Name: Decker Anstrom
Title: President/COO, Landmark Communications; Chairman, NCTA; Director at Comcast
Age: 57
Years in Industry: 19

Name: Debora Wilson
Title: President/CEO,  The Weather Channel
Age: Hitting the big one this year!
Years in Industry: 13
Years left in the industry: “∞ (infinity)”

Name: Wonya Lucas
Title: EVP/ GM, The Weather Channel Networks
Age: 46
Years in Industry: 13
Years left in the industry: “Many, hopefully!”

 

Why Them? Who knew talking about the weather would be so darn exciting? Certainly this trio who, together, form a perfect storm of business, programming and marketing acumen. There’s a reason Anstrom is cited by numerous CableFAX 100 honorees as the person they most admire in our industry. His ability to juggle the human element with forward-thinking industry initiatives makes him a formidable champion for one of the last remaining independent networks. And his recent election to chairman of the board of NCTA will only raise his profile even more next year. Wilson does a consistently admirable job protecting The Weather Channel brand as she extends it into new distribution channels, most saliently this year with the launch of TWC HD. Lucas, a brand warrior in her own right, upped her personal forecast in 2007 by co-chairing CTAM’s Summit with Sam Howe and was just named a “Woman To Watch” by WICT.  CAO

 

Decker Anstrom

The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Remaining unified as business, regulatory and competitive pressures increase.  We need to remember Ben Franklin’s advice, “We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang, separately.”
The coolest new cable tech is: “HD Video on Demand”
In my free time, I like to: “Retreat with my wife Sherry to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.”
Favorite restaurant: “Blue Pointe Grille, Duck, NC”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show:  “I’ve tried all the major religions, but I always come back to baseball.” – Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham 
I wish cable would: “Be sure to remember the lessons Jim Robbins taught us – about integrity, investing in people, focusing on our customers, and not taking ourselves too seriously.”

Debra Wilson 

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “The minute I realized how many talented, entrepreneurial, big hearted people work in this industry.” 
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Bandwidth!”
The coolest new cable tech is: “Hi definition – it’s a game changer.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Launching The Weather Channel in High Definition.”
In my free time, I like to: “Spend time with my family.”
Favorite line from a movie or TV show:  “Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.” – Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society.
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Travel to some distant place and figure out what to do once you get there. You find the most special people in the most surprising places.”
The world would be a better place if: “We all took good care of this beautiful Earth we have been given.”

Wonya Lucas

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “During my year as a Betsy Magness Leadership Institute fellow in Class 3.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Brand building in a fragmented world.”
Defining career moment: “Getting my first job in the industry at Turner after 27 interviews and 26 rejections. I felt like this industry was my destiny, so I persevered!” 
Person I most admire in the cable industry and why: “Decker Anstrom because he is smart and results-oriented, but caring and real.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “Co-chairing CTAM with Sam Howe and a great staff and committee.  I think we made a difference for the people who attended.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “Gerry Laybourne.  I’ve always admired her ability to translate consumer insights into strong brands that matter.  She has also proved to be a great leader and mentor.”
In my free time, I like to: “Travel to far-away places and volunteer close to home.”
Favorite city: “Florence, Italy”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “My family, my bible and my dog
Favorite song:  “I Believe I Can Fly” –  “…because I sang it with my daughter when she was little, and as a teenager, she lives it every day.  It is about the impact of positive thinking.”
Favorite TV show: “The Office,” on cable of course”
Favorite sports team: “The Atlanta Braves”
Favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry”
Least favorite piece of tech:  “Blackberry”
The world would be a better place if: “We truly accepted all people as equals.”


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