Tennis, Anyone? Herman Heads Channel's Sales

Fresh from a distribution bump, via a deal with DirecTV that gives the Tennis Channel carriage in 20 million homes, the network has tapped a new head of ad sales, Gary Herman, who joins from Scripps networks.

Herman, who led sales for Scripps' lower-distributed networks, such as DIY and Fine Living, will serve as senior vice president of ad sales and report to Ken Solomon, the Tennis Channel chief, who launched Fine Living at Scripps.

At a time when emerging cable networks struggle for traditional linear distribution, Tennis Channel has billed itself as a multi-platform programmer. Herman's sales duties will cover not only the channel but VOD, broadband and mobile operations.

Tennis Channel has several blue-chip properties for Herman to pitch, including some coverage of three Grand Slams, the French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon--although not championship rounds.

Herman's appointment, first reported by Mediaweek, will result in a new role for previous sales head Doug Martz. The network said he will now focus on working with large accounts and developing multi-layered new business opportunities, including event sponsorship.

Herman and Martz, another former Fine Living executive, both worked with Solomon at Scripps. Herman will be based in New York, while Martz continues in Los Angeles. Herman had been at Scripps since 2000, helping Solomon with the Fine Living launch.

"Gary's experience in bringing fast-growing television networks from zero to profitability is second to none," Solomon said.

Tennis Channel recently concluded a deal with DirecTV giving it access to approximately 8 million homes served by the satellite operator. It involved DirecTV taking a minority stake in the channel.

Next story loading loading..