Interview with Linda A. Frankenbach, November 14, 2014

Linda A. Frankenbach began her career at HBO in 1979 in affiliate relations. She then transitioned into marketing before eventually concluding her tenure as senior vice president of affiliate relations for Comedy Central in 1991. In this interview Frankenbach discusses her background, the working and social environments of HBO, and some of the challenges faced by the company over the years. She touches on coming to HBO immediately after graduating from Columbia Business School, and how quickly she fell in love with the place. Frankenbach details the distinguishing characteristics of what made HBO’s culture so appealing, both managerially and interpersonally. She comments on some of the company’s big names, and also mentions the representation of women. Frankenbach talks about HBO’s gradual evolution from an eager startup to a mature corporate entity. She reflects on some of the challenges the company faced over the years, from the creation of original programming, to competing with its main rival, Showtime, to the development of new channels. Concerning the latter two, Frankenbach discusses her handling of marketing for Cinemax, and her involvement with the launch of Comedy Central. She shares her thoughts on how HBO has influenced the tastes of American consumers of media, and which companies currently in operation most closely resemble HBO.

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