Title: EVP, Operations, Comcast Cable
Education: BA, U of Richmond
Why Him? Watson is literally the watchman of Comcast’s increasingly diverse operations — and should probably get more attention from those of us in the press. With a marketing background, Watson now oversees nearly every operational aspect of Comcast, including field operations, customer service, marketing, advertising, and product development. His team manages every touch point with customers, including the much-lauded integration of Twitter into the MSO’s customer service apparatus. Watson also has led the team responsible for the triple play, all-digital migration, DOCSIS 3.0 and cross-platform innovations.
Worth Watching: Helping to find operational synergies in the wake of the likely Comcast-NBCU deal may take up much of Watson’s time going forward.
Watson remains one of Comcast’s most trusted execs whose institutional expertise has become invaluable.
82 | Transitioning
Title: President, BBC
Worldwide America Age: 52
Education: BA, Princeton
Social Media Quotient: 8
Why Him? First off, props to Ancier for joining Hallmark’s Abbott (#41) in answering so many of our questions (must be something about programmers whose names begin with A). Speaking of kudos, BBC A picked up several best program honors during CableFAX’s Program Awards (for BBC World News America and drama Britz).
Ta-Ta: As we went to press Ancier said he’d leave his post in March. In 3 years, he raised profits 78%, increased distribution of BBC America to 65mln households, doubled prime time ratings and greatly increased ad sales. Ancier also hosted at his home a great TCA party.
Favorite Foods: Sushi and fish
Favorite Restaurant: Blue Hill, NY
Drink of Choice: Red wines with Parker scores of 90+
Last Book Read: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
When I Need to Recharge I: Host a dinner party with friends.
Prediction for Cable in ’10: Ever more growth, as cable again outperforms broadcast.
In 2010 the Economy Will…: Continue to slowly improve.
Favorite iPhone/Blackberry App: New CNN app with streaming video
A Day Without Facebook is…: I wouldn’t know…I use it multiple times daily.
Twitter is…: Too intrusive.
Favorite Part of My Job: Discovering a great idea from British TV that hasn’t been unearthed on American TV.
Worst Part: Dealing with British TV’s incomprehensible series order patterns.
Trait I Most Admire in People: The courage to innovate.
Childhood Hero: Fred Silverman
I Wish My Kids Would: Exist
Favorite TV Show Not on BBC America: House
If I Were a Mad Men Character I Would be: I’d like to think of myself as Don Draper, but I’m probably more Bertram Cooper.
3 Things I’d Take to a Deserted Island: An iPhone with full access to the iTunes store, a case of Colgin wine and a full-time chef.
Best Business Advice: Deal with a problem at the head, not the knees. — Barry Diller