The country, the globe, the economy, our industry-in each of these arenas, the phrase "roller-coaster ride" seems a particularly apt descriptor for what lies ahead, as we have left the gate on 2012 and are bracing ourselves for the twists and turns, climbs and dips of the coming months.
Where we'll head-and whether that ride will be a cyclone of change or (fingers crossed) an adventure and a blueprint for something worth riding yet again -- will depend in large part on who is doing the driving.
In the television business, we know there are many conductors of movement, in broadcast and cable, in technology, in advertising, programming and development, content and scheduling, and in negotiation and government. We often read the same billboard-type names of executives who mandate these changes. But there are lots of other notably talented folks who take some huge risks and make the kinds of deals that set big changes in motion.
Our annual list of Names to Know includes just those types of folks. As you read about them below, you will see a few adjectives that helped us decide who really belonged. The leaders are entrepreneurial, influential, highly regarded, capable, ambitious, smart and straightforward; there's even one "behind-the-scenes magician." As to what they do during the work day: they ink deals, prepare aggressive battles, double the size of operations, work out the models for future production and push long-standing efforts.
You will recognize some of these names; others, you won't. But we're banking they will all be much more prominent as the 2012 ride moves forward.
Executive VP, Universal Television
Senior VP, Programming and Development, Twentieth Television
Anchor, CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront
VP, Programming and Promotion, Sinclair Broadcast Group
Senior VP, National Accounts, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group
Senior VP of Content, Hulu
Executive VP and General Manager, Fuel TV
Executive VP, Scheduling, Fox Broadcasting
Global Head of Content Partnerships, Google
President/CEO, Fox International Channels
President, Video Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA
Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, ABC Entertainment
Federal Communications Commission nominees
President, CBS News
Group VP. Raycom Media
President, Turner Entertainment & Animation Ad Sales
VP of Content, E.W. Scripps
VP of Content, Belo
President, Cable Entertainment & Digital Advertising Sales, NBCU
President, NBC Olympics