Shapiro in Line for Top Job at IFC Net

Jan 3, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Get the klieg lights ready, because Independent Film Channel is expected to promote Evan Shapiro to general manager.

The move is one of several end-of-year hirings and promotions taking place at cable networks.

At Court TV, Mary Corigliano is being named senior VP of marketing, filling a spot vacated by Mr. Shapiro when he moved to IFC last year.

And GSN named Christopher Raleigh senior VP of ad sales.

Mr. Shapiro joined IFC last February as senior VP of marketing. He was hired by Ed Carroll, who last month was named president of entertainment services at Rainbow Media, IFC’s parent company.

While Mr. Carroll still oversees IFC and AMC, Mr. Shapiro will have day-to-day responsibility for programming and marketing at the network.

Since joining IFC, Mr. Shapiro has been instrumental in launching IFC’s Friday night original programming block, the launch of its “Ultimate Film Fanatic” movie-theater tie-in program and the launch of the IFC Film School program, which will use scriptwriting as a tool to teach English in high schools.

Next year the channel plans to increase its original programming, including its first scripted shows, Mr. Carroll said last month.

Mr. Shapiro did not return calls last week, but in an earlier interview he described himself as a “film fanatic” and described his management style as being a catalyst, bringing together the network’s various departments to pull together on projects. He also relished the commercial-free status of IFC, working on marketing tie-ins that brought in revenue at a time when 30-second spots appeared to be losing their appeal to some advertisers.

In his previous post as senior VP of marketing at Court TV, he launched the Forensics in the Classroom program, in which science was taught to high school students, and geared up the network’s Mobile Investigation Unit tour promotion for local ad sales.

Before joining Court TV, Mr. Shapiro ran a promotion agency whose clients included HBO, A&E, Court TV and a number of Broadway theaters.

In moving to Court TV, Ms. Corigliano is rejoining her former boss Marc Juris, who was president of Fuse before moving to Court TV as general manager in October.

Ms. Corigliano was hired by Mr. Juris three years ago, when the channel was called MuchMusic USA. She helped launch the cheeky Fuse brand, best known for taking pokes at the dearth of music videos on MTV.

Her first campaign featured actress and charity pitchwoman Sally Struthers and urged viewers to help save the music video. Other campaigns were innovative and outrageous, including building a Fuse beach house in a motel parking lot and offering “concert diapers” for sale via an unusual direct marketing promotion for the network.

“The two of us enjoyed going out there a little bit, but always in a way that made sense,” Ms. Corigliano said.

At Court TV, she said, “the goal is to infuse a new energy into it and bring a sense of slight irreverence” to “young up the channel” without losing the audience it has.

Shifting Image

Mr. Juris’ hiring was the latest step in trying to shift Court TV’s image from its staid daytime courtroom coverage to its more showbizzy “Investigation Channel” prime-time programming of forensic and reality shows led by “Forensic Files.”

Ms. Corigliano won’t aim to appeal to the 17-year-old boys that were the target at Fuse, but, “It’s time for a change for me. I’ve been working with the same demographic and the same marketing for close to 10 years. I’m looking forward to a challenge and something new,” she said.

Before Fuse, Ms. Corigliano was with Silo Networks, a college entertainment company, and MTV.

Though she doesn’t have a law degree, Ms. Corigliano said that at Fuse, “I became very well-versed in law and business affairs. I have a few cease-and-desists under my belt.”

Mr. Raleigh joins GSN from VP of advertising sales at G4techTV. He replaces Michael Sakin, who left GSN in October, and will be based in New York.

GSN has been moving from reruns of oldtime daytime game shows to reality shows, casino shows and other game-related programming. The network is also expanding its interactive programming, and an important part of Mr. Raleigh’s responsibilities will be selling interactive advertising and space on GSN.com.

Before running the New York ad sales office of Tech TV, he was VP of daytime, late-night, teens and all-night sales at NBC. Earlier he sold prime time and sports for NBC.

He began his career at John Blair & Co. in Detroit.