Comcast SportsNet Houston Assembles Management Team

Comcast SportsNet President and General Manager Matthew Hutchings introduced the management team for the new Houston-based regional sports network that debuts this October. Comcast SportsNet is a partnership between the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and NBC Sports Regional Networks, a division of the NBC Sports Group. Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive television home of the Astros and Rockets along with collegiate and high school sports, and comprehensive sports news, opinion and analysis covering the five-state region the network will serve: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico.

The network’s management team consists of: Timothy “Murphy” Brown, vice president of production and executive producer; Joseph Ward, vice president of operations and engineering; Helen Wilson, vice president of marketing; Gerald “Doug” Lyles II, vice president of advertising sales; Jim Colasanto, senior director of advertising sales; and Donna White, vice president of finance and human resources.

“I’m proud to have such a talented group of professionals with deep ties to the area and Houston sports teams, to help us build, launch and grow Comcast SportsNet into the must-see, viewing destination that sports fans in and around this region have been waiting for,” said Hutchings. “In addition to having an intimate knowledge of the Astros and Rockets, each of these executives is an expert in their respective field, making this the ideal team to create a network that has more live coverage, sports news and original content this region has ever seen.”

Brown, a 30-year veteran producer, has deep roots in Houston media having covered the Houston Astros and Houston Rockets since the 1983 launch of Home Sports Entertainment (HSE) and subsequently, Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Houston. Over the course of his career, in addition to producing both Astros and Rockets games, Brown has led every aspect of video production and management including live game production for Big 12, C-USA, and Southland Conference collegiate sports, talent management, and programming development. Brown most recently held the position of Executive Producer with Fox Sports Houston.

Ward, has more than 30 years of experience managing network television, radio, and production operations, working at such networks as HSE, World Fishing Network, and Altitude Sports & Entertainment domestically and Prime Sports in Asia and ESPN in the Middle East and North Africa. Ward began his career in Texas holding production and operations positions at local Texas outlets such as Liberty Media SportsCom, KBTX Channel 3 (Bryan, TX), and KAMU PBS Channel 15 (College Station, TX). Ward attended Texas A&M University and is a graduate of University of Texas, Austin, Texas.

Wilson, a marketing executive with more than 24 years of marketing experience, most recently was the director of marketing operations for Comcast’s Houston-area cable systems. Prior to Comcast, Wilson was the vice president of marketing for Questia, a Houston-based online library subscription service and also managed advertising at Compaq Computer Corporation, Ogilvy & Mather/Houston, and McCann-Erickson/New York serving clients including Shell Oil Company and Compaq Computer Corporation.

Lyles is an advertising sales executive with more than 23 years of experience leading national and local advertising sales organizations at eight television and radio stations throughout several states, including Texas and California. Lyles most recently was the National Sales Manager at KPRC-TV (NBC in Houston) where he was responsible for managing national sales offices representing high-profile sporting events such as NFL Sunday Night Football, the Olympics (2000-2012), and U.S. Open Golf. Lyles has a depth of knowledge of the Texas advertising market having spent 15 years at various Houston and Dallas television networks.

Colasanto, has 15 years of advertising sales and programming experience with Fox Sports Houston, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Arizona, and the Arizona Diamondbacks in local and national sales management roles. Colasanto has managed advertising sales in the Houston market for more than seven years and has worked closely with all the pro teams in the area, including the Astros, Rockets, Houston Texans and Houston Dynamo. Colasanto played collegiate baseball with an athletic scholarship at Glendale Community College and graduated from Arizona State University.

White, a CPA and accounting executive with more than 30 years of experience, was most recently Chief Financial Officer for USFR Media Group (owner of publishing and broadcast businesses). White has held finance and accounting management positions with other local companies including Randall’s Food stores and Price Waterhouse Coopers.