by Daniel Frankel
FierceCable can often start a news story headline with "Ergen" or "Roberts" or "Moonves," and our readers immediately know who we're talking about. These are the captains of the video entertainment industry, key decision-makers amid the tumult of the greatest disruption the pay-TV industry has ever experienced.
But who are the fresh-faced young go-getters who are leading, more behind the scenes at this point, the innovation needed to transform the industry for the digital era? Who are the rising executive stars of the TV video business?
Every year, FierceCable's sibling publications, FierceWireless and FierceTelecom, take a look at a handful of emerging executives in their respective industries. FierceCable is looking to make this an annual tradition, as well.
This year's FierceCable up-and-comers list features Charlie Herrin, the recently appointed senior VP of customer experience for Comcast, assigned the tough task of improving the terrible reputation for the No. 1 TV provider at a time when it badly needs to charm federal regulators.
Also included is Roger Lynch, the recently appointed CEO of Dish Network's Sling TV unit, who is helping to spearhead the company's drive to transform itself from simple satellite TV operator and into a wireless competitor to the likes of AT&T in the futuristic realm of ubiquitous mobile video.
Charter Communications is building an entire new management unit around another executive on our list, Rich DiGeronimo, who was just promoted to executive VP of product and strategy. DiGeronimo has helped Charter develop its new cloud-based user-interface platform, which is currently being lauded by media analysts for its notable capex efficiency.
Not everyone on our list comes from a pay-TV operator. Joe Inzerillo, executive VP and CTO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media has helped the lead his unit's emergence as a leading force in streaming video technology. In fact, Major League Baseball is in talks with several media conglomerates about spinning off MLBAM, which is building the backbone of HBO and Sony's OTT services and could be valued by as much as $5 billion.
Meanwhile, Andrew Ferrone, VP of pay-TV for Roku, leads the global pay-TV service for the device maker/service provider that is quickly becoming the most dominant platform in streaming media. Ferrone handles all pay-TV deals including OTT multichannel services for Roku, as well as managed network services and co-branded device deals.
Of course, by focusing on only five individuals, we are inevitably leaving out other deserving candidates. If you have suggestions, please comment and tell us about them.