SBJ/October 10-16, 2011/Game Changers

Game Changers: Susan Stone

COURTESY OF SUSAN STONE
Stone, with son Ethan, 10, and daughter Sophie, 8, helped MLB Network make a successful launch.
Susan Stone
MLB Network
SVP, Operations

When Susan Stone, MLB Network senior vice president of operations, arrived in 2008 as the 10th employee, the channel wasn’t much more than a business plan, a Secaucus, N.J., studio in need of significant renovations, and the source of significant industry chatter. Now, the channel is in about 65 million U.S. homes, the most of any league network, and it boasts a high-end production standard for both live-game and studio programming that is envied around the sports TV business. Among Stone’s accomplishments have been helping manifest the outlet’s distinctive look and feel, including the baseball field-themed Studio 42, as envisioned by MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti and others.

“The launch brought out such a great collaborative, team-building spirit,” said Stone, a veteran of sports TV with prior stops at NBC, CBS and the NFL Network. “And even now, there’s never any slack in the standards. But there’s still a ton of opportunity in front of us and more we want to do.”

— Eric Fisher
  • Crowning professional achievement: The launch of MLB Network on Jan. 1, 2009 — a lifetime of work crammed into six months.
  • What is the best advice you've ever received: Don’t worry about the next job, but be the best at the job you currently have.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Ken Aagaard, whom I’ve worked with at almost every phase of my career and recommended me to Tony Petitti at MLB Network.
  • Woman in sports business you'd most like to meet: Donna de Varona. She was a trailblazer for all women who followed in the sports broadcasting industry.
  • Ten years from now, I hope to be …: Taking my daughter, Sophie, to college.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“I’m grateful that I’ve been able to work with Susan twice in my career, first at CBS and now at MLB Network. Susan is a total pro who handles every project with enthusiasm, expertise and a calm demeanor. She’s to be credited for helping to make the launch of MLB Network so successful.”

  • Tony Petitti, MLB Network, president and CEO
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