Name: Jeff Gaspin
Title:  President/COO, Universal Television Group

Age: 46
Years in Industry: 23

Name: Bridget Baker
Title: President, TV Networks Distribution, NBC Universal
Age: “Next question.”
Years in Industry: 20

Why Them? Under Gaspin’s leadership, NBCU’s cable holdings have grown and prospered, sporting top cable nets like USA and Bravo, as well as a long list of other important assets like Sci Fi, Sleuth, Chiller and Universal HD (That’s in addition to vast non-cable assets). Oh, and let’s not forget the just-acquired women’s net Oxygen, which should create enormous synergies with NBCU’s iVillage.com Web site. Baker, meanwhile, is the one charged with selling all that content to distributors—and she continues to do a stellar job, driving not only linear growth but also VOD, HDTV and even overseas cable distribution. In all, she covers 15 networks. Not bad. We just can’t figure out how she does so much and yet remains so grounded and gracious. That’s talent!  MG

 

Jeff Gaspin
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I realized that you could be a Jack of all trades instead of a specialist
Defining career moment:  “When ‘Behind the Music’ became a success.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “The NBC Universal acquisition of Oxygen Media.”
My most embarrasing cable moment was: “Being eviscorated by Boy George (long after he had a hit on the radio) because he didn’t have a good seat at the VMAs.”
Favorite restaurant: “Craft”
Favorite city: “Rome”

Favorite TV show: “Taxi”
Favorite movie: The Usual Suspects

Favorite piece of tech: “The iPod shuffle that clips to your shirt.”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Universal remotes that never work.” 

My perfect vacation goes like this: “A beach to relax, a city to explore.”

 

Bridget Baker
The coolest new cable tech is: “HD DVR”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “Acquiring Oxygen Media.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “Martha Stewart, in the hopes that her organizational, decorating and cooking skills would somehow rub off on me.”
In my free time, I like to: “Do whatever my kids want to do, within reason, and knit.”
Favorite restaurant: “Hotel Bel Air bar”
Favorite city: “Seattle”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Husband.  Kids. Nanny.”
Favorite song:  “Ain’t No Reason” – Brett Dennen
Favorite TV show: “Entourage”
Favorite movie: Bourne Ultimatum… “It’s the only one I’ve seen all year.”
Favorite sports team: “LA Galaxy, when Beckham plays, and the Dallas Cowboys.”
Favorite piece of tech: “Gulfstream 5”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Alarm clock”
The world would be a better place if: “There were no hungry children.”


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