Whoever wins this year’s presidential election, 2008 will be seen as a watershed period for minorities in the U.S. Barack Obama currently holds the slimmest of margins and, should he lose to John McCain, you can bet he will be back in the next cycle, having proved that we have finally entered an era in which a person of color can lead and refocus one of the two major political parties. An Obama win, on the other hand, could have immediate influence on diversity efforts in all industries — they would likely have to undergo some refocusing of their own (see the roundtable on page 37 for a discussion of the future of cable’s diversity efforts). As our fifth annual Most Influential Minorities in Cable list on the succeeding pages indicates, diversity efforts have borne fruit, as the doors to advancement continue to widen, so much so that creating this list has become a nearly Herculean task, one the CableFAX staff handled with the keen guidance, yet again, of NAMIC, and, of course, with the participation of the entire industry, which surpassed last year’s number of nominations.

Last year we knew our No. 1 for 2007, Richard Parsons, was leaving the industry, and we wondered if another minority executive would step into a role as powerful as chairman and CEO of Time Warner (no one has). Also, our No. 2 from last year, Christina Norman, has departed MTV. In addition, we’re still waiting for the day when it won’t be unusual for a person of color or a woman to hold the top job at a major MSO. But minorities are wielding greater influence on the whole, with programming executives like Debra Lee and Andrea Wong and regional cable chiefs like Steve White not only making the big deals, but also serving as mentors for new generations of leaders. That’s what’s more striking than anything — the giving back. Hiring and firing and bringing in revenue — sure, that’s one kind of influence. But inspiring others? That’s the kind of influence that has a lasting effect.

As was the case last year, the top 50 most influential executives are ranked numerically, based on contributions to their companies, the industry, and diversity. The executives in the second 50 are listed alphabetically. This year we’ve added a list of influential regional cable operator executives, and execs who are appearing for the first time on our Most Influential Minorities in Cable list are noted with a "1st Year" emblem.

View the electronic edition of CableFAX: The Magazine‘s 2008 Most Influential Minorities in Cable.

2008 Most Influential Minorities in Cable
The Top 50
The Second 50
Regional Executives
More Execs With Influence

Also in This Issue:
NAMIC’s Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards: Diversity Advances Through Marketing

A Look Ahead at Cable and Diversity: Our All-Star Panel Scans the Horizon for Changes in Cable’s Diversity Efforts

Ad Marketers Zero In on African-Americans

Cable by the Numbers: 2008 Diversity Issue Edition

The (Reluctant) Executive Remembered: Jim Robbins

Editor’s Note: The Art of Diversity

The Daily

Subscribe

Programming

AMC Studios entered into exclusive, multi-year overall deals with Peter Ocko (“Lodge 49”) and J David Shanks (“61st Street”) to develop and produce new

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up