SBD/June 11, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With GM Of Golf Channel Digital Jeff Cravens

Name: Jeff Cravens

Position: GM of Golf Channel Digital

Age: 51

Where I’m from: Emporia, Kan.

Where I call home: Atlanta, Ga.

Focusing on right now: Growing our audience, figuring out how to monetize mobile.

Cravens spends his down time watching his
children compete in a variety of youth sports
Best advice: This probably pertains more to today than ever, given my age, but never getting caught up in the way things used to be or the way they had been done.

A must for a new hire: Willing to work hard and learn, and the ability to listen. There are a lot of qualified people in the workforce, and if you can find somebody that has that work ethic and the ability to learn, they’re going to go far.

Exec I admire the most: One of my early mentors, he had a lot of influence on me early in my career, was HARVEY SCHILLER. He always made you think innovatively and forwardly to come up with a better way.

Best book I’ve read: I’m reading "Creativity Inc," which is the story of Pixar. I think the path of that business is really fascinating. They really remade themselves as a business.

First thing in the morning: I catch up on e-mail. I'm also a big reader of the Wall Street Journal.

Talking tech: I’m an active follower on Twitter, but don’t tweet myself. It’s fascinating how that has become such an impactful way to get your news -- that’s how I like to utilize it. I typically follow some of the tech blogs and all the top golf influencers and information sources.

Must have music: I’ve got two teenage girls and another boy who’s almost a teenager, so I rarely have control of the music that’s on around me. It actually keeps me current -- I’ve learned to enjoy a wide variety. But I can’t say I’m down with rap or electronic.

Food for thought: The best food, or at least the most fun for me, is to grill myself. I’m more into cooking beef and barbecue. I do steaks on the gas grill, and all my smoke cooking on a Big Green Egg.

How I unwind: I love to watch my kids compete in sports and really watch them learn the valuable lessons of teamwork, work ethic and problem solving that happens in high school sports. I find it fascinating. Probably the place where I’m able to unwind the most is Lake Burton here in the North Georgia mountains. But I’m pretty boring. I love sports, I love watching sports.

Day in the life: The golf industry needs to figure out ways to grow participation and interest in the game by the younger sect. I think that’s a problem -- industry wide -- that everyone is focused on. It certainly is something that at Golf Channel, we’re focused on. I think pace of play is critical, making golf accessible and a better experience. For a lot of people, things like golf courses with childcare would improve participation.
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