SBD/June 5, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Tupelo-Honey Raycom CEO Cary Glotzer

Glotzer works 100-hour weeks and often answers e-mails in the middle of the night
CARY GLOTZER has come a long way from his days as an intern at NBC Sports. Once serving as BRYANT GUMBEL’s self-described “coffee boy,” Glotzer founded production company Tupelo-Honey 15 years ago in N.Y., and now serves as CEO of Tupelo-Honey Raycom and My Tupelo Entertainment. Tupelo-Honey Raycom clients include YES Network, the Big Ten Network and NBC Sports. The ’84 NYU grad recently spoke with THE DAILY about transparency in business negotiations, always trusting his gut, and his favorite Manhattan steakhouse.

Strategy in negotiations…
We’re an entrepreneurial boutique production company. There’s not many out there like us that have survived. We’ve always been fully transparent with our clients on expenses, profits that we make. We don’t try to hide things and I think that’s been the big difference for us over the last five or six years, when we've taken our business and really multiplied it ten times. With numbers and our profit potential, I think that’s how we've gotten a lot of business. It’s hard, we’re up against IMG Media and those kind of folks, but full disclosure seems to resonate with clients. Everybody’s in it together, we really feel like we’re all partners.

Best advice I've ever received…
(YES Network President of Production & Programming) JOHN FILIPPELLI and (Former NBC Sports Exec Producer) MICHAEL WEISMAN are my two mentors, both personally and in business. They always told me to go with my gut instinct, and stick with it and be confident. Don’t look back, but be smart. If something’s not going well, have the ability to switch gears, but be confident and go with your instincts. They taught me that. I was a kid in this business, it was growing fast. You always go with your gut instinct and be smart enough to listen to people. I always tell the young people that you have to listen, absorb it and then take your course of action. My thing is, I always say to people, don’t ever be embarrassed to ask a question. A lot of people are too embarrassed, but it’s okay, that’s how you learn. 

Smartphone of choice…
I have a Samsung Galaxy 3. For anybody in our business, it has the largest, crispest screen. We’re able to watch video, we’re all about that. The iPhone I like. I have one, but I don’t really use it because the screen is like 30 or 40% bigger on the Galaxy. I sleep next to my phone, so I’m in touch with everybody. I’m in a 24-hour environment, so the phone really has changed my life for better and for worse. I’m getting up at three or four in the morning, answering e-mails when they come in from the west coast. The phone has totally changed my life, you can ask my wife.

How I relax…
I play a lot of basketball. I play in an old man league, and a lot with young kids. I played high school basketball, a guard, at Lawrence High School on Long Island. Also hanging with my three crazy kids, who I love dearly. I really only watch two TV shows other than ours. I work 100 hours a week.

Business lunch in the Big Apple…
Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse. I probably eat there, unfortunately, 50 times a year. My clients love it, it’s high class, high end. It’s very unhealthy, but it’s good food. If I have a heart attack, it will probably be inside that restaurant.
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