Cablefax The Magazine - April 2017 - 7

THE TOP10
3. DISRUPTION DIVA
Bonnie Hammer
Chairman
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment
Years in Cable: 30
Education: BA, Science, Boston University; MA, Boston University
On any given week an estimated 113.5 million viewers tune in to one of the networks under Hammer's
purview. Rather than being staggered by the responsibility, she sees it as a canvas for innovation. Overseeing
all business for NBCU's 10 cable entertainment networks plus Universal Cable Productions and
Wilshire Studios, Hammer's portfolio was the largest profit contributor to NBCU and grew in both profit
and revenue for the 13th consecutive year in 2016, with profit upward of $2.8 billion. Crown jewel USA
ended 2016 as the most-watched ad-supported cable entertainment network; Bravo had 15 returning
series in 2016 with season-over-season ratings increases; for the second year in a row, E! delivered
the biggest unscripted launch of the year on cable with " Rob & Chyna " ; and Sprout showed 21 percent
growth among the key demos. On the studio side, Universal Cable Productions boasts 25 active series,
nearly double from just two years ago. Never one to rest on her laurels, Hammer led the exclusive deal
for US cable and broadcast rights to the Harry Potter and upcoming " Fantastic Beasts " films in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World franchise, the largest movie
acquisition in NBCU history, which will see eight of the Harry Potter films begin airing on USA and Syfy in 2018.
Q&A
What inspires you most about this industry? Believe it or not, I'm incredibly energized by all the disruption and headwinds caused by this rapidly
changing environment. It reminds me of the early, pioneering days of cable... when we broke the rules as fast as we made them up. What could be more
exciting?
What are the top three qualities you look for in a hire? Anyone I consider for a position has to be smart, driven and hungry... collaborative and unafraid
of risk-taking. And extra points to anyone who understands you get only one chance at a first impression. ■
4. MAESTROS OF THE MOUSE
Ben Sherwood
Co-Chairman
Disney Media Networks
President
Disney|ABC Television Group
Years in Cable: in TV business since
1989... in cable specifically since 2014
Education: A.B. degree, American government
and history, Harvard College; Rhodes
Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford with
Masters degrees in British imperial history
and development economics
One word that best describes me:
Curious (or tall)
John Skipper
President
ESPN
Co-Chair
Disney Media Networks
Years in Cable: 20 years at ESPN
Education: BA, University of North Carolina;
MA, Columbia University
As the maestros of Disney's collective TV
might, Sherwood and Skipper have kept
Cablefax: The Magazine
April 2017
Skipper Q&A
What are the top three qualities you look for in a hire? Brains, cultural
fit and brains.
How do you celebrate your birthday? Annually.
Favorite Saturday morning cartoon from your childhood? " The Beatles. "
Last show I watched not on my networks: " Hamilton. "
New favorite binge: l read " Lincoln in the Bardo " in a single sitting. ■
cablefaxmag.com
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the company largely humming, though both have faced a few headwinds
during the past year. ABC is finding its footing with new president Channing
Dungey and making bolder moves than its rivals, especially in terms of
diversity. Young-skewing cable network Freeform, settling into its rebrand
from ABC Family, is experimenting with release windows and platforms.
ESPN, while still scoring massive ratings for college football and the NBA,
saw NFL jewel " Monday Night Football " fade in 2016 and Skipper has
presided over some staff and cost cuts. Revenue is still massive for ESPN,
though-$23.7 billion of Disney's total of $55.6 billion (43 percent) for the
year ended last October.
Sherwood Q&A
What inspires you about this industry? The pure and boundless power
of storytelling-and its ability to connect people across distances, languages
and cultures.
Three years from now, what do you hope has been invented? Jet
packs, food pills, TV chips implanted in the brain.
What product or service could you not live without? Gamechanger, an
app for following Little League games.
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Cablefax The Magazine - April 2017

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