El Rey Network Builds Up Management Team


AUSTIN: El Rey Network has appointed former Hearst executive Scott Sassa as vice chairman and Antoinette Alfonso Zel to the newly created post of chief marketing officer (CMO).

Most recently, Sassa was the president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, which handled Hearst Corporation’s interests in such top cable TV brands as ESPN, Lifetime, A&E and History. He previously served as the president of NBC West Coast and Turner Entertainment Group. Before that he was the VP of network management for Fox Broadcasting Company.

Zel, who was first hired by El Rey in August, has more than two decades of television, marketing and media experience. Alongside her duties as CMO, she will continue to manage government relations for the network and oversee outreach efforts with government and community leaders in Washington, D.C.

The new English-language general-entertainment network is being launched by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures. It is scheduled to debut in December and will be broadcast in the U.S. through Comcast.

"Scott is a dynamic, seasoned leader in television who has produced results at every stop he’s made, and he’s an innovator who understands the digital future," said Rodriguez. "We are thrilled to bring him on board to make the El Rey Network what we’ve always envisioned it to be."

"Robert has a long history of attracting top creative talent to make cutting‐edge entertainment. This will be key to how El Rey connects with this powerful young audience," noted Sassa. "Together with Robert, FactoryMade and Antoinette, I look forward to building El Rey into a fun, creative and entertaining force in the cable and digital landscapes."

FactoryMade’s founders, CEO John Fogelman and co‐CEO Cristina Patwa, remarked: "Scott has such a unique combination of skill sets, and he has continuously proven that he’s adept at building a network’s distribution, advertising sales and operating infrastructure from the ground up. He is a veteran at leading entrepreneurial teams, and he has great creative instincts for working with Hollywood’s top talent."

"I’ve long been impressed by what Scott has accomplished as a leader and as an entrepreneur, and I’m excited about what we can get done together," added Zel. "Having already been on the ground floor of the movement that is rapidly becoming El Rey, there is no shortage of potential marketing and community initiatives we can employ on behalf of the brand."