Position: president, National Geographic Ventures.
Career highlights: president, chief executive, Patrick Communications Inc. and Doeg Hill Ventures LLC; president, AOL Wireless; chief executive, Time Warner Telecommunications; chairman, Federal Communications Commission.
Education: AB, political science, Occidental College; JD, University of California, Los Angeles.
Personal: Lives in McLean with wife, Paula, and their two sons, ages 11 and 12.
National Geographic Ventures encompasses video and film production, the dot-com unit, the cable channels, and cartography. What will be your primary focus and where do you plan to take these ventures? There are a number of opportunities within the businesses that are encompassed within Ventures. I think a principal focus will be continuing the huge momentum we have established in the cable channels. Both the U.S. channel and the international channel are doing very well. One of the principal focuses of my job will be to continue to help sustain and build the momentum the channels already have.
National Geographic Ventures is a for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit National Geographic Society. Why have a for-profit venture? Ventures is the taxable wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Geographic Society. The revenues that are produced on the taxable side within Ventures are really used in the same way, to support the mission of the Society. Our tax lawyers advised that that was the most prudent structure for the interests of National Geographic, basically because we were partnering with taxable companies, Fox on the national side and NBC on the international side. Fundamentally, it doesn't affect our supporting the mission.
What's next for the communications industry?
I think the industry is going to continue to be transformed by technology, for one thing. The history of the communications industry over the last several years is a history of deregulation driven by technological and consumer demand. I think that process will continue. That creates a very challenging landscape for the players within that marketplace. Within a cluttered, fragmented and highly competitive marketplace, brand stands out as a beacon. My challenge and my job is to take National Geographic's brand and product and have it successfully distributed to audiences all over the world. We're always looking for new avenues for getting our message out. The cable channels give us an enormous new opportunity to do the great programming we've historically done.
-- Andrea Caumont