Sam Haskell

  • Former Worldwide Head of Television at WMA
  • National Best-Selling Author
  • Philanthropist

In 2007 Television Week Magazine named Sam Haskell, III “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years,” an honor he shared with Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Cronkite and other television legends. Haskell earned his ranking among the industry’s best through his 27-year career at the renowned William Morris Agency where he was one of the most powerful agents and dealmakers in the business.

Originally from Amory, Mississippi (population 7000) and a 1977 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Haskell’s career began in the Fall of 1978 when he moved to Los Angeles and fought his way into the renowned William Morris Agency mailroom, about which David Rensin wrote extensively in his 2003 bestseller "The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up." By May 1980, Haskell was promoted to agent in the TV Variety Department where he packaged specials starring Lily Tomlin, Lynda Carter, Debbie Allen, David Frost and Diana Ross. In 1990, he became the Agency’s youngest Senior Vice-President, and in 1994, was elevated to the position of West Coast Head of Television. In 1997 he was named Executive Vice President and a member of the WMA Board of Directors, and, in 1999, he was appointed to the esteemed position of Worldwide Head of Television.

Haskell oversaw the "packaging" of all agency-represented network projects, including such mega-hits as " Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Mad About You," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Lost," "Murphy Brown," "Sisters," "Suddenly Susan," "Live with Regis & Kathie Lee," "Diagnosis Murder," "King of Queens," "Las Vegas" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," among many others.

Prior to Haskell's retirement from WMA in 2005, his clients included: Kathie Lee Gifford, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Allen, Delta Burke, Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Sela Ward, Marilu Henner, Martin Short, Kirstie Alley, Tony Danza, Sean Hayes, Michael Feinstein, Emily Procter, Lily Tomlin, Marilyn McCoo, Joan Van Ark, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Swoosie Kurtz, Lucie Arnaz and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. 

Widely known as “the nice guy in Hollywood,” Haskell is revered for rising to the top of a turbulent and often conscienceless business with his character, integrity and value-system intact. His reputation for honesty, integrity, loyalty and fairness made him a consistent force in a sea of inconsistency and someone with whom actors, writers, directors and other industry professionals were eager to work. He is equally well-known for his far-reaching philanthropic endeavors, notably serving as executive producer of "Mississippi Rising," a three-hour, MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman which raised over $30 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As Chairman of the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation founded in his mother's memory, Mr. Haskell's biennial "Stars Over Mississippi" benefit concerts in Amory have raised millions of dollars in college scholarship funds for Mississippi youngsters in need of financial assistance to further their education. In addition, Mr. Haskell serves as Chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization and Executive Producer of the past 7 Miss America Pageant telecasts on ABC. Over the last 15 years Sam and his wife, Mary, have helped to raise over 55 million dollars for charitable causes. Since 2013, Sam has run Magnolia Hill

Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television in Los Angeles, CA, where he is producing four television movies for NBC. The first, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, eclipsed over 13 million live viewers making it the most viewed original television movie among the Big Four Networks in four years.

Sam is married to his college sweetheart Mary Donnelly Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi. They have two children, Sam IV, and Mary Lane. Sam and Mary's first grandchild, Samuel Bond Haskell V, was born April 19, 2013.

See Below for Full Bio

  • Speaking Topics:

    Business Ethics, Business Speakers, Business Strategy, Celebrity, Ethics, Inspiration, Keynote, Leadership, Motivation

  • Travels From:

    Mississippi

  • Price:

    $7,500 - $10,000

    Notes on Fees

  • Videos
  • Full Bio
  • Speech Topics
  • Books
  • Testimonials
  • News

Miss America Thursday Preliminary - Sam Haskell

In 2007 Television Week Magazine named Sam Haskell, III “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years,” an honor he shared with Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Walter Cronkite and other television legends. Haskell earned his ranking among the industry’s best through his 27-year career at the renowned William Morris Agency where he was one of the most powerful agents and dealmakers in the business.

Originally from Amory, Mississippi (population 7000) and a 1977 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Haskell’s career began in the Fall of 1978 when he moved to Los Angeles and fought his way into the renowned William Morris Agency mailroom, about which David Rensin wrote extensively in his 2003 bestseller "The Mailroom: Hollywood History from the Bottom Up." By May 1980, Haskell was promoted to agent in the TV Variety Department where he packaged specials starring Lily Tomlin, Lynda Carter, Debbie Allen, David Frost and Diana Ross. In 1990, he became the Agency’s youngest Senior Vice-President, and in 1994, was elevated to the position of West Coast Head of Television. In 1997 he was named Executive Vice President and a member of the WMA Board of Directors, and, in 1999, he was appointed to the esteemed position of Worldwide Head of Television.

Haskell oversaw the "packaging" of all agency-represented network projects, including such mega-hits as " Fresh Prince of Bel Air," "Mad About You," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Lost," "Murphy Brown," "Sisters," "Suddenly Susan," "Live with Regis & Kathie Lee," "Diagnosis Murder," "King of Queens," "Las Vegas" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," among many others.

Prior to Haskell's retirement from WMA in 2005, his clients included: Kathie Lee Gifford, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Debbie Allen, Delta Burke, Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Sela Ward, Marilu Henner, Martin Short, Kirstie Alley, Tony Danza, Sean Hayes, Michael Feinstein, Emily Procter, Lily Tomlin, Marilyn McCoo, Joan Van Ark, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Swoosie Kurtz, Lucie Arnaz and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. 

Widely known as “the nice guy in Hollywood,” Haskell is revered for rising to the top of a turbulent and often conscienceless business with his character, integrity and value-system intact. His reputation for honesty, integrity, loyalty and fairness made him a consistent force in a sea of inconsistency and someone with whom actors, writers, directors and other industry professionals were eager to work. He is equally well-known for his far-reaching philanthropic endeavors, notably serving as executive producer of "Mississippi Rising," a three-hour, MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman which raised over $30 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As Chairman of the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation founded in his mother's memory, Mr. Haskell's biennial "Stars Over Mississippi" benefit concerts in Amory have raised millions of dollars in college scholarship funds for Mississippi youngsters in need of financial assistance to further their education. In addition, Mr. Haskell serves as Chairman and CEO of the Miss America Organization and Executive Producer of the past 7 Miss America Pageant telecasts on ABC. Over the last 15 years Sam and his wife, Mary, have helped to raise over 55 million dollars for charitable causes. Since 2013, Sam has run Magnolia Hill

Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television in Los Angeles, CA, where he is producing four television movies for NBC. The first, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, eclipsed over 13 million live viewers making it the most viewed original television movie among the Big Four Networks in four years.

Sam is married to his college sweetheart Mary Donnelly Haskell, a former Miss Mississippi. They have two children, Sam IV, and Mary Lane. Sam and Mary's first grandchild, Samuel Bond Haskell V, was born April 19, 2013.

Staying True to Yourself Amidst Change

Haskell would rely on his mother’s teachings–honesty, self-reliance, and belief in God–as he swiftly rose from the William Morris mailroom to eventually become the company’s Worldwide Head of Television. His capacity for friendship and his insistence on living his version of the Golden Rule (being “thoughtfully political”) allowed him to handle various client crises and the tense negotiations that nearly scuttled the last years of Everybody Loves Raymond and the entire existence of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Haskell has achieved success through self-respect, and from his story we learn how we, too, can maintain our dignity when faced with life’s challenges. This stirring memoir is a testament to mothers everywhere who instill in their sons the lasting values they need to become good men and devoted fathers.

Leadership

Miss America

Stories from Hollywood

NRB Annual Meeting

“You were great I want to thank you You spoke to me. - Powerful insights! You were so good, that everyone was blessed And You changed Lives!”

Junior League of Sarasota

As I texted to you yesterday, Sam was a huge hit! Several guests said he was the best speaker we’ve ever had in our 15 years of the luncheon. Sam’s message resonated with everyone in attendance and his stories had us laughing and even tearing up. We could’ve listened to him for hours! I feel honored that I had the pleasure of spending the day with him. He was absolutely charming as he mingled with guests, posed for photos and engaged with members of the media.
No News Found For this Speaker!
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • Mr. Schelp you are a Rock Star! Thank you!!!  Deal #7 is done and more to come!
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • Angela, you & your team have my endorsement for making Memphis events successful. People should use you to plan their next event.
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM