Name: Jeff Shell
Title: President, Comcast Programming Group
Age: 42
Years in Industry: 14
Years left in Industry: “Less than that.”

Name: Ted Harbert
Title: President/CEO, Comcast Entertainment Group
Age: 52
Years in Industry: 30
Years left in Industry: “More than 1, less than 38”

Why Them? These 2 serial headline-makers are the programming patriarchs of the largest MSO. Top dog Shell, Comcast’s primary liaison between Hollywood and Philadelphia, has taken the MSO’s dream of leveraging its distribution strength to help its content assets and run with it. While focusing on growing networks like Versus, The Golf Channel and co-venture PBS Kids Sprout, plus launching boutique nonlinear channels like year-old The Horror Channel, Shell placed E!, Style Network and G4 in Harbert’s hands. Harbert—the consummate Hollywood guy—has improved ratings for all 3 nets since he took the helm. He’s also driving down the median viewer age with multiplatform offshoots like the successful E! Everywhere initiative.  CAO

 

Jeff Shell
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “License fees? You mean it’s not all advertising?”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “To continue to provide the best possible programming and products in a firestorm of competitive and new media hype.”
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Fred Dressler. He has approached each challenge, including the current one, with toughness, integrity and class.”
Biggest cable surprise of 2007: “The rapid and hap-hazard introduction of C3.”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show: “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.”
Favorite sports team: “The California Golden Bears”
I wish cable would: “Think of itself more like a product and less like a service.”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Sitting in Charleston, eating BBQ, playing on the beach with my daughter Anna and talking politics with my wife Laura.”
The world would be a better place if: “We actually let the person with the most votes be President.”

Ted Harbert
What is your favorite word? “Up”
What is your least favorite word? “Down”
What turns you on? “Minute by minutes”
What turns you off? “Roseanne”
What sound do you love? “The ping my Samsung plasma makes when I turn it on.”
What sound do you hate? “Golf ball hitting a tree.”
What profession other than yours would like to attempt? “Comedy writer”
What profession would you not like to participate in? “Anything where you have to wear boots.”
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “Your brother is waiting for you on the first tee.”

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