Albert Cheng earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard. But his long-term goal was to be in the entertainment business, so Cheng came to Los Angeles.
"I figured I needed to be in a city where I would actually get interviewed," he said. Being in L.A. also brought him closer to his roots: He was born in Honolulu.
Cheng was recently promoted to the new post of executive vice president of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group. "There's a lot of uncertainty and excitement in change," he said. "Trying to find the right answer is what makes this job fun."
He landed his first entertainment job at Fox Cable Networks Group by jumping into the slot left by a college friend who had been promoted. Cheng took charge of business development and implementation of three digital cable channels that have come to be known as Fox College Sports.
In 2000, Cheng joined ABC Cable Networks. As senior vice president of distribution strategy and operations, he helped take the company into its first video-on-demand launch.
In his new position at Disney, Cheng is responsible for managing and overseeing digital media, developing ancillary revenue streams for Disney-ABC Television Group's broadcast and cable networks, and creating new business partnerships in digital media and online. He is also charged with leading a new media team that creates original products. He works 80 hours per week.
"I am in meetings from sun-up to sundown," he said. "When I go home I catch up on my e-mail and look at different opportunities like how we can move business into a digital space: What are the possibilities and how can we work around them or create them?"
Cheng lives in Glendale with his wife and is a music lover. "I used to write music," he said. "Now I just listen to all kinds and all types."
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