- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Rebecca O’Sullivan-Schulte won’t tell you what her favorite sport is. As the new vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, stating a preference for one over another would risk offending some of her new business partners.

But while she looks to keep up good relations with the Wizards, Capitals and some of the area’s colleges, she’s also starting work on trying to figure out what the network will show during the summer.

O’Sullivan-Schulte is taking over a sports network that, thanks to the emergence of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, will have no live baseball broadcasts. She admits it leaves a void in the schedule, but isn’t ready to talk about what Comcast SportsNet has in store. (A company spokesman said details should emerge in the next month or so.)

“There’s still plenty of stories and sports content to take care of,” O’Sullivan-Schulte said. “Our focus is always getting the stories out, and we’ll have the local sports covered. Even if though we may not have a live broadcast, we will have the ability to follow all the stories.”

Indeed, CSN has a robust news-gathering operation, with far more studio shows and reporters than MASN can boast at this point.

And O’Sullivan-Schulte has plenty of experience dealing with studio programming and live events.

She’s a native of Los Angeles, but spent 2002 through 2005 as general manager of Fox Sports Net Arizona, the regional sports network of the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Coyotes and Arizona Diamondbacks. She also worked for Fox as coordinating producer for Best Damn Sports Show Period, and did promotional work for Fox’s launch of NASCAR and other top events.

She counts the Diamondbacks’ World Series Championship in 2001 among her favorite memories.

On one hand, O’Sullivan-Schulte might have it easier here, as there are more pro teams and more university athletic departments to provide plenty of content and news. But that also means there’s more to do, and she’s taking over a network without a baseball contract — a stark contrast to Phoenix, where the scorching temperatures gave Fox Sports Net Arizona guaranteed viewership for Diamondbacks games.

While working to address the summertime programming issue, O’Sullivan-Schulte will also work to familiarize herself with the D.C. sports market. She has some Baltimore connections already, having worked as a sports broadcasting consultant there for the past year. And her husband, Ray Schulte, is president of Ironclad Authentics, a division of Ripken Baseball that authenticates memorabilia from Cal Ripken and other sports stars.

One thing is for certain: Rebecca O’Sullivan-Schulte is eager to get to work.

“I’m really excited about these teams,” she said. “There are so many stories here. Everybody’s got a story to tell.”

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