USA Network: 25 Years: Kay Koplovitz

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The original business plan for what would become the MSG Network was my master’s thesis from Michigan State [University], written nine years earlier: “Satellite Technology and Its Impact on the Broadcast Industry.” At the time I wrote it I had difficulty getting an adviser, because no one knew how to seriously evaluate the topic; it was that new.

The start was exciting. We felt strongly it would work because there was room for us and what we were trying to do. When the two Hollywood studios, Paramount and MCA, became owners along with Time Inc., they wanted more general entertainment. I fought hard to split off sports to a second network, but they wouldn’t go for it. That was really the only battle I lost that I still wish I had won.

When Barry Diller bought the network he had his own ideas about what he wanted to do, and I realized, “OK, that’s the end of that gig.” It was not as contentious as people wanted to make it. I am very proud of USA, and very proud of my role in building it. People who were there in the early days tell me it was the best period of their work lives. We had a good time.