17

Why Them? Freer and Shanks oversee Fox Sports, Fox’s 19 regional sports networks—which collectively televise more than half of all MLB, NBA and NHL teams—and all digital ventures. Which means they sit atop the largest cog in one of the industry’s most coveted—and contentious—empires. We’re guessing News Corp’s recent stalemate with DirecTV must have struck a particular chord with Shanks, who previously served as EVP of DirecTV Entertainment. Both execs not only demonstrate a strong negotiating arm, but their programming talents have elevated the look, sound and editorial content of all Fox Sports’ studio and game broadcasts, an important marker as streaming of games becomes more prevalent. Additionally, Speed, Fox Soccer, Fuel TV also come under Freer and Shanks’ purview.

All Aglow: When Shanks initially joined Fox Sports in 1994, he helped develop the FOXTrax “glowing puck” for NHL coverage and the yellow first down line that’s a staple of today’s televised football.

Year Ahead: Fox this year began wading into the next frontier for local sports—high school games. How much deeper will it go? ?

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