Media Mavens 2013

Samantha Maltin Makes History Draw Record Ratings

Cable Net's Senior VP-Marketing Taps Tie-Ins With Producers, Retailers for 'Vikings,' 'The Bible'

By Published on .

Under Samantha Maltin, History drew cable audiences of biblical proportions.

Samantha Maltin
Samantha Maltin Credit: Michael Hoeweler

Tasked with breaking through the cable clutter with high-concept, scripted fare, Ms. Maltin, 37, delivered innovative marketing that helped the network shatter ratings records with "The Bible" and "The Vikings."

For "Vikings," History partnered with Sony's "God of War: Ascension," creating an exclusive custom demo for the game that included in-game and on-box integrations, along with a Best Buy partnership. To spread the good word for "The Bible," History teamed with show producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey to create grassroots momentum through church outreach, a Walmart partnership, and celebrity connections, including music-video creative around the holidays.

The result? Divine. The first episode of "The Bible" was watched by 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable-TV audience so far this year. The premiere telecast of "Vikings" averaged 6.2 million total viewers.

Which obsolete tech device do you wish you could have back?
Record player, everything just sounded better.

Who is your favorite follow on Twitter?
Jimmy Fallon or Jon Stewart.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which magazines would you want most?
Vanity Fair, InStyle, Travel & Leisure, Foreign Affairs.

What is your guilty-pleasure TV show?
"The Good Wife"

If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?
I started making my own wine a few years ago and I would love to own a vineyard in another life.

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