Title: President, ESPN; Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks
Years in Cable: 17 years at ESPN
Education: BA, North Carolina; MA, Columbia
Title: Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, President, Disney|ABC Television Group
Years in Cable: 30+
Education: BA, College of New Rochelle; Ed.M, Harvard University
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less: Always be curious and keep learning.
Sweeney sent shock waves when she recently revealed plans to leave her Disney/ABC perch to pursue a directing career. But the swift appointment of Ben Sherwood—whom Sweeney handpicked to run ABC News in 2010—as her successor is a testament to the smooth operation that is Disney Media. Sherwood has some big shoes to fill. Sweeney’s legacy includes programming breakthroughs and visionary drive for digital extensions of the Disney/ABC suite. Over at ESPN, Skipper continues to prove himself a superlative team captain. This past year he oversaw rights acquisition deals extending into the next decade with the American Athletic Conference, the Mountain West Conference and WNBA, among others. Skipper also continues to think outside the box, bringing renowned statistician Nate Silver to ESPN. The net’s most expansive programming initiative is set to launch in August, with the SEC Network, and a wide-ranging agreement with the USTA will bring exclusivity for tennis’ US Open starting in 2015.
I watch the majority of programming on this device: big ‘ole HD TV
John, Paul, George or Ringo? John
Cable exec I’d most like to see twerking? There is no circumstance under which I need to see any cable TV exec twerking.
One thing I would do all the time if I could: read
Favorite Restaurant: The Honeymonk (Lexington, NC)
Favorite vacation spot: Paris
Beach or mountains? Beach
If someone forced me to cut the cord and only watch 3 over-the-top shows, they would be: I have a problem with the leading question that anyone could be forced to cut the cord.
I watch the majority of programming on this device: iPad
The biggest innovation in cable over the last year: WATCH ABC
TV show I’d most like to have a cameo in? “Scandal”
One thing I would do all the time if I could: Step out of my comfort zone and be bold.
The technology that will most benefit cable over the next year is: Mobile ad measurement
My ideal celebrity partner on Dancing with the Stars: Tom Bergeron
Oscars or Grammys? Oscars
Favorite TV show as a kid? “Lassie”