As a student at SUNY New Paltz, Ed Carroll studied communication and media, political science and worked at the campus radio station. Now, 20 years later, Carroll focuses his energy as president of Rainbow Entertainment Services, operating the cable networks American Movie Classics (AMC), the Independent Film Channel (IFC), and Women's Entertainment (WE).
Carroll, who has worked at Rainbow since 1987, has traveled far from his initial role as general manager of the campus radio station, though he still relates his current success and day-to-day life at Rainbow back to his campus radio management position.
"I was surrounded by great people, all of us loving radio. We had this great enthusiasm and generated lots of ideas, and I really had fun," said Carroll. "That has continued. I love working with people who have a great passion for their work… because at the end of the day, you have to love what you do."
Prior to becoming president of Rainbow, Carroll played an instrumental role in the successful launch and branding of IFC in 1994, cable television's first, and now largest, network completely dedicated to the world of independent film. He then served in dual capacity as executive vice president and general manager of Bravo from 1997 to 2002, when the station was sold to NBC.
Carroll is credited with developing Bravo and its successful transition into an ad-supported service. Carroll was also responsible for supervising the development of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," "Ultimate Film Fanatic," and Michael Moore's "The Awful Truth," at Bravo and IFC. In addition, he played a role in the success of "Inside the Actor's Studio," "Dinner for Five," and "A Decade Under the Influence."
Why New Paltz? "New Paltz had the most to offer, as far as SUNY schools go. [Working at the campus radio station] was invaluable experience, as far as learning how to manage a large, diverse group."
Influences: Media and Journalism professors James Smith and Rob Miraldi
Inspired by: Film and his wife, Gina O'Brien's ('86) writing
Hobbies: Skiing, creative writing, spending time with his children, watching baseball.
Goals: To make WE: Women's Entertainment more relevant and popular.
Awards: The National Cable & Telecommunications Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership (2002)