Name: Lawrence A. Aidem
Title: President/CEO, Sundance Channel
Age: “40-ish”
Years in Industry: 25
Years left in Industry: “Ask Bob, Jeff & Leslie”

Name: Evan Shapiro
Title: EVP/GM, IFC TV
Age: “Older than I thought I’d ever be.”
Years in Industry: 6
Years left in the industry: “You tell me…”

 

Why Them? There’s something about all things indie that’s just… cool. By showcasing indie films and shows with an “indie” feel, Aidem and Shapiro get to coast on that vibe. True, neither channel gets the numbers of a USA or HBO… but that wouldn’t feel very indie now would it? Under Aidem, Sundance was the first to launch an environmental programming block—“The Green”—and even initiate an internal “greening” process at the Sundance Channel offices. And the very original “Nimrod Nation” dares to put a red-state spin on the reality TV genre. Shapiro, meanwhile, continues to get high marks at IFC, developing great shows like “The Business,” which comically skewers the very indie film business that IFC so ably promotes, and “The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman,” which takes similarly jaded (and hilarious) swipes at showbiz. Consider us to be unabashed fans of these indie stars.  MG

 

Larry Aidem
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Ralph Roberts: Created & built Comcast into an industry powerhouse, while simultaneously working with his wife, Suzanne, to maintain a remarkably normal family life. The result: remarkably normal, well-adjusted family members (yes, including Brian). Throughout Ralph’s remarkable career, he has made countless tough decisions and had to say ‘No’ a lot. Nevertheless, everyone who emerges from a meeting with him feels heard and that they’ve been treated with dignity & respect (even when the answer is ‘No’). Which is why I admire Ralph, not only for his formidable business accomplishments, but also because he is—without question—the most likeable person I have ever met.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Seeing my daughter off to college… with minimal consumption of controlled substances (by me & my wife).”
My most embarrassing cable moment was: “During the early 90s at HBO International, I gave a dinner toast to a group of visiting Hungarian cable operators using what I thought was the Hungarian expression for ‘To your health!’ and subsequently discovered that what I’d actually said was ‘Up your ass!’.”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!” –  Animal House
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “1) Pocket Fisherman, 2) Spam (in case #1 doesn’t work), 3) Grey Goose (goes well with fish or spam).”
Favorite song: “One of my few serious answers: ‘Here Comes the Sun’.”
Favorite TV: “Dexter”
Favorite movie: “Dirty Dancing” – (“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”)
Favorite sports team: “Nimrods (of Watersmeet, MI).”
Favorite piece of tech: “Dental Floss (Mint-flavored).”
The world would be a better place if: “Red Lobster offered its Endless Shrimp special year-round.”

Evan Shapiro

Defining career moment: “Have not had it yet.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Getting ‘Indie Sex’ on the air and nabbing ‘Trapped In The Closet’ for ifc.com.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “Al Gore”
Favorite restaurant: “L’Impero (NYC)”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Food, water, a plane.”
Favorite song: “What’s So Funny ’bout Peace Love and Understanding” – Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “Gather ‘Round” The Stone (Ben Harper), What’s So Funny ’bout Peace Love and Understanding, Brian Wilson (Barenaked Ladies)
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Me, my wife, my kids and our dogs all go to the beach, the sun shines all day.”


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