Michael Riley

Title: President, ABC Family

Years in Cable: 15

Education: BA, University of Western Ontario, Canada; MBA, London Business School

Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Why Him? Since becoming the ABC Family patriarch in 2010, Riley has green-lit five new original series—including out-of-the-box hit “Switched at Birth,” “The Nine Lives of Chloe King,” “The Lying Game,” “State of Georgia” and “Jane By Design”—to mark the most ambitious original programming slate in the network’s history. Its largest-ever summer primetime audience quickly followed suit. Among teens 12-17, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Switched at Birth” beat all 2010-11 programming on The CW and all of MTV’s scripted fare this year.

Year Ahead: ABC Family has become synonymous with the millennial brand—and that puts Riley in the catbird seat. Can he hold on to this most fickle of audiences?

My favorite meal that I can also prepare myself: Grilled cheese and roast Turkey (not together).

The one topping that should never be put on a hot dog: Reese’s Pieces, very odd.

The biggest innovation in cable over the last year: TV Everywhere and authentication—multiscreen TV watching.

Favorite restaurant: The Bazaar, Los Angeles

Favorite “going out” town: Chicago—great food and tasty drinks.

Favorite coffee order at Starbucks: Non-fat cappuccino, bone dry no milk.

Bands I would actually go see live: Coldplay, Mika

My favorite business and/or motivational books: Blue Ocean Strategy and Outliers

Favorite sports team: Montreal Canadiens (home town)

Favorite vacation spot: Italy

Guilty television pleasure: ”Pawn Stars”

When I look at my cable set-top box, I can’t help but think: It has more capacity and technology than the lunar landing module.

What puzzles me most about Millennials is: Their ability to multitask across multiple platforms.

What I admire most about Millennials is: Their ability to multitask across multiple platforms.

Number of companies I’ve worked for since graduating from college: 3 ?

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