Cablefax The Magazine - September 2012 - 8

The Leaders
7. Albert Cheng
EVP, Digital, Disney-ABC Television Group
Disney/ABC's digital guru Cheng has an almost uncanny knack for staying a step-or three-ahead of
both technology advances and consumer habits. The architect behind the Primetime Emmy-winning ABC.
com Oscar Digital Experience and Oscar app that achieved more than 1,150% growth in downloads in
2012 over the prior year is continually breaking new digital ground. Take the new ABC Player app, a mobile
player that enables viewers to watch select shows anytime, anywhere and is the sixth most downloaded
free iPad app of all time. " The early part of my career has been around business strategy in various
industries, and it's deinitely helped me in the digital space in evaluating how to approach disruptive change, " he says. Aside from
working his technology magic on the back end, Cheng is acutely aware of his audience. " To be relevant and competitive in today's
marketplace, you need to be armed with company leaders and contributors that can also understand it natively and not just
strictly from third party research, " he says. " Diversity also means having people who think and approach things differently because
in a market that demands innovation, it's never good to be complacent and comfortable. "
8. Doug Gaston
SVP/General Counsel, Comcast Cable
Gaston has been leading the cable law department at Comcast for eight years-a hefty challenge by
any standards that ratcheted up considerably around the NBCU deal. He's principal legal counsel to
Comcast's senior management, overseeing and directing a team of legal advisers who provide day-today
counsel to the company's operating departments. Gaston's team worked to ensure compliance
with the conditions associated with the NBCU deal and participated in the negotiation and implementation
of the Verizon Wireless-Comcast Cable relationship. He has also provided counsel to cable division
decision-makers on the rollout of new products like X1 and Skype on Xinity. A longtime champion of diversity, Gaston
played a key role in Comcast's decision to join a group of corporations that committed to collectively spend $30 million with
minority- and women-owned law irms in 2010, and he spearheads a joint Comcast-NBCU diversity council of lawyers to
increase diversity in hiring, promotion and development of women and minority lawyers within the merged companies.
9. Oprah Winfrey
CEO, OWN, Discovery Communications
Oprah Winfrey may be a cultural icon and media legend, but it has been a challenging year for
Winfrey since she set out on her OWN. Her cable network, a partnership of Winfrey's Harpo
Productions and Discovery-has been plagued by low ratings and hemorrhaging capital almost
since its inception. But ratings are up signiicantly in recent months. And Winfrey is not one to shy
from a challenge. The potential turnaround of OWN, for which she personally stepped in as CEO
last summer, could be one of the biggest come-from-behind stories in cable if she can pull it off.
She's focusing on a slate new programming, including the return of " Oprah's Book Club " and new Daytime Emmy winner
" Super Soul Sunday, " featuring relevant authors, thinkers and spiritual leaders. OWN's inancial concerns aside, there's
certainly no denying the power Winfrey yields in media and entertainment. Her empire extends into the cable, syndication,
production and magazine realms-all of which she's built with a salient commitment to promoting diversity.
10. Michael Powell
President/CEO, NCTA
Now in his second year as NCTA's chief lobbyist, Powell continues to push an agenda of public policy
centered on investment and innovation rather than government intervention for the cable industry.
Particularly with regard to broadband, the former FCC chairman advocates a light regulatory touch to
ensure continued technological development. " Letting politics allocate resources-rather than market
economics and entrepreneurs-would kill investment and leave the Internet in the state we ind today's
post ofice, electric grid or crumbling transportation system, " Powell told attendees at this year's Cable
Show. Regardless of who wins the upcoming Presidential Election, technology and communications will continue to be top
of mind, keeping Powell's agenda packed. The irst African-American CEO of NCTA, Powell says, " The new information age
we're entering demands that diversity be a strategic business imperative for any company that wants to succeed. "
8
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