LeBrun croppedFew sales executive can boast the breadth of experience and command the universal respect afforded to Nory LeBrun, whose consulting firm Two Blue Rhino continues to help clients negotiate carriage with distributors of all stripes and sizes. It’s a mission that LeBrun has been on his entire professional career, from his early days working alongside Ted Turner where he helped pioneer the ad sales/license fees dual revenue stream model to his later work helping Food Network and HSN get off the ground. His work since 2006 on behalf of Sportsman has led to expansion into 10 million new households in just the last four years, with HD distribution now available on many of the top Comcast systems and on AT&T U-verse.

And in perhaps his greatest recent feat, LeBrun’s savvy negotiating skills has gotten Sportsman off of sports tiers and onto coveted digital basic cable in many top markets. That’s no easy feat, but LeBrun stood his ground and found a way. “Good ideas—properly financed and with a multiplatform solution—will find bandwidth,” he says. “Sportsman is a ‘lifestyle network.’ On average, in excess of 30 percent of any distributors’ consumer base hunts, shoots or fishes. We are not a sports tier product, and we have sold/launched that concept with significant success.”

And as for those days with Ted Turner, LeBrun recalls a few Ted mantras: “Creativity with limited resources, do one thing every day that scares you, understand who the smartest person in the room is, but take your ground and defend it. And of course, ‘Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way’.”

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Name Game Redux

Commentary By Steve Effros I wasn’t planning on dwelling on the subject of the language we use to describe our business and how others use (or misuse) it for a second week in a row. However I wound up

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