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Michael Fuchs  

Former Chairman/CEO of Home Box Office (HBO)

Exclusive Representation by Greater Talent Network

Rare are individuals in modern business who have the opportunity to build from the ground-up not just a company, but an entire industry. But Michael Fuchs is just such an individual. Joining HBO in 1976, he combined old-fashioned corporate culture with emerging 21st century technology to transform HBO from a “primitive operation” with a questionable future into the largest, most successful pay-television company in the world.

“Make a big company run like a small one–that’s key.”

During Fuchs’ 20-year tenure at HBO, the network spearheaded satellite networking, and developed sister networks Comedy Central and E! Entertainment. Perhaps his greatest contribution, however, was his pioneering of original cable programming, via award-winning shows like “Barbarians at the Gate” and “The Larry Sanders Show.” This innovation introduced an unprecedented model for brand recognition in the cable-TV marketplace.

“We can’t build our entire business on other people’s programming.”

No stranger to controversy, Fuchs bucked some of the trends of “female-oriented” commercial television in his fight for new quality programming that ultimately earned HBO six Oscars and 79 Emmy Awards, amongst a host of prestigious honors. Fuchs long has been praised for fostering an environment of innovation and competitive performance.

“It should be about winning–not survival. I thought of it like sports.”

At the lecture podium, Fuchs delivers an insightful and provocative program culled from the experience of a top-level executive who didn’t just break the rules but actually helped create them. He draws on his experience as a pioneer in the cable industry to discuss the growing social and cultural influences of television and the media as a whole; examine the quest for quality in entertainment (“the modern-day Holy Grail”); and deliver an informed forecast for the future of entertainment.

“The democratization of content [via the Internet] has freaked Hollywood out. There are no gatekeepers–only guides.”

Always on the cutting edge, Fuchs today has expanded his scope to include ventures into real estate and the health sciences (“We haven’t cured a disease in America since Polio!”). His entertainment flame still burns brightly, however, with his current yearning to produce “socially relevant films.”

AT A GLANCE: A native of New York City, Michael Fuchs earned his bachelor’s degree from Union College and a juris doctor degree from New York University Law School. He sits on the board of the American Foundation of AIDS Research, Autobytel.com, IMAX Corporation, both NASDAQ corporations, Bryant Park Corporation and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Fuchs resides in New York City and has two children.

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