SBJ/March 12-18, 2012/Forty Under 40

Forty Under 40


Photo by: LILIANA ROSALES / FOX SPORTS
In the 2007 movie “Michael Clayton,” George Clooney plays a problem solver who is called on to find solutions at the law firm where he works.

In 2012, Chris Hannan plays a similar role for Fox Sports Media Group. When Fox Sports needs to get something done, it typically calls on Hannan, a 15-year veteran of the Fox Sports marketing department, to do it.

“Chris figures out how to get things done,” said Randy Freer, co-president and COO of Fox Sports Media Group. “If you describe an objective, he’ll game plan a strategy to make it happen. He’s resourceful.”

Whether it’s developing a social media strategy, supporting ad sales or expanding Fox Sports’ relationships with its university partners, Fox Sports’ senior executives increasingly rely on Hannan.

Most recently, Freer and co-president and COO Eric Shanks have leaned on Hannan to develop a social media strategy for the group. Hannan had been experimenting with social media at the regional sports network level late last year when Shanks called on him to take what he’s learned to the entire group.

“It’s no different than HD, the Fox Box or the first-down marker,” Hannan said. “A few years down the road, we’ll all wonder how we ever watched sports without it.”

An example of Hannan’s social media responsibilities came in the middle of February, when he led a meeting in Los Angeles with Fox’s Major League Baseball producers, where he explained the importance of integrating social media into telecasts.

Soon after the meeting, Hannan took a red-eye to Daytona Beach, Fla., to oversee preparations for the social media coverage of the Daytona 500. He then drove to Orlando to take in meetings at the NBA All-Star Game. On the drive back, Hannan had several conference calls with Fox’s corporate office in Los Angeles, including one where he negotiated a last-minute purchase of iPhones for Fox’s Daytona 500 social media coverage.


Age: 39
Title: Senior vice president
COMPANY: Fox Sports Media Group
Education: B.S., Syracuse University
Family: Wife, Samantha; daughters Taylor (9) and Caroline (8)
Career: Started working in local television followed by a stint working for a Los Angeles production company on TV shows and films; has spent the last 15 years with Fox.
First job: Production assistant/associate producer at the ABC affiliate in Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C.
Last vacation: Costa Rica for my brother’s 40th birthday bash
what's on your ipod? Kids games/apps — Angry Birds/Temple Run — and Fox Sports app for me. Music — all the kids’ favorites, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez.
guilty pleasure: Playing blackjack in Vegas
best stress release: Coaching my daughter’s under-10 soccer all-star team
pet peeve: Sloppy and lazy people
fantasy job: General manager of the Dallas Cowboys. Would love to help Jerry win another Lombardi Trophy.
what keeps you awake at night? The ridiculous amount of unread emails sitting in my inbox waiting for a reply
business advice: A fear of failure is a powerful tool for motivation. While most qualities are based on perspective, there is no substitute for hard work.

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