Los Angeles, CA – May 15, 2012 – Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced today that Paul Butler has been named general manager of ASPiRE, the new African-American network set to launch in June. Butler will oversee all operations for the programmer and report to Johnson, who is chairman of ASPiRE and the network’s Board of Directors. He will be based at ASPiRE’s headquarters in Atlanta.
Butler is a long-time GMC TV executive who most recently served as GMC’s senior vice president/general counsel, a role he will continue to fill as he transitions full-time to ASPiRE in time for the network’s June launch. GMC has been handling operations for ASPiRE since the network’s creation in February.
Johnson said, “We conducted an extensive search for the right person to lead ASPiRE and found that he was right here all along and already on the GMC team. Paul has a long track record of success with GMC with a wide range of responsibility and oversight. 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.”
Charley Humbard, president and CEO of GMC, added, “I have worked closely with Paul for six years and in that time he has thoroughly impressed me with his leadership skills, forward-thinking and ability to develop smart solutions to criticalissues. He is very impressive as a business and creative executive. There is no question that Paul is an ideal choice to lead ASPiRE to great heights.”
ASPiRE is designed to entertain, inform and inspire through a diverse slate of original and acquired programming in the categories of movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, faith and inspirational programs.
Butler has over 15 years experience in the entertainment industry at large corporations and independent entertainment companies, handling business affairs, business strategy and development.
Butler joined GMC as vice president, business affairs and development in 2006 and was promoted to senior vice president/general counsel in 2009. In these roles, he has managed the legal and business affairs of the network, music and talent relations, as well as human resources. Butler oversaw all deal structuring and negotiations for GMC’s entry into the development andproduction of GMC World Premiere Movies, GMC World Premiere Plays, specials and series. As a member of the Executive Committee, he has worked to help guide and implement strategy for the network.
Before joining GMC, Butler was an executive at Viacom, where he worked for VH1, serving at various times as director, program enterprises and business development and senior counsel, music programming and products. In these positions, he worked on ancillary business and business development for the music channel and handled the negotiation of distribution and marketingdeals for VH1’s consumer products business.
He has also served as general counsel for FlavorUnit Entertainment, Queen Latifah’s entertainment company, and as vice president, business development at Razor & Tie, LLC in New York.
Butler serves as the chairman for The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, an award-winning non-profit organization in Harlem that develops African-American and Latinoyouth into critical thinkers and community leaders.
In 2008, Butler’s work in and out of cable was recognized by Multichannel News (“40 Under 40”) and Cable World (“Most Influential Minorities in Cable”). In 2009 and 2011, he was named to the Cable Fax “Most Influential Minorities in Cable” list.
Butler is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Harvard Law School.