We were overwhelmed with hundreds of nominations this year, which made our judges’ job more difficult—but more fun to debate, with fresh names to consider and add to our annual list. That’s the good news. The not-so-good (and not unexpected) news: Women are still woefully underrepresented in cable’s highest-level ranks.
Faced with so many impressive women to choose from, this year we’ve added a new category of Women to Watch—not just up and comers, but women who are influential not only within their companies but within the industry and beyond, and rightly deserve a shout-out. So we’re shouting.
Naturally, with cable being a technology-driven business, we received a plethora of women in tech candidates this year, which prompted us—in partnership with WICT and SCTE—to pull together our first annual list of Top Women in Technology. Consider them part of our Power List—we do. And turn to page 42 for our exclusive look at WICT’s new Tech It Out Program, an initiative that aims to draw women to cable’s tech sector.
Any list of movers and shakers is as interesting for who’s in—and to quote Project Runway’s Heidi Klum, who’s out. This year, we ruled out some powerful women who are leaving cable. On the programming side, Judith McHale is exiting Discovery, with her successor not named by press time; Catherine Mullen is no longer running fuse; Lee Ann Daly has left ESPN; Chris Moseley left Hallmark Channel/Crown Media Holdings; Ellen Schned left Court TV after it was acquired by Turner; and Susan Scott (who contributes a guest column in this issue) is no longer heading up distribution at The Weather Channel.
On the operations side, Adelphia’s sale to Comcast and Time Warner Cable crossed its top women execs such as Vanessa Wittman and Judy Meyka off our list. We also ruled out women such as Karen Alexander, former president of New Jersey’s state cable association, who’s (gasp!) now running the state’s telco association. When cable’s best and brightest women are lured by the competition, it’s the industry’s loss and a sign it’s time to do more to advance women…before they’re lured away.
Check out the rest of CableWorld’s 2006 Most Powerful Women issue – click here.
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