Magic Johnson has tapped Paul Butler to be general manager of his new African-American cable network.
Christened ASPiRE, the network is part of an effort by Comcast to make good on its promise to federal authorities to promote minority-owned channels. The pledge came as the cable giant sought federal approval for its majority acquisition of NBC Universal in 2010.
Comcast announced last February that it will carry new channels from Sean “Diddy” Combs, Robert Rodriguez and Spanish language TV veteran Constantino “Said” Schwarz.
Headquartered in Atlanta, ASPiRE is set to launch in June and will offer movies, documentaries and faith and inspirational programs.
Butler will oversee all operations for the programmer and report to Johnson, who is chairman of ASPiRE.
Butler is a longtime executive at GMC TV, where he most recently served as GMC’s senior vice president/general counsel. GMC has been handling operations for ASPiRE since the network’s creation in February.
“Paul has a long track record of success with GMC with a wide range of responsibility and oversight," Johnson said in a statement. "With his background and the fact that he was heavily involved in GMC’s tremendous growth, Paul is definitely ready to hit the ground running to ensure a successful launch and a great future for the network.”
Butler joined GMC as vice president, business affairs and development in 2006 and was promoted to senior vice president/general counsel in 2009.