New title: Vice president and general manager, Comcast SportsNet West
Previous job: Vice president and general manager, Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh
First job: Soda jerk in a five-and-ten store
Education: Bachelor of arts, English (1975), Villanova University
Grew up: Philadelphia and Portland, Maine
Executive most admired: Pete Rozelle, former NFL commissioner
Brand most admired: Coca-Cola
Favorite vacation spot: Martha’s Vineyard
Last book read: “Inside the Third Reich” by Albert Speer
Last movie seen: “Million Dollar Baby”
Favorite movies: “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Wizard of Oz”
Favorite band: Rolling Stones
With the launch of Comcast SportsNet West in November, Larry Eldridge found an opportunity worth moving across the country for. Eldridge packed up his family in Pittsburgh and headed to Sacramento to manage Comcast’s new 24-hour regional sports network, which will serve Northern and Central California markets.
What is the biggest challenge in your new position?
To develop viable regional programming, especially in the Bay area. Right now our network was launched in the fall based around a deal around the Sacramento Kings. This will include, hopefully, professional, college and high school-related programming.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Publishing the book I wrote, “25 Years: The NFL Since 1960.”
What is your biggest professional disappointment?
I was the assistant AD for public relations and marketing at the University of Pittsburgh for 10 years. I would say the athletic deterioration of the programs at the university, and during the latter part of my time there, they had really fallen off the chart, and that was disappointing.
What one story are you continuing to watch in the sports business?
The evolution of television. It’s a very fascinating and kaleidoscopic epic. I think it will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The merge of TV and the Internet continues to develop each day.
What are the different philosophies at Comcast SportsNet vs. Fox Sports Net?
Comcast SportsNet already has a distribution outlet in place, and now they are developing programming to enhance the distribution elements that are already in place. They both want to bring very good, viable programming to viewers, but the major difference is the distribution element.
This Career spotlight is courtesy of the Sports Business Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.