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EXECUTIVE SUITE

by Michael Funke

JoN hEidtkE

From Dirk Nowitzki’s last-second heroics to Josh Hamilton’s home run assault to Mike Modano becoming the most prolific hockey player born on American soil, Fox Sports Southwest has been there for all the action. For over a decade, Fox Sports Southwest has been in over 9 million homes across the state of Texas, and that is mainly due to the efforts of general manager Jon Heidtke, who was good enough to join us in this month’s Executive Suite.

How did you get your start in television?

When I was a senior in college at Texas A&M, I was working at the campus television station and working at the sports information office at A&M and the weekend sports job opened at the ABC affiliate in Brine, and I interviewed for the job. Going into my senior year, I became the weekend sports anchor at KXTV. I was always a big sports fan. I was one of those proverbial kids in high school that had the heart and desire but not the athletic skill and ability, but I enjoyed being around it. I did an internship in high school at the NBC affiliate which at the time the sports anchor went to our church, Bill Teegins [who later was killed in the Oklahoma State University plane crash in 2001], and ultimately Bill let me hang out with him and watch and it was then that I knew that is what I wanted to do when I grew up - be a sportscaster.

A general manager is many things: a salesman, a businessman, a public

52 APRIL 2010

relations director and even an artist. What is your most important role?

Well, I’m never really called an artist, but thank you! The biggest challenge for me as the general manager is making sure all the areas are working together cohesively. At the end of the day, the television industry boils down to the financial level. You have to make sure you are managing your resources together and put your station in the best possible position to succeed at the financial level, making sure your production is quality so sponsors want to be associated with your product. It isn’t just one area which is more important than the next, but you definitely need to have all the

areas of television, whether that is sales, or production, or promotions - working together because ultimately one cannot succeed without the others.

What is the most rewarding aspect about your job?

If I wasn’t the GM of Fox Sports Southwest, I would definitely be working as a high school football coach somewhere. So what is most rewarding for me is to see different departments come together to complete the game plan. Everyone has a different role in that game plan, and they execute that game plan and it ultimately comes together to make Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84
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