LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2004 —
The Tennis Channel, a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, has announced widespread growth and promotion within its programming and production teams. Headlining the staff moves are the elevation of Programming Director Jene Elzie to vice president, and the hiring of Laura Hockridge as senior producer. The announcement was made at the NCTA 2004 National Show today by The Tennis Channel's Bruce Rider, executive vice president, programming and marketing; and Larry Meyers, executive producer and vice president, production.
In addition to Elzie and Hockridge, The Tennis Channel's staff moves include the appointment of Brad Toberman, to coordinating director, and the promotion of Brandon Moglen and Aarthi Rajaraman, each from associate producer to producer. The network has also hired Lara Schuler as media coordinator.
The staff progression comes in accord with The Tennis Channel's rapid programming development in recent months. The network boasts four ongoing, original series, a number of documentary films, instructional programs, event previews, and live coverage of tennis' three annual international Team Cups: Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup. Already this year, The Tennis Channel has signed multiyear deals for top-caliber competitions on both the men's and women's tennis tours, giving it telecasting rights at more than half of the men's ATP Masters Series events and more than a dozen top-tier tournaments on the women's WTA Tour - many of these contests were previously unavailable to U.S. television audiences.
Jene Elzie has been integral to the brokering and fulfillment of these deals in her role as director of programming, and will go on in this capacity as vice president. She additionally oversees network scheduling, traffic, contract negotiation and management, and the development of ancillary projects. Elzie has been with The Tennis Channel since May 2003, and will continue to report to Rider.
"I'm extremely proud to announce this well-deserved promotion for Jene," said Rider. "She is instrumental in the management of our programming operations, and her leadership contributions have been tremendous. Jene has become the primary programming contact for each department in the network, and she handles this challenging responsibility with grace and agility."
Before joining The Tennis Channel, Elzie acted as manager of acquisitions for Fox Sports Net, where she researched, created and negotiated contracts for numerous events and programs. While with Fox, she was involved in the launch of the network's extreme sports digital channel and supervised the production of its "You Gotta See This: Too Hot for Fox" video. Elzie holds a bachelor's degree in economics and masters degree in sociology, both from Stanford University.
As new senior producer for The Tennis Channel, Laura Hockridge supervises its four original series and an assortment of internally produced specials. Reporting to Meyers, she has already overseen the launch of the network's latest original series: Open Access and Tennis Insiders. Before joining The Tennis Channel, Hockridge worked as a studio producer for USA Network's coverage of the U.S. Open, and as a Coordinating producer for CNBC's "Business Center" for five years, based in New Jersey. She has also acted as a producer for John McLaughlin. Hockridge, who received her master's degree in broadcast journalism from Maryland University, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in international relations.
After freelancing with the network for much of the past year, Brad Toberman joins The Tennis Channel as coordinating director. In this role he directs the network's live tournament coverage, calling camera shots and overseeing remote-location needs. Toberman additionally produces The Tennis Channel's coverage of Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions. He also reports to Meyers. Prior to freelancing this past year, he spent three years as a director at Fox Sports Net, producing "Best Damn Sports Show Period." He has also worked at ESPN, Warner Bros. and HBO.
"As we've broadened the scope of original programming and tournaments on the network, we've had no choice but to grow our production team," said Meyers. "With Laura we've added a capable, talented senior producer who can drive the development of our original shows. Along these same lines Brad Toberman gives us an experienced, highly qualified director for our live tournaments."
Brandon Moglen has been with The Tennis Channel as an associate producer since its infancy in March 2002. In his new role as producer, he will continue to work with all aspects of the network's original series, including talent bookings, series shoots and editing. Moglen additionally works on Team Cup preview shows and has been involved in the conception and development of new series. Prior to The Tennis Channel, he worked as a reporter and producer for KRCR-TV in Redding, Calif., and served in ABC's London bureau.
Aarthi Rajaraman joined The Tennis Channel as an associate producer in October 2002, and has worked predominately on original series such as No Strings and Center Court with Chris Myers since that time. She has also been involved in a number of the network's live programming endeavors, including The Tennis Channel's exclusive U.S. coverage of the women's Fed Cup competition. She will continue these duties in her new role as producer. Prior to The Tennis Channel, Rajaraman worked as a producer on Fox's "Best Damn Sports Show Period," and has spent time with USA, NBC and HBO. At HBO she received an Emmy nomination for her work on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."
As The Tennis Channel's new media coordinator, Lara Schuler will be responsible for organizing and managing the network's videotape and CD library. She will also occasionally assist the production department during show tapings. Schuler most recently acted as a freelancer in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, working in a variety of theater, film and television production capacities. In her career she has acted as an assistant production manager at Wellesley College and as a technical director at Camp Walden in Denmark, Maine.
"Aarthi and Brandon have demonstrated a willingness to put in the time necessary to get the job done, be it travel, long hours or painstaking research," said Meyers. "They've more than earned their promotions. Lara brings a diverse production background to our team, and fulfills a much-needed role in managing our department library. We're excited to have her onboard."
The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is the 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, and provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and its superstar athletes. The network's comprehensive coverage includes telecasts of the ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup. The Tennis Channel also showcases instruction from the finest teachers, legendary matches, in-depth profiles of the greatest players, analysis and news, the latest on equipment, and tennis getaways.