Names to Know 2012

B&C's annual list of prominent new players who will push the industry forward in 2012

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.

Bela Bajaria

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Executive VP, Universal Television

Stephen Brown

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Senior VP, Programming and Development, Twentieth Television

Erin Burnett

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Anchor, CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront

Bill Butler


VP, Programming and Promotion, Sinclair Broadcast Group

Justin Connolly

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Senior VP, National Accounts, Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group

Andy Forssell

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Senior VP of Content, Hulu

George Greenberg

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Executive VP and General Manager, Fuel TV

Dan Harrison


Executive VP, Scheduling, Fox Broadcasting

Robert Kyncl

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Global Head of Content Partnerships, Google

Hernan Lopez

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President/CEO, Fox International Channels

Christine Merrifield

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President, Video Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA

Rob Mills

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Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials, ABC Entertainment

Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel


Federal Communications Commission nominees

David Rhodes

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President, CBS News

Don Richards

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Group VP. Raycom Media

Emilio Romano

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President, Telemundo

Donna Speciale


President, Turner Entertainment & Animation Ad Sales

Bob Sullivan

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VP of Content, E.W. Scripps

Michael Valentine

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VP of Content, Belo

Linda Yaccarino

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President, Cable Entertainment & Digital Advertising Sales, NBCU

Gary Zenkel

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President, NBC Olympics