Usually, the corporate shuffling of WWE's senior management isn't very newsworthy for wrestling fans, as one unknown executive gets replaced with another one. Today, is a rare exception to that rule as WWE announced the election of Laureen Ong to their Board of Directors, a senior television executive that has successfully launched new cable channels and ran established stations too. Here's the relevant portion of WWE's press release on the matter:
"WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that television executive Laureen Ong has been elected to its Board of Directors. Ong is a 30-year veteran of the cable industry with extensive experience in sales, marketing, programming and management.
Most recently, Ong spent three years as President of the Travel Channel, where she was responsible for building brand strategy, developing programming and creating new business opportunities for the network. Prior to the Travel Channel, Ong was Chief Operating Officer of Hong Kong-based STAR Group Limited, where she oversaw STAR’s media and entertainment operations spanning 55 countries.
Ong was also responsible for launching the National Geographic Channel. As the network’s Founding President, Ong oversaw National Geographic’s distribution, which reached 60 million households in just six years and included several shows that became ratings successes. Ong also oversaw National Geographic’s expansion into online, video-on-demand, and other new media platforms, and spearheaded the launch of the high-definition simulcast of the linear network.
"We are pleased to elect Laureen to WWE’s Board of Directors," said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. "Laureen brings more than 30 years of global media experience that will be very beneficial to the future growth of our company."
Earlier in her career, Ong was Vice President and General Manager of WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., a top 10 market affiliate and one of FOX’s most successful television stations. She also spent time with the Chicago White Sox as Vice President, Programming, where she helped launch SportsVision in Chicago, one of the first regional sports networks in the country.
Ong's honors include Woman of the Year from Women in Cable Television (WICT), the Vision Award from the Washington Chapter of Women in Film and Video and Multichannel News’ Wonder Woman award in recognition of her significant accomplishments in the cable television industry."
This hiring by WWE is a positive one, as they clearly needed an experienced outside voice to help guide them on how to turnaround the struggling WWE Network, after the recent departures of their Executive Vice President of Digital Media, Perkins Miller (who left for a better job with the NFL), and their Executive Vice President of Programming, Matthew Singerman (who was prematurely fired by Vince McMahon), left a power vacuum at the top of the Network food chain.
It's also the latest sign that WWE is pulling out all the stops to quickly make the Network a profitable enterprise, hot on the heels of pushing back the costly production of new seasons of Tough Enough and Legends' House and announcing another free preview week for the channel.