Cablefax The Magazine - May 2015 - 39

55. SKILLED NEGOTIATORS
Joe Abruzzese
Title: President,
Advertising
Sales, Discovery
Communications
Years in Cable:
15
Education: Seton Hall University
Best Advice: Make the client successful
and you will always be successful.
Eric Phillips
Title: President,
Domestic
Distribution,
Discovery
Communications
Years in Cable: 13
Education: BA, Oberlin College; JD,
University of Michigan
56.
DISCOVERY ZONE
Marjorie
Kaplan
Title:
Group
President,
TLC,
Animal Planet and Velocity
Years in Cable: 18
Education: Brown University
Best Advice in 7 Words or
Less: Sweetheart, women
live a long time (from my
wonderful mother).
Rich Ross
Title: Group President,
Investigation Discovery,
American Heroes Channel,
Destination America,
Discovery Family Channel
and Discovery Life Channel
Years in Cable: Since the
beginning (30+ years)
Education: BA (cum laude),
University of Pennsylvania;
JD, University of Pennsylvania
School of Law
Best Advice in 7 Words
or Less: A man plans/God
laughs.
Title: President,
Discovery Channel
Years in Cable: 24
Education: BA, University of
Pennsylvania; JD, Fordham
University
Best Advice in 7 Words or
Less: Stick to your knitting.
Cablefax: The Magazine
Key to Discovery Comm's
success are the top-tier
execs running its portfolio of
networks. In January, Ross
took the reins at the flagship
Discovery Channel. Within
72 hours, he instituted a
bold strategy designed to refocus
the network and bring
family programming to the
forefront. He has big plans,
and David Zaslav has the
Best Advice in 7 Words or Less:
Always support your team.
Talk about a powerful dual-revenue
stream... These two make it look
easy. Abruzzese has built a reputation
as one of the most respected
advertising execs in the industry.
Part of his success comes from the
personal and professional relationships
he builds with clients and colleagues.
And his influence expands
beyond Discovery, with Abruzzese
serving as chairman of the Cable
Television Advertising Bureau. In
his spare time, you may find him
enjoying his new hobby-building
model ships. Phillips has navigated
the often-volatile world of programming
negotiations with finesse, inkHenry
Schleiff
ing renewal agreements in the past
year with NCTC and Cablevision
as well as new deals with Sony for
PlayStation Vue and Hulu for Hulu
Plus subs. Next up is Comcast,
which could prove interesting given
the concerns the programmer has
raised over its potential merger
with Time Warner Cable.
Abruzzese
I watch most programming on
this device: Surprisingly, I watch
on my TV
If I had a show on YouTube it
would be called... " Punishment By
Fashion Police "
Apple iWatch or Rolex? Rolex
Favorite vacation spot: Amalfi
Coast/Tuscany-anywhere in Italy
Desert island album: Let It Bleed -
faith he'll deliver. Upon taking
over leadership of TLC in
February 2014, Kaplan led
the network to achieve its
highest ratings in 2Q prime
in more than a decade. She
launched a new tagline and
brand campaign: " Everyone
needs a little TLC. " Meanwhile,
Animal Planet finished
its third consecutive year as
a top 20 net for men 25-54
and Velocity achieved 29
straight months of year-overyear
growth in prime for key
demos. Schleiff had two networks
added to his purview
in the last year, Discovery
Family Channel (formerly
Hub Network) and Discovery
Life (Discovery Fit & Health).
Add in American Heroes
(which transitioned from
Military Channel), and that's
three brand transitions in 12
months for Schleiff, whose
accomplishments include a
top 10-network designation
for Investigation Discovery
and securing Impact Wrestling
for Destination America.
Perhaps what bodes best for
this trio is the enthusiasm
and passion they spark
within their teams.
May 2015
Kaplan
I watch most programming
on this device: TV
and iPad-it's a tie.
If I had a show on YouTube
it would be called...
" How to Sleep Standing Up "
Apple iWatch or Rolex?
Neither, I can rely on my iPhone.
Favorite vacation spot:
Tuscany and Amagansett.
Another tie.
Favorite TV show as a kid:
The old black and white eps
of " Superman. " Sometimes I
still watch them online.
My favorite business/
motivational book: H is for
Hawk-not for business but
maybe for motivation.
Ross
I watch most programming
on this device: My
phone
Apple iWatch or Rolex?
Rolex
Twitter, Instagram or
Snapchat? Facebook
If Disney hired me to reboot
" Star Wars " I would...
make headlines...again.
Favorite vacation spot:
Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Favorite TV show as a
Rolling Stones
Dish I can make and that would
impress a celebrity chef: Chicken
Francaise
Phillips
I watch most programming on
this device: TV
Favorite scree: HDTV
Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat?
Twitter
The technology that will most
benefit cable over the next year
is: 4K/UHD
Desert island album:
Sting's Nothing Like the Sun
Favorite TV show as a kid:
" The Odd Couple "
The last time I had a good laugh
was... watching an " Odd Couple "
rerun ■
kid: " Lost In Space "
Schleiff
Twitter, Instagram or
Snapchat?
NY Post
Favorite Cable Show
memory: Trying to get Sumner
Redstone out of his villa
by throwing pebbles across
the gate at the glass wall-
which, unfortunately, set off
the sprinkler system after he
joined us, flooding his villa as
we later discovered. I don't
think he ever knew who did
it-until, perhaps, now.
Favorite vacation spot:
Silver Spring, MD.
The last time I had a
good laugh was...
today and every day: If you
aren't surrounded by people
who make you laugh, then
come work with us!
My favorite newfound
hobby: Bad golf (favorite old
hobby was good golf).
My favorite business/
motivational book: William
Goldman's Adventures in the
Screen Trade... to paraphrase
his quintessential quote " No
one knows anything about
this business. " ■
cablefaxmag.com
39
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Cablefax The Magazine - May 2015

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