LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2006 —
Network’s Long-Standing Vice Presidents Assume Control of Respective Areas,
Elevated To Direct CEO-Reporting Relationships
Longtime Executive Vice President Bruce Rider Departs
The Tennis Channel, the fast-growing cable, satellite and new media network, today announced a strategic restructuring of its senior management team to capitalize upon the momentum of recent major distribution agreements and pave the way for future growth and expansion. As part of the restructuring, five long-standing vice presidents will assume control over their respective departmental areas and be elevated to report directly to the network’s Chairman and CEO Ken Solomon. The restructuring coincides with the departure of Bruce Rider, executive vice president of programming and marketing, who has chosen this time to pursue other interests.
“This is a significant moment in the history of our company because it formalizes an organizational structure that distributes responsibility for each network operating area directly to the executives who run them every day and best positions The Tennis Channel to capitalize on the enormous growth opportunities in front of us,” said Solomon. “It also provides the chance to express our heartfelt thanks to Bruce Rider, a leader who has tirelessly built this company since day one and truly set it up for a bright future. We wish him the very best in his coming endeavors.”
“Three years ago The Tennis Channel was little more than an idea,” added Rider. “Today the network features 43 of the world’s top 50 professional tournaments, a full complement of original lifestyle programming, an industry-leading Web site and complete ownership of an ATP tournament. Now that The Tennis Channel is on solid ground and in capable hands, I’m able to take advantage of a number of opportunities that I haven’t had the time to pursue in recent years. I am extremely confident in and proud of the team I helped put in place as they ready to take The Tennis Channel to the next level.”
Solomon continued: “We are solidifying our management structure around this experienced group of senior executives who are the best in the business at what they do. I forward to working much more closely with each of them as The Tennis Channel continues to grow and evolve as the only major television network and media brand devoted exclusively to this pre-eminent sport and lifestyle.”
Departmental vice presidents now reporting directly to Solomon are:
· Larry Meyers, VP Production – oversees all tournament and original series production. Meyers is a veteran of Fox Sports.
· Jene Elzie, VP Programming – will continue to handle all program acquisitions, tournament rights and scheduling. Elzie is also a Fox Sports alum.
· Faye Walker, VP Marketing – heads The Tennis Channel’s brand, consumer and ad sales marketing, and creative services. Walker is a former GSN marketing head.
· Lynn Forbes, VP Web and New Media – leads the company’s efforts in new media, including Web, broadband and wireless. Forbes is a former Shop At Home and Fine Living Web and new media head.
· Keith Manasco, VP Operations – maintains all network functions and will now work closely with Solomon and report to CFO Bill Simon.
The network’s other department heads include:
· Bill Simon, SVP and CFO – responsible for all corporate financial, business, human relations, information technology and administrative operations. Simon is the former CFO of Dick Clark Productions.
· Randy Brown, SVP Distribution – responsible for all affiliate sales and marketing. Brown is a former ESPN distribution executive.
· Doug Martz, SVP Sponsorship and Ad Sales – heads the company’s sponsorship and revenue generation operations. Martz has served at Fine Living and Weather Channel as ad sales head.
· Adam Weene, VP Strategic Planning and Business Development – spearheads international efforts and new media and business development, as well as all Tennis Channel Open operations. Previously, Weene served as a Disney strategic planning executive.
The Tennis Channel has secured long-term agreements with 8 of the top 10 cable distributors and currently serves 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets. Just prior to its Tennis Channel Open, the professional “Tennispalooza” tournament in February, the network announced a long-term carriage agreement with Echostar’s DISH Network satellite service, affording the channel a national footprint covering virtually all U.S. television households. The network recently added US Davis Cup coverage to its already industry-leading concentration of live sports coverage, and launched its newest original series, tennis travel show Destination Tennis. In addition, the multiplatform brand has re-launched its signature Web site, which includes more user information and rich original broadband video content, plus minute-long Webisodes of Tennis Shorts on topics ranging from staying in playing shape with cardio tennis to taking the perfect tennis vacation.
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, and forges the personal connection between the professionals on the court and the game’s millions of aficionados. The home for people who watch, play and live their passions through tennis, the network is a hybrid of comprehensive sports coverage, health and fitness programming, pop culture and entertainment access, and lifestyle and travel information. The Tennis Channel is the most concentrated single-sport network in television, with telecast rights to the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, the combination of which offer the compelling, ongoing story of the game’s most dramatic rivalries, energetic personalities and emotional, yearlong journey.
# # #