Golf Channel Boosts Various Platforms Through Strategic Personnel Additions
Golf Channel made five personnel announcements to strengthen its programming, digital, marketing, lifestyle, and franchise development platforms. These executive additions bolster Golf Channel’s leadership structure given their collective global media backgrounds, previously holding influential roles with Shaw Media, TSN, Turner Sports, Discovery Communications and ESPN before joining Golf Channel. While providing more live tournament golf coverage than all other U.S. television networks combined, Golf Channel continues to bring more golf fans closer to the game via its portfolio of platforms and brands.
Phil Piazza – SVP, Programming
Piazza will be responsible for programming strategies designed to maximize the network’s viewership, including creating and acquiring new programming, international programing development, scheduling, research, and strategic partnership initiatives. Before joining Golf Channel, he served in several programming roles with Shaw Media in Toronto, Ontario, ultimately as Vice President, Content Acquisitions – Global TV Programming, Marketing & Digital. Prior, Piazza worked with Corus Entertainment in Toronto, helping to guide multiple Children’s Television networks to top-rated marks in their respective demographics. In his new role, Piazza will be based in Canada for the next several months. Earlier in his career Piazza also worked for TSN (The Sports Network) in Canada, holding several senior positions ranging from programming to acquisitions and scheduling, and additionally helped launch TSN’s digital networks.
Jon Kropp – VP, Digital Strategy
Joining Golf Channel earlier this year, Kropp is tasked with overseeing strategic and operational initiatives for Golf Channel Digital and Golf Advisor (the network’s golf course review website by golfers, for golfers) to broaden Golf Channel’s range of digital offerings. Kropp also will be responsible for developing new external partnerships in an effort to reach new and engaged audiences, especially during golf’s traditional “major” weeks. Prior to joining Golf Channel, Kropp spent more than 15 years with Turner Sports, ultimately serving as Vice President of Business Operations for their golf digital platforms, including PGATOUR.com and PGA.com, along with oversight of sales and content opportunities with Yahoo! Golf and Turner’s coverage of the PGA Championship.
Mary Stack – VP, Marketing Strategy
Stack joins Golf Channel as VP, Marketing Strategy, where she’ll be responsible for extending the network’s reach and audiences across all on-air and digital platforms, and will oversee Golf Channel’s promotional asset optimization and CRM efforts, including email marketing and SEO. Prior to joining Golf Channel, she served as VP, Media Planning & Strategy with Discovery Communications, where she managed cross channel and media strategy across all Discovery networks. Prior, she worked for ESPN as Associate Director, Media Strategies, managing the off-air media budget in support of leagues, major sports properties and networks related to ESPN businesses. In that role Stack also provided leadership efforts to advance media research expertise within the company, and was responsible for ROI measurement of all ESPN marketing campaigns.
Kevin Endsley – Senior Director, Franchise Development & Innovation
In his new role, Endsley will be responsible for the development and growth of golf-specific franchises within NBC Sports Group, primarily on Feherty, the self-titled show of Emmy-nominated television personality David Feherty. Endsley’s main areas of focus will include enhancements to television and digital programming, along with cross-network opportunities by maximizing partnerships both internally across NBCUniversal and through external partners. He returns to the NBCUniversal family after previously overseeing media relations efforts for NBC Entertainment, working on day-to-day publicity efforts for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Voice, Last Call With Carson Daly, and Hollywood Game Night. He most recently served as Vice President of Communications for Cuban-Wagner, Inc., where he oversaw communications strategy for three celebrity-focused online charitable platforms: Charitybuzz, Chideo and Prizeo.
Kevin Schultz – Senior Director, Lifestyle Content
A veteran employee of 16 years at Golf Channel after originally joining the network in 2000, Schultz will help shape the direction of the network’s Morning Drive daily news program, working to reinforce its place as the ultimate golf lifestyle destination for the avid amateur golfer, in addition to its coverage of the professional game. Schultz also will continue to oversee Golf Channel’s instruction department – which he helped establish and has overseen since 2010 – and will work to advance the network’s digital offerings, further enhancing Golf Channel’s on-air programming. Prior to accepting his new role, Schultz had served as Golf Channel’s director of instruction since 2013, after working as a producer for 10 years at the network. He also helped establish Golf Channel’s most well-known instructional programming franchises, including The Golf Fix, School of Golf, and Golf Channel Academy.