Phillips last year assumed his current role and began leading ESPN’s digital and print subscription businesses including ESPN Insider, ESPN The Magazine, and live streaming event packages. A fan of Starz’s series “Power,” which has a strong Latino and African-American cast, Phillips also says ABC is excelling when it comes to diversity on TV. “‘Black-ish’ is one of my favorite shows. It’s funny, entertaining and has a clever way of tackling complex social issues.”
What grade do you give the cable industry on diversity and why?
I give the industry a solid B. I’m seeing more diversity within the senior leadership ranks at companies. The industry is making a deliberate effort to grow and develop diverse talent at the mid-career point. I think even more attention has to be paid to building the talent pipeline at the entry level.
The technology that will most benefit cable over the next year is…
Technology that enhances the viewing experience will benefit the entire industry. Better user interfaces on viewing devices (TV connected devices, stand-alone TVs, mobile devices) and true personalization are two initiatives that I’m keeping a close eye on.
What television show/s – cable or broadcast – best embrace diversity?
I think ABC is nailing it with shows like “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off The Boat.” “Black-ish” is one of my favorite shows. It cuts across age, ethnicity and gender lines. It’s funny, entertaining and has a clever way of tackling complex social issues. I’m also a fan of “Power” on Starz. They have a diverse Latino and African-American cast that is making a real difference from a ratings standpoint.