Jeff Gaspin
Title: President/COO, Universal Television Group
Last Year: #17
Age: 47
Education: SUNY Binghampton, BA; NYU, MBA

Why Him? Why not him? There’s USA’s In Plain Sight, Psych and Monk. Bravo’s Top Chef and Project Runway. The acquisition and integration of Oxygen. And this little sport thing called the Summer Olympics that scored record ratings, with cable nets pulling in their share of eyeballs. Gaspin oversees a portfolio that includes the #1 cable net (USA), 16 O&O broadcast stations and syndication efforts. He reportedly pushed for an increase in originals across NBCU’s cable nets — an initiative that paid off handsomely. With hefty ratings comes robust financials. Profits at USA and Bravo increased 20% in 3Q, while NBCU posted overall revenue growth of 35% (8% if the Olympics are excluded).

Gaspin for Oxygen: We couldn’t resist. While Oxygen is doing fine, growing it will be a benchmark for Gaspin in ’09. Distribution for the women’s net is strong, but ratings could use a lift. We’re expecting more cross-promotional opportunities in ’09 from Gaspin’s arsenal of nets and online initiatives.

Year Ahead:
It’s a simple matter of the economy, with NBCU and others bracing for a downturn. The company reportedly plans to trim $500mln from the ’09 budget, despite strong performances from its cable properties. The possibility of declining ad revenue has put all content companies on alert.

Favorite Food: Steak and potatoes

Favorite Restaurant: Enzo’s Pizza in Westwood

Drink of Choice: Red wine

Unnecessary Luxury I Like Most: Private trainer

Favorite Part of My Job: Seeing the ratings the morning after the successful launch of a show

Worst Part of My Job: The constant travel

Best Business Advice Received: Slow talkers have good ideas — make sure you listen.

Philosophy Of Life: Treat others as you would like to be treated  

I Wish My Kids Would:  Realize how important they are to each other 

Least Favorite Word:  Yada 

Trait You Most Admire In People:  Confidence 


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