Title: President, Ad Sales, Discovery Communications
Years in Cable: Almost 10
Education: BA, Marketing and Finance, Seton Hall
Best Advice in 7 Words Or Less: Be yourself.
Title: President, Global Distribution; CEO, Discovery Education, Discovery Communications
Years in Cable: 26
Education: BA, UNC Chapel Hill
Best Advice: Stand still, and you’ll be run over.
Why Them? Discovery consistently ranks as a top cable sales organization. The notoriously stylish Abruzzese wears a coat of many colors as head of the company’s U.S. roster. He recently split sales into male and female teams, each focusing on emerging networks skewing men—Science, Military and HD—and women—ID, Fit and Planet Green. Goodwyn took on the world this year, driving affiliate sales efforts in 180 countries/territories, while overseeing a new distribution strategy for the global rollout of TLC. In less than a year, TLC launched in 34 countries and is on track to reach 100 million homes by year-end.
Year Ahead: In May Discovery became the first TV net to carry ads for Maker’s Mark bourbon on its “Swamp Brothers” and “Gold Rush.” Liquor advertising remains taboo on broadcast TV—yet another way Abruzzese is thinking outside the box. With revenues of $3.8 billion last year, the network has plenty to toast under its ad sales chief. Building on Discovery Education’s success in driving its K-12 business, Goodwyn’s focus in 2012 is the division’s newest venture, a curriculum-based digital learning service for community colleges across the country.
Favorite meal I can also prepare myself: Gazpacho
Worst thing I’ve ever heard in a meeting: “Low hanging fruit” and “under-promise, overachieve”
Top 3 on my iPod: “Nessum Dorma,” Luciano Pavarotti; “Born in the USA,” Bruce Springsteen; “Start Me Up,” Rolling Stones
Favorite business and/or motivational book: It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For, Roy Spence
Favorite meal I can prepare myself: Red Bull, coffee and whatever is in the vending machine.
An important lesson from my youth: I was second-string high school running back behind Kelvin Bryant, who eventually played in the NFL. I eventually did not. I was taught at an early age that no one hands you the starting role: You earn it. With hard work, passion and perseverance, you can create your own success.
Guilty TV pleasure: Whatever my wife tells me we’re watching… ?