Willy Burkhardt Named President of The Sportsman Channel
Announcement Propels Deeper Integration of The Sportsman Channel and Parent Company InterMedia Outdoors.
New York, NY — -(AmmoLand.com)- The Sportsman Channel (TSC) has named Willy Burkhardt as president of the network, effective immediately, and network co-founder Michael Cooley will become Chairman of The Sportsman Channel. As president, Burkhardt will oversee all of TSC’s television programming, production and digital operations, as well as continue in his role of executive vice president for InterMedia Outdoors (IMO), parent company of TSC, with oversight of IMO’s television, production and video content and cross-platform marketing activities. The appointment brings the company’s full range of television content resources under the direction of one person, further integrating IMO and TSC.
The announcement was made today by InterMedia Outdoors CEO Jeff Paro. Both Cooley and Burkhardt report to Paro. Todd Hansen, co-founder of TSC, will continue in his capacity of Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President with oversight of the channel’s programming, sales and marketing activities, reporting to Burkhardt.
“This is a natural progression for The Sportsman Channel as we continue to apply IMO’s vast resources to the network,” said Paro. “IMO’s content—digital, print and television—is being aggregated to drive The Sportsman Channel to becoming the number one network in the outdoor space. Willy is uniquely qualified to deliver on this goal. His experience, strategic direction and operating skills will make The Sportsman Channel a more engaging network, and our viewers and partners will see the value immediately.”
“I am looking forward to helping The Sportsman Channel create the most compelling viewer experience for sportsmen across the country, with superior programming, innovative scheduling and an overall emphasis on quality,” said Burkhardt. “Over the past year, we have built the foundation for a strong cross-media platform to serve the needs and interests of sportsmen across television, the web and print. I’m excited about the prospects of managing tighter linkages between TSC and IMO’s content creation capabilities and marketing effectiveness.”
Burkhardt has spent most of his career in the media and entertainment industry, with an emphasis on television. He spent five years with ESPN, where as an executive vice president and member of the Board, he was responsible for all of ESPN’s business activities outside the United States and oversaw ESPN’s brand extensions and new business development in the United States. Since 1998, Burkhardt has been responsible for the launch of more than 12 new networks at both ESPN and Turner Broadcasting System, has written or produced eight new television series and managed more than 25 networks around the globe.
From 2004-2005, he was at Team Canada 2010, where he led a successful effort to secure the Canadian media rights to the 2010 (Vancouver) and 2012 Olympic Games for Bell Globemedia and Rogers Communications. Before that, he was president and COO of Wicks Business Information, LLC, an information and media company.
Burkhardt began his career at McKinsey & Company, Inc., in New York. During a ten-year period, he held several positions within the firm, focusing on strategy development for media and entertainment companies, with an emphasis on television, film, newspapers, magazines and interactive multimedia.
Burkhardt earned his MBA, with high distinction Baker Scholar, at Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree, with honors and high distinction, at Stanford University. He resides in New York City.
Launched in 2003, The Sportsman Channel is the only network fully devoted to the more than 80 million sportsmen in the United States, delivering 100 percent hunting, fishing and shooting programming. Acquired by InterMedia Outdoors Holdings in 2006, TSC is now a part of the nation’s largest multimedia company targeted exclusively to serving the information and entertainment needs of Outdoors enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.thesportsmanchannel.com.
InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. is the leading multimedia company exclusively serving the information and entertainment needs of outdoors enthusiasts, with the largest network of websites dedicated to hunting, shooting and fishing; a portfolio of 17 magazines including powerful brands such as In-Fisherman, Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Hunting, Fly Fisherman, and Florida Sportsman; syndicated radio programming; 25 market-leading television productions, the largest library of outdoors television programming and The Sportsman Channel, the only television network 100% dedicated to hunting, shooting and fishing.