Brian Bedol Joins Highwinds Board of Directors
Broadcast, Cable, and Internet Media Expert Brings Industry Experience to the Highwinds Team
Sports Television Pioneer helped bring live events to the Internet
WINTER PARK, Fla. - Sept. 23, 2008 - Highwinds Network Group, Inc., a multi-platform IP services and content distribution provider, today announced that veteran media executive and entrepreneur Brian Bedol has joined its board of directors, bringing with him nearly three decades of industry expertise. While his accomplishments are numerous and varied, Bedol is perhaps best known for founding and operating two successful independent cable networks: Classic Sports Network and CSTV: College Sports Television, which were sold off to ESPN and CBS respectively, and renamed ESPN Classic and CBS College Sports Network. While running CSTV, Bedol was one of the first media executives to recognize the value that could be created from aggregating niches using the Internet. In addition to the nationally distributed 24-hour network, CSTV built an online network operating official athletic sites and live broadband channels for over 200 universities and conferences, earning the company recognition as a pioneer in multi-platform distribution of sports.
"We are pleased to welcome Brian Bedol to our board of directors. He participated in our recent strategic investment round with European Founders Fund, and we are certain that his expertise and network will continue to prove invaluable in his board member role," said Steve Miller, president and CEO of Highwinds. "Brian's integration of multi-distribution strategies at College Sports Television made the Internet a viable player in broadcast media. In this respect, he was among the forward-thinking executives who paved the way for mass distribution of videos and live events over the Internet, which is at the heart of the Highwinds CDN today."
Bedol began his career as an advertising writer in Chicago, but soon relocated to New York to join Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Company just prior to the launch of MTV: Music Television. He continued to work with the company while pursuing an MBA from Harvard University; in 1984 he was part of a small team that developed the business plan for Nickelodeon's Nick-at-Nite.
In the late eighties, Bedol reunited with MTV creator Bob Pittman, as the Senior Vice President of Television at Pittman's Quantum Media Ventures. A few years later, after the company was sold to Time Warner, Inc, he helped develop and launch Court TV. He also served on the board of Six Flags Theme Parks, and oversaw the strategy for several divisions. During this period of time, the company set all time attendance and revenue records.
In 1995, Bedol, and his partner Stephen Greenberg (now managing director at Allen and Company), with the backing of investors including Allen and Company, Tudor Capital, and Warburg Pincus, launched Classic Sports Network; the company was sold to ESPN in 1997, and is currently in over 60 million homes. In 2003, he launched CSTV: College Sports Television, which was sold to CBS in 2006, where Bedol remained as president and CEO of the business until leaving in January, 2008 to return to his entrepreneurial roots.
Besides his extensive operating experience, Bedol has been an active early stage investor and advisor.
Highwinds' board oversees the activities of the fast-growing content delivery network provider. The Highwinds CDN - consisting of the company's RollingThunder network and user-friendly StrikeTracker media manager and reporting dashboard - enables users to distribute online content, videos, live events and other rich-media campaigns at lightning-fast speeds.
About Highwinds Network Group, Inc.
Highwinds is a leader in multi-platform IP services, file replication, and content delivery software and services. Since 2002, Highwinds has provided for the advancement of a variety of technologies - including messaging bus architecture, network management, distributed file systems and content routing methods. The Highwinds CDN leverages the company's high-performance RollingThunder network and user-friendly StrikeTracker media manager and reporting dashboard to globally deliver content, videos, live events and other media. It sets the pace among content delivery networks by offering advantages in data center peering, real-time analytics, instant account provisioning, complete content control and massive scalability. Highwinds is headquartered in Winter Park, Fla., and maintains 23 data centers throughout North America and Europe. For more information, please visit www.highwinds.com.
RollingThunder and StrikeTracker are trademarks of Highwinds Network Group, Inc.