News Articles

The upfront guys

Cable executives assess ad sales in a soft economy 6/10/2001 08:00:00 PM Eastern

MTV The passion potion

MTV The passion potion

Harvey Ganot, President, Advertising Sales Worldwide, MTV Networks

For 20 years, Harvey Ganot has argued that cable is a great value. Recently, though, he has seen advertisers finally start to understand.

"There has been a love affair with network television for many years that is waning," said MTV Networks' president of advertising sales worldwide.

Cable gives advertisers the chance to target a specialized, niche audience, of course, but that wasn't so clear to advertisers when he was starting out at Turner in the early 1980s.

"It was real crusader work," Ganot said. "We had to convince everyone that cable was a viable alternative for advertisers looking to reach a new audience."

He joined MTV Networks in 1986, starting as a "schlepper" salesperson, and "clawed" his way up the ranks. He has been at the helm since 1991.

Despite softer economic conditions, Viacom's MTV Networks are well-positioned because they offer the youthful demographic that advertisers covet, says Ganot.

"Advertising is a necessity, not a luxury," he said. "There's a love affair between advertisers and Generation Y. We're the passion potion between the two."

The Ganot File

Education: M.A., Brooklyn College, City University of New York; B.A., Brooklyn College, City University of New York

First Sales Job: "I started off at Petry TV in 1975 as a research analyst and clawed my way into the sales training program in 1976."

Family: Three children (Ariana, 23, Ethan, 21, Gabriel, 17)

Favorite Pastime: "Going to a ballgame at Shea Stadium and sitting in the bleachers with my kids."

Home: Manhattan

The snails have replaced the bulls. After last year's frenzied, $4.6 billion cable upfront, this year's advanced ad-sales market is soft and drawn out. Cable executives are trying to remain upbeat, waiting for the market to break. But the soft economy has advertisers wary, and, rather than commit in the upfront, they may test their luck in the scatter market.

We checked in with the top ad-sales executives from MTV Networks, Discovery, USA Networks, Turner and A&E to get their views on the upfront market, the slowing economy and how they made their way in the cable sales business.

MTV The passion potion

MTV The passion potion

Harvey Ganot, President, Advertising Sales Worldwide, MTV Networks

For 20 years, Harvey Ganot has argued that cable is a great value. Recently, though, he has seen advertisers finally start to understand.

"There has been a love affair with network television for many years that is waning," said MTV Networks' president of advertising sales worldwide.

Cable gives advertisers the chance to target a specialized, niche audience, of course, but that wasn't so clear to advertisers when he was starting out at Turner in the early 1980s.

"It was real crusader work," Ganot said. "We had to convince everyone that cable was a viable alternative for advertisers looking to reach a new audience."

He joined MTV Networks in 1986, starting as a "schlepper" salesperson, and "clawed" his way up the ranks. He has been at the helm since 1991.

Despite softer economic conditions, Viacom's MTV Networks are well-positioned because they offer the youthful demographic that advertisers covet, says Ganot.

"Advertising is a necessity, not a luxury," he said. "There's a love affair between advertisers and Generation Y. We're the passion potion between the two."

The Ganot File

Education: M.A., Brooklyn College, City University of New York; B.A., Brooklyn College, City University of New York

First Sales Job: "I started off at Petry TV in 1975 as a research analyst and clawed my way into the sales training program in 1976."

Family: Three children (Ariana, 23, Ethan, 21, Gabriel, 17)

Favorite Pastime: "Going to a ballgame at Shea Stadium and sitting in the bleachers with my kids."

Home: Manhattan

 

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