We can’t think of too many more-deserving women than Nat Geo Channel chief (and employee #1) Laureen Ong, honored last night by WICT during a rainy DC gala. In a night of strong speeches, WICT’s Woman of the Year delivered one of the best, fusing her trademark sense of humor with class and passion. Relating her late father’s rule at Chinese restaurants that none of his children could order the same thing twice, Ong encouraged women and men to take chances and bring passion to their work. "I have a challenge for all of you; try choosing something new from the menu," she said. — WICT Notes: We’re sad to see Cox’s Jim Robbins retire for a number of reasons. Chief among them is that he’s one of cable’s better speakers, certainly one of its bluntest. Accepting Cox’s 3rd consecutive award from WICT for being the best MSO for women employees, Robbins conceded, "I’m only up here speaking because Pat Esser crapped out on me." Thanking women on his sr mgmt team, he continued, "The women have been running Cox Communications for a long time." One of those women, vp Ellen East, was named a ‘woman to watch’ by WICT and Cox grabbed another award for being the best provider of resources for women. Comcast IR chief Marlene Dooner was the other ‘woman to watch.’ — Besides Ong, last night belonged to Robbins and Cox. As it was at the Kaitz dinner, Robbins was greeted with a standing ovation and surprised with a tribute, this from WICT chief Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, who said he would have been a runaway winner as best CEO for women in cable. Agreed. — The chattering classes gave WICT a good review for the evening, whose speeches came in at just under 75 mins. Many called the night inspirational and found Nat Geo talent Lisa Ling a good emcee. — WICT tried something new for the men in the audience, interspersing awards with ‘MenZen Moments’ videos of sports highlights and a Wild West brawl. The 2 videos were met with near silence from the large audience in the ballroom. The second video featured a ‘comedic’ beating of an old woman. Overall, a bad idea, badly executed.