Raab takes the wheel at New York channel
Steve Raab, part of SportsNet New York since its launch in March 2006 as vice president of marketing and business development, was recently named president to replace Jon Litner, who was named president of Comcast SportsNet. Raab oversaw SNY’s signing of 25 new sponsors for this year, and ratings for Mets telecasts have one of the largest increases in Major League Baseball.
New title: President, SportsNet New York
Previous title: Vice president of marketing and business development, SportsNet New York
First job: Snow shoveling business
College education: Bachelor of arts, political science, Brown University (1986); MBA, Harvard Business School (1994)
Resides: Manhattan, with wife Julie Ann and daughter Hannah
Grew up: Scarsdale, New York
Executives most admired: Bill Bradley and Fred Wilpon
Brand most admired: Harvard
Favorite vacation spot: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Last book read: “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis
Favorite movie: “Raising Arizona”
Favorite musician: Bruce Springsteen
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
I was just shy of my 24th birthday and moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., to be the first general manager of the CBA Sioux Falls Skyforce. There was some “ignorance is bliss” going on there, but it was a great experience for me.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
Being part of the senior management team here last year that had this incredible launch and great first year.
What is one story you are continuing to watch in the sports world today?
The whole new media side of the business. Not only for us and how we attack it and how we make sense of it, but how everybody else is going to make sense of it, the solid business models that are going to come out of it and how you monetize it.
Is there one area of focus you have for network growth?
I think the new media side is it. For us it’s a combination of how do we really plant some seeds and grow the digital side of our business, but also there is so much growth left in our core business. How do we travel down parallel paths?
What is the one element you would like to see changed about the sports industry?
From a ratings standpoint, for sports to have a more accurate measurement of just how many people are watching, and I think it is coming. You start with the announcements that Nielsen is going to start measuring out-of-home places. … It is really going to be a more accurate reflection of who is watching.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.