Sandy Wax
Title: President, PBS KIDS Sprout
Age: 46
Years in Industry: “The prime of my youth.”
Years left in Industry: “Until I win the Powerball lottery.”

Steve Friedman
Title: President, affiliate relations and distribution, ION Media
Age: “Who wants to know?”
Years left in Industry: “Years?”

Why Them? As Washington continues to paint a family portrait, the FCC and lawmakers keep rallying around G-rated programming like toddlers around an ice cream truck in August. And wise Wax and Friedman are making sure their networks bask in the limelight. Like its preschool audience, PBS Kids Sprout grew by leaps and bounds in 2007, notching a distribution deal with Time Warner Cable just as it approached its 2-year birthday in September. Under the stewardship of svp, programming, Andrew Beecham, Sprout is also staking out new programming territory, including the recent launch of cable’s first live preschool show. After a few years of growing pains, ION is firmly rooted in providing wholesome programming to a variety of audiences. The flagship network’s return this year to a traditional advertising model is getting the thumbs up from operators, including recent re-up Mediacom, and Friedman is busy hawking a bounty of new content, including programming under a recent exclusive deal with RHI Entertainment and diginet spinoffs qubo and ION Life.  CAO

Sandy Wax
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I realized I could get paid to watch
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Bandwidth for quality channels like Sprout.”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Ralph Roberts for his wisdom and style.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Launching cable’s first LIVE preschool show.”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “Sopranos finale”
In my free time, I like to: “Play with my kids.”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Beach + Book + Blender”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show: "I LOVE it when a plan comes together!"
– “A-Team”
The world would be a better place if: “Elmo were President.”

Steve Friedman
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “Storer Cable gave me a job.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Getting those kids to stop watching You Tube all the time.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “Compression”
Defining career moment: “Has yet to come… wait about 90 days!”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Jim Robbins – smart, tough and charming.”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “The way everyone has been so positive about Qubo.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “Myself”
In my free time, I like to: “Think about work.”
My most embarrassing cable moment was: “Ajit Dalvi telling my boss that he didn’t pay me enough.”
Favorite restaurant: “Umbertos on Mulberry and Broome”
Favorite city: “What are you kidding me?”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Dim sum, my wife and my Bible. Not in that order.”
Favorite song: “My Way” – Frank Sinatra
Favorite piece of tech: “TiVo”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry – but I also love it.”
The three most played songs on my iPod are: “My Way, Summer Wind” and “Get It Shorty”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Get off the plane, go to the beach, eat, go to sleep, wake up, eat, go to the beach, repeat.”
The world would be a better place if: “Everyone watched ION.”
What is your favorite word? “Fugetaboutit”
What is your least favorite word? “No”
What turns you on? “Italian food”
What turns you off? “No Italian food”
What sound do you love? “An Admin saying hold on—he was hoping you would call.”
What sound do you hate? “He will have to get back to you.”
What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? “Preacher”
What profession would you not like to attempt? “Politics”
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

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