Outdoor Channel Makes Changes to Affiliate Sales and Marketing Team
Outdoor Channel (NASDAQ: OUTD), America’s Leader In Outdoor TV, today announced that Christy Benson will assume the newly formed position of Director, Affiliate Marketing, effective immediately. In addition, Russell Cooper has joined Outdoor Channel as the Director of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Central Region.
“With our tremendous distribution gains over the past few years, which are primarily driven by packaging improvements to higher penetrated tiers in key markets like Chicago, Boston, Hartford, Baltimore and Washington D.C., we are furthering our commitment to local affiliates with additional marketing support,” said Randy Brown, Outdoor Channel’s Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales & Marketing. “By committing substantial resources to local Outdoor Channel promotions supported by well-regarded and experienced executives like Christy and Russell, we are well-positioned to continue providing creative and distinctive local marketing programs for our growing base of affiliates.”
Christy Benson, who previously served as Director, Affiliate Sales & Marketing for Outdoor Channel’s Midwest Region, will continue to be based out of Temecula, California and report to Randy Brown. In this newly created position, Benson will be responsible for coordinating local Outdoor Channel market promotions and grass roots consumer initiatives, such as Outdoor Channel Corps, which mobilizes volunteers to restore and improve public lands and spaces to ensure that the outdoor lifestyle thrives in local communities across the U.S.
Russell Cooper joins Outdoor Channel as the Director of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Central Region. In his new role, Cooper will be responsible for securing additional standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) carriage, as well as working with Benson on marketing and promotion activities for distributors in 17 Midwest and Southeast states. He will be based in Fort Mill, SC and report to Daniel Soane, Vice President, Central Division and Emerging Media.
“Working for Outdoor Channel has allowed me to utilize my passion for the great outdoors to provide hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen from Michigan to Oklahoma with increased access to Outdoor Channel’s high caliber outdoor adventure programming,” said Christy Benson. “I have enjoyed representing the Midwestern Region, and am looking forward to my new role in working more closely with our valued affiliate partners to grow their business by leveraging the Outdoor Channel brand.”
“Outdoor Channel is a network which has achieved remarkable growth, highlighted by the recent announcement that Outdoor Channel HD is now available in the top 25 media markets,” said Russell Cooper. “I look forward to joining Outdoor Channel and continuing to help the network to reach its growth potential in the Central Region.”
Benson joined Outdoor Channel in January 2003 as the first member of the Affiliate Relations Team and was promoted to Regional Director, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Midwest Region in November 2009. She has been instrumental in growing Outdoor Channel’s SD and HD subscriber base throughout the area, including securing the launch of Outdoor Channel HD on Comcast systems in the Michigan Region in June. Benson was also integral in the repositioning of Outdoor Channel on Comcast’s cable systems in the Greater Chicago market this past August, while continuing to generate impressive affiliate participation levels in the network’s two primary consumer marketing campaigns, Spring Fever and Gear Up & Go.
Cooper joins Outdoor Channel from The Inspiration Networks, where he served as Regional Vice President of Affiliate Sales for the Eastern Region since 2003. With The Inspiration Networks, Cooper developed strong ties with regional cable affiliates, in addition to managing marketing, sales and distribution efforts for multiple networks in the Eastern United States. He also previously served as the Account Director, Affiliate Sales and Marketing for the Central Region for Discovery Communications, Inc.