Edited from a release
Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. (Nasdaq: GMST) announced it has named Ryan O'Hara chief operating officer of its TVG Network, effective immediately. O'Hara has been senior vice president, business development and strategic planning for the company since June 2002. The company is currently searching for a president of the network after Mark Wilson's recent move from president and CEO to chairman of TVG. O'Hara, who is based in Los Angeles, will continue to report to Jeff Shell, Gemstar-TV Guide's chief executive officer, until a new president of TVG is named.
In his new role, O'Hara will oversee the network's wagering, financial, legal and advertising sales operations, manage TVG's development activities with track and on-line partners, and coordinate with the company's affiliate sales group to secure long-term carriage deals. Available in more than 12 million homes, TVG Network combines live horse racing with in-home account wagering.
"TVG represents a tremendous growth opportunity for the company, and Ryan brings important skills to help continue that growth and add strong strategic experience to the seasoned executive team already in place at TVG," said Shell. "Ryan has been a great asset to the company, engineering business development deals during his two years here that have extended the reach of TV Guide's products and services. Given his experience with BSKYB, his understanding of successful interactive business models will be integral in furthering TVG's position as the leading interactive horse racing network."
"The nearly two years I have spent in TV Guide's corporate office have been both fascinating and productive, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jeff and the entire TV Guide team to successfully drive our businesses in a new direction," said O'Hara. "I felt this was the perfect time to take on a key operating role at one of the company's most promising businesses and join a proven team that has made TVG an innovative industry and technology leader. As TVG continues to extend its programming reach and pursue exciting endeavors that will make it a model for television interactivity, I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to fully immerse myself in this business and to help drive its forward momentum."
As senior vice president, business development and strategic planning, O'Hara was responsible for business and operational planning, strategic development and corporate deal making for the company's publishing, cable and satellite, and consumer electronic businesses. Prior to joining the company, O'Hara was director of interactive TV strategy and sevelopment for BSKYB, based in London. He focused on the integration of the 400-person company Open, which was purchased by BSKYB in June of 2000 and later became the interactive TV unit for BSKYB. He also worked with broadcasters, such as MTV, Sky Sports and Disney, and technology companies, such as NDS, OpenTV and Astra, to build out BSKYB's interactive television offering.
Before BSKYB, O'Hara worked for Fox Cable Networks and its predecessor, Fox/Liberty Networks. As director of business development, he helped launch the "Regional Sports Report" on 17 Fox Sports Nets. Additionally, he worked on rights acquisitions/partnerships such as NASCAR, ACC basketball, Major League Baseball and various regional sports buys that aired on FSN, FX, Speedvision and Fox Sports. He also assisted the senior management at Fox Cable Networks in network-related operational analysis evaluating growth opportunities and efficiency measures.
Earlier in his career, O'Hara worked in brand management with Nestle and was an entertainment management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. O'Hara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Stanford University and received a Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.