Veterans of Showtime, Fox Sports, CNN, The Weather Channel, Great American Country, PBS, Food Network and More Bring their Talents to Top Outdoor Entertainment Network
Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader In Outdoor TV, today announced the appointment of several seasoned cable industry executives spanning affiliate relations, marketing, research and finance. The senior executives bring a wealth of experience and industry relationships, further bolstering and complementing the network’s top-ranked management team and deep resources of parent company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC (KSE).
The new appointments, who will report to Outdoor Channel President and CEO, Jim Liberatore, include Steve Smith, Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing; Bill Osborn, Senior Vice President of Marketing; Scott Long, Vice President of Finance, Media; and James Alexander, Vice President of Consumer Insights and Analytics. They join a long-standing roster of Outdoor Channel senior executives serving in the programming arena, led by Jeff Wayne, Executive Vice President of Programming and Production, as well as a strong group of executives handling affiliate sales.
“Outdoor Channel has done a terrific job in building a leadership position in serving the vibrant outdoor lifestyle category,” commented Liberatore. “These executives have helped to innovate and build some of the most successful brands in our industry, and we will benefit from their extraordinary insight and hands-on management as we execute against our ambitious goals. This talented group will take the lead in bringing the network to the next level by broadening our viewership and expanding our distribution. Combined with the support of our parent company, KSE, we have an exceptional group of resources for growing our network. I could not be more excited about this leadership group and the future of this network.”
Steve Smith has had one of the most well rounded and successful careers in the cable industry. Most recently, he co-founded and led the development efforts at start-up MAVTV (originally known as Maverick Television) as Chief Operating Officer, exceeding industry expectations and achieving distribution approaching 40 million homes, leading to the successful sale of the network. He also spent fifteen years with Showtime, where he negotiated the majority of the premium network’s largest carriage agreements. He began his career with Southern Satellite, Inc., where he successfully implemented distribution agreements for WTBS. Thereafter, he led the sales efforts of Tempo Television Network (later to become CNBC), doubling the network’s distribution in less than two years, increasing its asset value and facilitating its profitable sale to NBC.
A cable industry veteran with two decades of marketing and operations experience with an emphasis on network launches and rebrands, Bill Osborn most recently worked directly for media pioneer Mark Cuban as Senior Vice President at AXS TV (formerly HDNet), where he headed marketing, on-air promotion, affiliate and ad sales marketing, branding, strategy and research. He also developed Magnolia Pictures’ movies on-demand marketing platform, featuring the revolutionary distribution of feature films on demand before premiering in theaters. Osborn also served as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Fox Sports Media Group’s SPEED Channel, where he headed marketing, on-air promotion, public relations, licensing and merchandising. Osborn played a key role in the successful launch of one of the nation’s largest cable television sports networks, Fox Sports Net, as well as in developing Prime Sports, the Health Network, NewSport and Prime Sports Radio.
Scott Long has over two decades of experience serving in senior roles in financial and operations management at rapidly growing companies. His expertise spans corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), strategic planning and budget management. As Vice President of Finance for KSE’s, Media division, he oversees financial management for all of the organization’s media assets, including Outdoor Channel. He also served as Chief Financial Officer of Rocky Mountain PBS, Colorado’s only statewide television network reaching nearly 900,000 viewers daily. At Rocky Mountain PBS, Scott was responsible for all financial, administrative and human resource functions while partnering with the CEO to stabilize the financial position of the network. His experience also includes 17 years in senior financial management positions in the industrial manufacturing sector, including leading companies during periods of M&A and significant expansion.
James Alexander has a proven track record of utilizing strategic insights and analytics to help media companies maximize revenue and viewership. He served as Director of Campaign Insights for Microsoft, where he completed work on Microsoft’s global multi-product ad campaign which earned a 2012 David Ogilvy Award. His ground breaking SEA/SEM search advertising work on the Windows Phone campaign earned recognition for innovation at the 2012 ARF Great Minds Awards. James also served as Vice President of Consumer and Strategic Research for The Weather Channel, where he helped reposition the network by developing and launching some of the most popular series on the network and played a major role in its expansion across multiple distribution platforms. He also held senior research management roles at Time Warner, spanning major brands such as CNN, HLN and CNN Sports Illustrated. Among other achievements, he developed the Headline News Sports Ticker, the first scrolling news ticker on TV.
Inducted into the Cable TV Pioneers in 2009, Jeff Wayne has extensive experience in developing and expanding cable networks. He most recently served as President of Great American Country (GAC), where he was chief architect and executive of the network. He developed the business plan for the network and directed all aspects of the business including programming, affiliate and advertising sales, network operations, web sites, marketing and business development. Under his leadership, GAC grew into a leading satellite delivered country music network, with over 37 million subscribers, prior to its sale to Scripps Networks. In addition to building GAC, he also served as President and COO of Jones Media Networks, where he managed the company’s radio division including Jones Radio Networks and Jones Media America, a leading independent radio syndication company. Earlier in his career, he also led cable network programming ventures at Providence Journal Company and Colony Communications, including the Food Network.
Logo courtesy Outdoor Channel