Name: David Manougian
Title: CEO, Golf Channel; EVP Comcast sports programming
Age: 46
Years in Business: 13

Name: Ken Solomon
Title: Chmn/CEO, Tennis Channel

 

Why Them? The pair has made great strides in strengthening their own niche nets through comprehensive coverage. Former tennis ball boy Solomon’s now smiting wicked forehands for Tennis Channel, which owing to his leadership now owns TV rights to matches from 3 Grand Slam events: the French Open, the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Fly fisherman Manougian helped Golf Channel ink a 15-year rights deal with the PGA, and in Jan the net launched telecasts of each of the tour’s money events. The alliances tender a lot of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods airtime, respectively, which drives interest and viewership—and it certainly doesn’t hurt that both sports enjoy affluent adherents. Also of note: Solomon’s bold initiatives unleashed during the inaugural French Open telecasts, including round-the-clock coverage with partner ESPN2, multi-screen mosaics on DISH and DirecTV, and broadband access at TennisChannel.com; and Golf’s successful foray into original programming, including “Fore Inventors Only” and the “Big Break” series.  CH

 

David Manougian

Favorite movie: The Godfather
Favorite tv show: “Seinfeld”
Favorite line from a television show : “What’s Next?” – “West Wing”
Favorite restaurant: “NOLA in New Orleans”
In my free time, I like: “Fly fishing and spending time with my 3.5 year old daughter, Emma (see photo). Can’t wait until Emma begins fly fishing so we can do that together.”

Ken Solomon

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “In 1992, when my bosses at Fox/NewsCorp–Mr Murdoch, Chase Carey and Lucie Salhany–said, “Let’s go launch a cable network.” Despite not having a name, programming concept or even a sales tape, their attitude was, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll figure it all out and it will be fantastic.’ So we just got out there and met with the MSOs and sold the idea, and that’s how FX, (FOX without the ‘O’), NewsCorp’s first cable network, was born. And the three of them were absolutely right.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Getting back to driving value based upon smart programming decisions, not simply on economics, margin and leverage. It’s a dead end. Just ask any broadcaster.”
Defining career moment:Launching or re-launching and chairing two independent cable networks in today’s crazy vertical environment.”
Top personal achievement in 2007:There are three: Securing Tennis Channel rights to three of tennis’ four Grand Slam tournaments; Widespread success and recognition by American television audiences of Tennis Channel’s first-ever Grand Slam coverage during the French Open in May; Closing the Ovation purchase, moving the company to L.A., hiring a new management team, and launching nationally on time and budget six months later.”
In my free time, I like to:Balance between adrenalin (helicopter skiing, shark and wreck scuba diving, water ski jumping, hiking, singles tennis, etc.) and extreme relaxation (reading, taking photographs, exploring music, staring at art, writing or just sitting and thinking of cool ideas). Best of all: talking with our three kids without the boundaries of daily life in the way.”

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