Title: EVP, Distribution, AETN
Last Year: Also Influential
Education: Syracuse U, BS
Why Him? Zagin isn’t a headline grabber or a household name, but the 10-year AETN vet is regarded by insiders as one of cable’s most-respected distribution execs, besides being one of its better golfers (6 handicap). Zagin’s network of contacts, some made on the links, have helped A&E HD pass 85mln HHs in just 2 years; just one year old, History HD is available in 80mln HHs.
Boating for Dollars: Zagin, along with VP Mark Garner, are quietly paddling ahead of Canoe, having launched interactive trials with Charter in L.A. that allow viewers to use their remote to enter a TV-based microsite with content related to History’s Cities of the Underworld.
The sluggish economy could slow Zagin’s plans for interactive advertising.
Unnecessary Luxury I Like Most: Willingness to spend too much money indulging my passion to play some of the best golf courses in America.
Favorite Part of My Job: Finalizing long-term affiliate agreements
Worst Part of My Job: See above
Cable’s Biggest Challenge: The fact that we are still fighting the possibility of an a la carte environment. It should scare us all.
Best Business Advice Received: A former boss said to me, "If you have 10 things to accomplish, make sure you primarily focus on the two items that are on upper management’s radar screen. No matter how you perform on the other eight items, you’ll ultimately be judged on the two most important objectives."
My Company Is Preparing For The Future By: Developing unique content for all platforms. The result: enhanced offerings for our affiliates’ growing businesses and more opportunities for our advertisers.
I Wish My Kids Would: Understand what I do for a living. They are convinced I watch TV, make phone calls and play on the computer.
Favorite Sports Team: Syracuse U basketball
Hero: My Uncle Bernie, a Holocaust survivor who recently celebrated his 80th birthday.