When Chris Glass Hartley (BBA ’96) was named vice president of on-air production at the popular Adult Swim television network in December, the irony was not lost on her.
Hartley, a management major at Terry College, was a competitive swimmer throughout high school. She was even offered a walk-on opportunity to swim for Jack Bauerle’s Lady Bulldogs, but by that time was ready to get off the deck.
“When I got through with high-school swimming, I pulled off my goggles and said I was never getting in the water again,” says Hartley. “I’d been doing doubles (workouts) my whole high school career, six days a week, and I was just tired of it.”
Years after she left the pool for what she thought was the last time, Hartley got the swim bug again and began competing in Masters events on the SwimAtlanta team. And she’s still at it today, having competed for both national and worlds titles.
In essence, the adult swimmer went to work for Adult Swim.
In her new position at the Turner Network’s Adult Swim (where she’s worked since 2013 after a stint at Cartoon Network, another Turner property), Hartley’s responsibilities include new show launches, overseeing the network’s on-air operating budget, planning and supervising the production staff.
Working with a team of 18 staffers, Hartley also manages the production of more than 100 custom sponsorship promotions and directs the network’s “Toonami” programming block, as well as the weekly “Pre-Flight” streaming show.
Adult Swim is basic cable’s No. 1 network for young adults, seen in nearly 100 million U.S. homes.
“I’m responsible for keeping all the trains on the track,” says Hartley, “and trying not to pull out our hair in the process.”
Prior to joining Turner in 2007, Hartley – a third-generation UGA graduate — worked at Georgia Public Broadcasting and Crawford Communications and established her own production company, the Atlanta-based Angelfish Productions, in 2004.
“It was one of those things that when I look back on it now, I’m so thankful I did it and I recommend it to everyone – if you have the opportunity to work for yourself, it’s just so valuable,” she says.
And while she graduated from UGA with no real experience in television or film production, Hartley says her time at Terry – where she started in marketing, switched to accounting and found her happy place in management – has proven to be invaluable to her career.
“It’s funny. I’m in television production, but I tell people every day that what I learned at Georgia is why I’m here now – I learned how to do spreadsheets, how to do scheduling and organize projects and how to talk to people,” she says. “It was an example of solid coursework and a background that gets you to really have the ability to do anything.”