SBD/July 9, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With YES Network VP/Broadcast Operations Mike Webb

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Name: Mike Webb

Position: YES Network VP/Broadcast Operations

Age: 54

Where I'm from: Jersey City

Where I call home: Springfield, New Jersey

Focusing on right now: Integrating our system and operations with Fox Sports and the other Fox RSNs.

Webb and his family enjoy going to games, Italian food and a good TV show 
Best advice
: I was working at a restaurant when I was in college, and they were turning me into a shift supervisor. The manager said to me, “As a manager, the most important thing to know is that a bad decision is better than no decision at all.” People are looking for you to make a decision, so it’s better to be decisive and make a decision. And if it was wrong, it was wrong -- but it was better than doing nothing.

A must for a new hire: Especially the way television is now, you have to have a willingness to do anything. You need to be able to understand that, on any given day, you’re going to maybe be asked to do something outside the box or outside of what you think your daily responsibility is.

Exec I most admire: YES President of Production & Programming JOHN FILIPPELLI, who’s my current boss. And ED DELANEY, who had been my boss here but is now with Fox and a very dear friend. The thing I’m impressed with both of them is the loyalty they inspire in the people that work for them. There are very few people who have ever worked for one of them that wouldn’t do anything or go through a wall for them. I really respect and appreciate how they treat their people and how that manifests itself in the loyalty that engenders from them.

First thing in the morning: I read an article in the N.Y. Times a couple of weeks ago that said, “A successful executive should not check their phone first thing in the morning,” which is a shame because I check my phone. It's the first thing I do when I roll over. 

Best book I've read this year: The one that struck me the most was "Unbroken," which is LAURA HILLENBRAND’s book about World War II. It’s phenomenal, and, as you’re reading it, you have to keep reminding yourself it’s a true story but it doesn’t seem like one person could possibly have survived all that. The perseverance of that guy is absolutely unbelievable. It really will affect you -- I promise.  

Must have music: I actually grew up a Deadhead. Also, growing up in New Jersey and being in high school when "Born to Run" was released, you were pretty much obliged to be a BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN fan. I’ve been to a bunch of his shows. And I’m happy to say I’m raising a son who is turning 21 who is a Bruce fan, too.

Talking tech: When I first started at ABC Sports, we didn’t even have cellphones. I remember sitting with a binder at a payphone in the parking lot at Michigan Stadium calling people. The ability to have 24/7 access to e-mail is kind of a bad thing, because you never stop working, but that instant access changes everything. 

Food for thought: We love little Italian places. There’s a local place called Enzo’s that we’ve been going to for years. There’s also a pub kind of place in Chatham, New Jersey, called the River Grille that's a little out of the way, but has really good food. 

How I unwind: I’m a TV junkie, and I’ll readily admit it. There’s so much good TV right now. I enjoy “PERSON OF INTEREST” a lot and I’ve been kind of binge-watching that because I'd fallen behind. I'm also a big fan of "BOARDWALK EMPIRE," and there was a show on FX last year called “THE BRIDGE” that I enjoyed a lot.

Day in the life: Because MICHAEL KAY is on the road with us for games Yankees games most of the time, and we've added the simulcast of “The Michael Kay Show,” that’s just an extra added element to our telecast, especially doing a second show from every road city, because we set him up in a separate booth and a separate camera to be able to do his simulcast prior to the game. 
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