SBD/April 27, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Fuel TV GM C.J. Olivares Leaving Network Amid Changes To Programming

Longtime Fuel TV GM C.J. OLIVARES is leaving the network. The move follows Fuel TV's plans to broaden its programming beyond action sports to include MMA and motorsports. He said, "Back in the fall, we announced we would expand our audience and the network will continue different avenues to that goal. It doesn't mean we'll abandon any of the action sports that got us here, but there are other things that will increasingly play a role in the daily composition in the network. I'm far more passionate about the action sports idea of it than I am about the other side of it. It's the right time for me to go see what (else) I can make happen." Fox, which owns Fuel TV, plans to name a replacement for Olivares by the end of next week. Olivares will remain as a consultant at Fuel TV on a short-term basis, representing the network at Fuel TV's upfront in N.Y. May 5 and the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Surf Summit in mid-May. He is unclear about what he plans to do after his consulting work concludes. Olivares said, "There's tons of opportunity yet to explore and I'm weighing a number of different opportunities that would be at the intersection of television, media and action sports. It's a great space and there's lots to do still." Olivares joined Fuel TV in '02 and was named GM in '07. Before that, he was the CEO of Broadband Interactive Group (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal). Sources indicated that Olivares "wasn't comfortable with the male-skewing network expanding its age base from 12-24 to 12-34 and moving toward sports such as auto racing and mixed martial arts." The network is in 30 million homes and is "looking to reach 50 million to 70 million over the next few years" (VARIETY.com, 4/26).

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