In the television industry, we are constantly made aware of the fact that nothing moves faster than progress. Technology and its applications remake images and delivery systems, improve what we see and offer increasing options on how we can see it. And it is all lauded. In fact, it's lauded so much that after all the hard work of innovation, we often make one too-easy assumption that, if something gets built, the people will simply come. But just because something looks like heaven, it doesn't mean it's gonna play in Iowa.
The 15 executives profiled on our annual Next Wave of Leaders list understand this -- that, in fact, is why they were chosen. These leaders are all-too aware that swift developments also allow for -- and encourage -- choice. To them, it's all about the viewer, the person who must be satisfied or else he or she will switch and get what they need elsewhere.
So we chose to cite innovators who listen and create more viewing choices, discover ways to make it easier for people to access programming, promote industry improvements, increase the immediacy of the interactive experience, improve TV Everywhere, ensure that technology connects better with consumers, revamp programming and remake content delivery, among many other things worth noting.
B&C is honored to recognize and promote their accomplishments, and is equally encouraged to see where they each will take things. Our one belief is that you'll also choose to keep an eye on them in the years to come.
VP, emerging technologies, ESPN
Viewers may not realize, but each time they're watching a game on ESPN , Anthony Bailey's fingerprints are all over it. Bailey, who serves as VP of emerging technologies for ESPN , is responsible for all of the added technology enhancements that go along with game and studio broadcasts.
Salaam Coleman Smith
President, Style Media
Even with a full plate, Salaam Coleman Smith is an expert at leaving room for more. With the expansion of Style Network as Style Media announced this past April, Coleman Smith, now president of Style Media, has been given the responsibility of growing the brand's linear channel, digital platforms and community initiatives, as well as overseeing the network's rebrand, which launches June 25.
VP and general manager, Neustar Media
With all the talk about TV Everywhere, it's easy to forget just how hard it still is for many consumers to access the movies and TV shows they have purchased on all their devices. Often, incompatible operating systems and other issues make it difficult, if not impossible, simply to move content between mobile devices, PCs and TVs. Finding ways to overcome that problem and get more content onto more devices has dominated the career of Timothy Dodd.
Executive VP, production and executive producer, Fox Sports Media Group
John Entz has seen the sports viewing experience change drastically over the past several years. "The 'second screen' [experience] is not really in the future anymore," says Entz. "I think it's now."
President, strategic resources and client services, Mindshare North America
Michael Epstein, who was named president of strategic resources and client services at Mindshare North America last year, is helping the agency and its largest client navigate the new media landscape.
Senior VP and general manager of video services, Comcast Cable
While many 2012 Next Wave leaders are rising stars within their companies, bound one day for top executive spots, Comcast's Marcien Jenckes has, in many ways, already arrived. As the head of video services at the nation's largest multichannel provider, he currently has oversight over operations that produced $19.6 billion in revenue for the MSO in 2011.
Senior VP/broadcast activation director, Starcom
Just as Jackie Kulesza is becoming one of the most influential players in television's upfronts, her job keeps changing.
"Technology changes everything. It is the catalyst that is enabling the consumer to watch what they want when they want on what device they want," says Kulesza, who is known for her work in broadcast and kids television for clients including Bank of America, Kellogg's and Allstate.
Senior VP, business development and multiplatform distribution, Turner Broadcasting
"I live in the space between the monkey bars, the space where there's no handles," says Jeremy Legg.
If Legg's description appears a tad oblique, it's actually an apt description of today's challenging world of multiplatform distribution, in which deals are made without knowing what that world is going to look like tomorrow.
VP of programming, CBS News, and executive producer,
CBS This Morning
When CBS News decided to blow up its morning show again, Chris Licht was the guy they tapped to put all the new pieces in place. Licht made a name for himself as cocreator and executive producer of MSNBC's
, which reinvented the format of traditional news shows with its on-the-fly format. At CBS, he is looking to build the next destination for smart TV with the relaunched
CBS This Morning
When Fox International Channels and RCN Television Group's MundoFox launches this fall, all concerned eyes -- with the exception of those watching the new Spanish-language network -- will be on Emiliano Saccone.
Head of series development, FX, and executive VP, FX Productions
Jobs in television aren't always known for their longevity, but for Eric Schrier, opportunity for growth and working with great managers such as John Landgraf have kept him at FX for 12 years- nearly all his professional life.
Head of the corporate finance group, Creative Artists Agency
People forget sometimes how much real action-and money-is made behind the scenes. Which brings us to the Creative Artists Agency, where Brian Weinstein is head of the corporate finance group, and a mighty busy man.
Executive VP, Hearst Television
Whip-smart. Hyper-competitive. Extraordinarily skilled at solving problems. Authoritative yet approachable.
That's how colleagues describe Jordan Wertlieb, who ascended to Hearst Television's executive VP role early in 2011, with oversight of the group's 29 stations.
Corporate VP, Microsoft and chief production officer, Xbox
In early June alone, Microsoft's Xbox Live platform announced more than 35 new deals with ESPN , Nickelodeon, the NBA, the Weather Channel, Univision and others that will stream their content over the Xbox Live platform to TVs. In all of this, Microsoft's Xbox Live platform, under the direction of Marc Whitten, has been a clear leader.
Senior VP, scripted programming, Warner Horizon Television
Scripted progr amm ing is having a renaissance of sorts on cable, and that's good news for Shelley Zimmerman and her team at Warner Horizon Television.