Ovation appoints COO and distribution EVP

U.S. arts network Ovation is growing its team with the promotion of EVP Chad Gutstein to the role of chief operating officer, while Brad Samuels (right) was appointed to the newly created position of EVP, distribution.
January 9, 2012

U.S. arts network Ovation is growing its team with the promotion of  Chad Gutstein (left) to the role of chief operating officer, while veteran cable executive Brad Samuels (right) was appointed to the newly created position of EVP, distribution.

Gutstein, who was an original member of the team that acquired Ovation in 2006, has served as the net’s EVP, where he oversaw its arts industry relations and digital business, among others responsibilties. Prior to Ovation, he was president and founder of consultancy firm Entertainment Media Advisors.

Charles Segars, CEO, Ovation, said of Gutstein’s promotion: “Chad and I came together six years ago to build the best arts network in the America.  Chad’s dedication to growing Ovation’s business is grounded not only in his deep understanding and experience in media investment and operations, but also in his love of the arts and strong belief that the arts should be accessible to everyone. His promotion to COO is well deserved and I look forward to working with him on new and innovative ways to move our business forward.”

Meanwhile, Samuels will be based in Ovation’s New York offices, where he will be  responsible for leading the network’s distribution efforts across all platforms. He reports directly to Gutstein. Ellen Schned, formerly SVP of distribution, is pursuing a career as a cable consultant and will continue to work with the company on distribution strategy.

Samuels joins Ovation from MSG Media, which operates MSG Networks and Fuse, where he was executive vice president, content distribution and responsible for maximizing the channels’ distribution and related revenue across multiple platforms. He has also served as head of affiliate sales and marketing at TV One, and EVP, affiliate relations at Comedy Central.

“Brad joins our network at a pivotal time,” offered Gutstein. “We’ve just hit the 46 million subscriber mark and we’re committed to accelerating our growth to hit 50 million in 2012. We feel strongly that his remarkable track record and leadership skills will help us meet those goals if not exceed them.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.