New Golf Channel head to move methodically
*From the Feb. 8 issue of Golf World Monday:
Mike McCarley is like a major league manager taking over a baseball team two weeks into the season.
The new president of Golf Channel knows the cards he was dealt and understands sweeping changes are not likely to occur until next season. But the fact a 10-year veteran of NBC and developer of the network's "Big Event" strategy emphasizing top-drawer competitions such as the Olympics, the NFL, and U.S. Open and Ryder Cup golf is running the show is a clear indication of the impact the peacock network is going to have on the 16-year-old golf network.
While McCarley, who was named president Feb. 2, the same day Mark Lazarus was named president of NBC Sports Cable Group, which includes Golf Channel, Versus and 11 Comcast SportsNet networks -- will spend his early days "listening and learning," one aspect of the Comcast purchase of a majority interest in NBC Universal will be clear from the get-go: aggressive cross-promotion, which should help GC ratings.
NBC's golf programming will be rebranded "The Golf Channel on NBC." Think of the ESPN/ABC synergy and apply it to golf. Should be interesting days ahead, with next year even more fascinating.
-- Ron Sirak
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