Friday, November 30, 2007

Golf Channel Senior VP is Out

Tim Rosaforte blogs about the ouster of Don McGuire, former Senior Vice President for Programming at the Golf Channel. He was removed on Tuesday night and it was announced in a memo to personnel on Wednesday. It was apparently quite a shocker as he had only been on the job about 2 years after coming to Orlando from Turner Sports in Atlanta.

Just to give you an idea of what he accomplished in his relatively short tenure, here's Rosey's words:

In his memo, [TGC President] Thompson praised McGuire's work in getting The Golf Channel up and running with its launch of PGA Tour On Air. He instituted Aimpoint as a technical innovation, but it was McGuire's strong-willed leadership that was his legacy at TGC: He supported Kelly Tilghman when she took hits early in the year as The Golf Channel's on-air host, extended telecasts when it wasn't cost-effective, battled with network producers over Thursday-Friday treatment of his product and backed Dottie Pepper when a technical error caused her comments about the U.S. Solheim Cup team being "chokin' freakin' dogs" to go out on-air.
Sounds like a guy I would want on my team. For all of the criticism he was subject to, as was all of TGC, for their first year coverage of the PGA Tour, McGuire was apparently a leader who backed up his people when they faced challenges. That kind of ethic will land him somewhere in a good position in the near future.

Also, Rosaforte mentions that TGC Pres Page Thompson will be looking to develop more original programming, like the Big Break, to draw more than a ratings blip when not broadcasting tournaments. My only appeal would be to NOT do what ESPN Original Entertainment has done - with the exception of Playmakers. Playmakers, which was basically a fairly true to life show about a professional football team, was inherently compelling. A PGA Tour version of that would be like bringing Chris Lewis' The Scorecard Always Lies to life. I'd love that.

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