Wild? Yes. Crazy? No. Han Vissering oversees more than 150 hours of programming, commissioned each year for broadcast in 166 countries, 330 million homes and 34 languages worldwide. Yet somehow she manages to juggle it all gloriously, manages Wild’s development team and works leading indie producers, distributors, creative agencies and strategic broadcast partners to create the network’s signature series, specials and events. This year, Wild had its highest-ever rated quarter in Q1, and in the summer returned several hits— including “The Incredible Dr. Pol” and “Monster Fish” while debuting new shows such as “Pond Stars,” “Animals Gone Wild” and miniseries “Urban Jungle,” with big cat tracker Boone Smith. Han Vissering also oversaw a handful of new specials, all designed to keep viewers coming back for more.
What’s the definition of diversity in 2014, and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?
The definition of diversity to me is having the most diverse background that can enhance a person’s job performance. I think cultural and personal backgrounds bring more depth to the workplace.
What’s been your company’s biggest innovation this year?
Our biggest innovation is the ability to expand our natural history programming to reach general viewers. Shows such as The Incredible Dr. Pol and Cesar 911 take the root of animal behavior and are compelling enough to live up to a general entertainment television world.
Who has been your strongest mentor, and why?
My mother. No matter what hardship she has been thrown, she always looks at the positive. Taking a negative and making it a lesson learned. She is the most positive person in the world to me and has always had faith in me.
What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?
I look for absolute positive energy, attitude of nothing is too small to do, and being humble.
Name one emerging trend in cable we should all have our eye on.
Binge watching and how that affects regularly scheduled television.