Gaylord Entertainment Promotes Cable Networks Division Heads

Article excerpt

Special to The Journal Record

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ A reorganization of the cable networks division of Gaylord Entertainment Co. was announced Thursday.

The reorganization was promoted by the tremendous growth of this division in the past two years, the Nashville-based company said.

David Hall, a founder of TNN: The Nashville Network and its general manager for 10 years, has been named senior vice president of cable networks where he will oversee the future growth of the division.

Kevin Hale, formerly general manager of Gaylord Entertainment's KSTW-TV in Seattle-Tacoma, Wash., will replace Hall as general manager of The Nashville Network. In addition to TNN, the cable networks division includes CMT: Country Music Television and CMT Europe. Both CMT and CMT Europe are jointly owned by Gaylord Entertainment and Group W Satellite Communications in Stamford, Conn., with Gaylord Entertainment being the majority owner.

"We are tremendously excited about this new alignment," said Tom Griscom, vice president of Gaylord Entertainment who oversees the cable networks and broadcasting divisions for the company.

"TNN is now one of the top cable networks in the country, reaching more than 57 million cable homes," he said. "CMT has doubled its subscriber base since we acquired it in January 1991.

CMT Europe has about 325,000 subscribers in the United Kingdom. And we will be expanding CMT into various countries around the world during the next several years. This change was necessary to focus our energies and help our cable networks continue to expand and prosper."

Also considered part of the networks division realignment was the naming of Hal Willis as vice president and general manager worldwide of Country Music Television in March of this year, Griscom said. Willis was senior legal counsel with Gaylord Entertainment representing the cable networks division. Both Willis and Hale report to Hall.

Hall is now senior vice president of cable networks, where he will continue to oversee the operations of all three networks while also furthering international expansion of CMT.

Hall has been with the company since 1966 when he worked for the company's local television station while earning his electrical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. In 1971 he was placed in charge of construction, installation and operation of sound and lighting systems for Opryland theme park, and in 1973 he was given responsibility for construction of the Grand Ole Opry House, home of the Grand Ole Opry and the world's largest television studio.

"David has taken the idea of a cable network (TNN) offering country music and country lifestyle programming from the concept stage through its development to the 3,600 hours of original quality programming it now offers annually," said Griscom.

"David was also the driving force behind our acquisition of CMT and developing th network into an international property. He has led Gaylord Entertainment Company's cable networks division into its position as the company's most profitable business division. …