As the cable industry convened in New York for Diversity Week, the consensus among executives was that women and ethnic minorities are still fighting for adequate opportunities. Yet cable is hiring more people with backgrounds in ethnic marketing and business, diversity on camera and behind the camera is improving, albeit slowly, and cable is offering more ethnic channels than it did last year. We also noticed a marked increase in the number of nominees for our 50 Most Influential Minorities list, including more at the senior vice president level and above. In addition, our list this year includes three people working at cable operators among the top 10; we had none last year. Although that’s anecdotal evidence of improvement, it’s a good sign.
    But we also bring bad tidings: Cable lost several top minority executives. Some quit, others were victims of bad times or consolidation. Still others left the cable business. Programming executives MIA from last year’s list include MTVN’s Herb Scannell, Si TV’s Jeff Valdez, La Familia’s Clark Ortiz, Court TV’s Jennifer Randolph, Showtime’s Geof Rochester, AZN’s Peilin Chou, CNN’s Kim Bondy, ESPN’s Kerry Chandler, TBS’ Christy Kwon Kreisberg and The Weather Channel’s Susan Scott and Vicki Hamilton. On the operations side, Sherita Ceasar and Willie Epps left Charter; Carrington Smith departed Cox and Bryan Smith is no longer at Insight.
    Certainly this list is subjective and is missing people who deserve to be on it. That they are not is a reflection of our lack of space rather than their lack of important contributions to cable. THE TOP 50

[1] Richard Parsons

Chairman and CEO, Time Warner
Under the ever-urbane Parsons, Time Warner has had a stellar year on both the cable operations and TV programming side. The global media powerhouse is on an upward surge, fueled by Time Warner Cable’s surging triple-play results (powered by digital phone) and newly expanded footprint through its just-acquired Adelphia systems. On the television front, Turner is at the top of its game and now has full control of Court TV to increase its programming might. Parsons remains at No. 1 on our Top 50 list despite an attempted overthrow by investor/pest Carl Icahn. Now for his next battle: proving that there’s hope yet for an AOL turnaround, and giving News Corp. and Viacom a run for the (digital) money on the new-media front.

[2] Christina Norman

President, MTV
MTV last month turned 25—and is still hanging with the cool kids. Not easy when your target is 12 to 24 and fickle with a capital ‘F’. Credit marketer-turned-network czar Norman with keeping the iconic programmer at the forefront of where kids are headed—often before they know themselves. MTV calls it multiplatform; kids call it “kewl.” It’ll be chilly, though, if MTV’s online properties can’t whip rivals like MySpace.

[3] Marvin Davis

SVP, marketing, Comcast
Life is “Comcastic” for Davis some 13 months into the job. Imbuing his $50 million national budget with wit and flair, the 20-year marketing vet propelled cable’s largest MSO to its biggest gains in basic, digital and high-speed customers in several years. His work at previous employer Verizon Wireless (including the catchy “Can you hear me now?” ads) will prove invaluable with cable’s quadruple-play looming.

[4] Albert Cheng

EVP, digital media, Disney-ABC Television Group
Cheng has the ear and support of Disney honchos Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney—and the eyes of Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall St. In the last year the long-distance runner pioneered paid TV show downloads on iTunes and ad-supported free downloads of shows on, a broadband streaming trial in May and June that attracted 872,000 unique users and becomes permanent this fall.

[5] Debra Lee

Chairman & CEO, BET Holdings Inc.
Following a decade as COO, Lee succeeded founder Bob Johnson in January. Since then, BET’s Lil’ Kim: Countdown to Lockdown became the net’s most-watched debut and the No. 1 original series on cable among black households this year. With on-camera well in hand under entertainment pres. Reginald Hudlin, Lee is focused on expanding the brand into new businesses, including BET Mobile.

[6] Laureen Ong

President, National Geographic Channel
Named WICT’s Woman of the Year last November, cycling nut Ong added another piece of hardware to her mantle in June: a Vision Award from the D.C. chapter of Women in Film and Video. NGC hit new heights this year—including a bone-afide hit (sorry) in The Dog Whisperer; a hi-def spin-off, NGC-HD; a media frenzy (and 2 million viewers) for The Gospel of Judas; and 10% higher viewership over 2005.

[7] Dinni Jain

President and COO, Insight
It didn’t take long for the North Carolina basketball-loving Jain to get tested as Insight’s second-in-command to CEO Michael Willner. The MSO’s high-speed service shut down in March, but Jain—just promoted from EVP—spearheaded a quick response that minimized customer defection. He’s co-chairing this week’s NAMIC Conference and focused on making Insight’s VoIP service a slam dunk.

[8] Marwan Fawaz

EVP/CTO, Charter
Fawaz returned to Charter last month, days after leaving Adelphia’s systems in sound operating shape for Comcast and Time Warner. Now he’s in position to set Charter’s all-digital tech course. Given his ties to Paul Allen, Fawaz has the green light to leverage Charter’s technical strengths, including increasing interplay between the MSO and its set-top/ITV offshoot, Digeo.

[9] Wonya Lucas

GM and EVP, The Weather Channel Networks
Lucas’ smart rebranding of The Weather Channel last year earned her a big promotion to running the network. Not one to rest on her laurels, the Wharton grad—whose father Bill, her inspiration, was the first black major league GM—next month launches a broadband channel dubbed One Degree. Also on tap this fall: jazzing up prime time and making The Weather Channel as important a source for climate change (read global warming) as it is for weather.

[10] Johnathan Rodgers

President & CEO, TV One

& Alfred Liggins,

Chairman, TV One
As NCTA board member and co-chair of this week’s Kaitz Foundation fundraising dinner, Rodgers is an outspoken champion on behalf of the cable industry’s passions— diversity, public affairs—and pet peeves: a la carte and must-carry. His tireless enthusiasm has helped the channel get to 65% distribution on basic tiers. Liggins, TV One’s founder, has stood at Rodgers’ side on the Hill to support cable’s hot-button issues. [11] Manish Jha

SVP & GM, Mobile ESPN
Finishing his term this month as NAMIC chairman, the personable Jha, known as one of the smartest execs around, will need to turn his full attention to improving the numbers on ESPN’s February launch of the first sports-branded national U.S. wireless phone service.  

[12] Kelvin Westbrook

President and CEO, Millennium Digital Media
Westbrook remains the only person of color owning an MSO. He also celebrates a decade of running Millennium Digital Media next year. The company has more than 130,000 customers in five states, largely in Maryland and Michigan. Over the past year, Westbrook introduced several products, including voice/video/high-speed bundles and corporate Web hosting services.

[13] Henry Ahn

SVP, affiliate sales, NBC Universal Cable
The protégé of NBC Universal Cable chief David Zaslav has a fuller plate than ever. With Zaslav running digital distribution, Ahn is busy pursuing more carriage for Universal HD, NBCU’s video-on-demand offering, and diginet Trio-turned-Sleuth. One of cable’s intellects, Ahn remains the distribution advocate for the Olympics. He’ll need to be at his best to keep MSOs from making the games a low priority post-Torino.

[14] Mae Douglas

SVP, chief people officer, Cox
Wonder why Cox was named best place to work in our Aug. 28 issue? Two words: Mae Douglas. The first African-American woman on Cox’s senior team, she launched and leads its Diversity Council, 15 senior execs tasked with creating a diverse and supportive workplace. Douglas’s mantra—“work/life flexibility”— also helped Cox win WICT’s nod as No. 1 MSO for the advancement of women three years in a row. 

[15] Pandit Wright

Senior EVP, Human Resources, Discovery Networks
Overseeing more than 5,000 employees worldwide, Wright implements a range of progressive HR policies to make working for Discovery’s family of networks and companies a treat. Her LifeWorks@Discovery program is credited with doing Wright by employees. Her leadership helped Discovery nab No. 1 in the programmer’s category for top workplace for women in WICT’s 2005 PAR Initiative study.

[16] Rolando Santos

EVP/GM, CNN Headline News
Last year Santos shook up prime time, launching a Headline Prime block to distinguish evening programming with longer-form segments and a more chatty, less-breaking-news urgency. That led to a vote of confidence in June, when HLN expanded the nightly block of news, entertainment and talk show programs—including Nancy Grace, Showbiz Tonight and Glenn Beck—to weekends. Santos’ goal in the year ahead: skew younger and keep older sib CNN on its toes.

[17] Arthur Orduña

SVP, strategic initiatives, Advance/Newhouse
Among Bright House’s brightest,  voice takes up most of Orduña’s time at Advance’s MSO unit. Charged with getting VoIP telephony launched in all Bright House systems by the end of 2007, he’s the point person for Advance’s participation in the Sprint-MSO joint venture, which also is aiming for a 2007 deployment push.

[18] Antoinette Zel

Senior EVP, network strategy, Telemundo
Zel oversaw Telemundo cable net mun2’s makeover from music center for young Latinos to pop culture center for young Latinos this year, based on feedback from a commissioned study of 18-34 Latinos warning that if the demo doesn’t find TV tuned to its changing tastes, sets will switch off for good in favor of the Web. Ratings are up since she relaunched mun2.

[19] Luis Silberwasser

SVP and GM, Discovery U.S. Hispanic Networks
Building on the 1998 launch of Discovery en Español, Silberwasser took Latino viewers in a fresh direction last year with the addition of Spanish-language diginets Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar & Vivir) and Discovery Kids en Español. This year, he invited advertisers along for the ride by creating 12 themes (such as “ingenuity” and “in the wild”) plus original programming and VOD content for Madison Avenue marketers.

[20] Lino Garcia

GM, ESPN Deportes
Garcia is taking ESPN’s Spanish-speaking viewers in daring directions. Dominoes, anyone? Yes, the USA Domino Federation Open is just one of the programming adventures Garcia has planned for Deportes this fall. And you can’t mention fall without talking about football, that’s American football, specifically Monday Night Football, which will be seen live on Deportes. [21] Patrick Younge

EVP & GM, Travel Channel
This witty, sports-mad Brit has brought both qualities to Travel since taking its helm last year. He’s given chef-author Anthony Bourdain an excuse to smoke and eat his way around the globe, sent Jeremy Piven on a spiritual quest to India and showcased Drew Carey’s soccer cred during the World Cup. He’s also overseeing Discovery’s new travel division, which includes ticketing, a broadband channel, video and audio guides and big mobile plans.

[22] Salaam Coleman Smith

EVP, Style Network
Coleman Smith has been on the fast track since leaving MTV Networks to join E! Networks in 2003 as VP of programming. In January, E! Networks president Ted Harbert named her SVP of Style—and bumped her to EVP after the first quarter, when she boosted ratings across all key demos (particularly women and adults 35-49). The former Kaitz Fellow makes time for mentoring aspiring entertainment execs, a skill she’s honing as a Betsy Magness Leadership Fellow.

[23] Marva Smalls

EVP, public affairs/chief of staff, Nick
Despite working for a venerable children’s programmer, Smalls spent the summer telling kids to turn off the TV. Her message—go outside and have fun!—was delivered in an affiliate marketing campaign, “Let’s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge.” More than 100,000 kids joined. Smalls—who also chairs CTAM’s Hall of Fame committee—hopes this will become “the healthiest generation of kids” ever.

[24] Tina Waters

SVP, customer service operations, Comcast
When Comcast customers speak up about the quality of their digital, VOD, high-speed or phone service, Waters’ department responds. At Comcast since 2002 and in an executive role the last two years, she oversees activity at the company’s network of regional call centers and system service facilities. Her work has won NAMIC and other industry recognition.

[25] Reginald Hudlin

President of entertainment, BET
Hudlin’s why Deb Lee, can sleep easier. The hitmaker—including reality series starring Lil’ Kim, Keyshia Cole and DMX—is taking BET into new terrain such as animation (including a series with Vin Diesel, Hannibal the Conqueror). A triple threat—writer, producer, director—known in Hollywood as a filmmaker with a conscience, he exec produced last week’s BET News special on Katrina’s impact. 

[26] Sonja Farrand

SVP, ad sales, Mediacom
On Media is Mediacom’s local ad sales and interconnects division, and Farrand’s the boss. She supervises more than 200 employees covering the 20 states where Mediacom operates small and midsize cable systems. Under Farrand’s watch, On Media has earned awards and recognition from the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau and other associations. 

[27] Rocky Boler

SVP, customer service, Cablevision
Boler has empowered Cablevision customers and personnel to take matters into their own hands. Whether it’s a subscriber upgrading service via the set-top box or online, or a field service technician doing it via hand-held computer in a customer’s living room, the company’s self-care and self-provisioning options are flexible and easy to use. Boler shares those insights with other MSOs via CTAM’s customer care committee.

[28] Eric Brown

President, Western division, Charter
Brown is responsible for Charter’s systems lying west of its St. Louis home base, which together represent 1 million subscribers. The former Los Angeles Olympian (he competed on the 400 meter relay team in 1980) was promoted from SVP earlier this year, and will spearhead Charter’s deployment of telephony, triple-play bundles and all-digital/IPTV upgrades in the year ahead.

[29] Terry Yu

SVP, wireless products, marketing and distribution, Comcast
In Yu’s case, you can go home again. By serving as a key Comcaster in the Sprint-MSO wireless joint venture, he’s reestablishing ties with Sprint, home for most of Yu’s 25-year telecommunications career. Before joining Comcast in 2004, he developed marketing for Sprint PCS and strategy for business customers.

[30] Kashif Haq

SVP, broadband data services, Advance/Newhouse
Haq develops Bright House’s HSD content and operations policy. As more Bright House systems increase the speed and scope of their high-speed offerings, expect Haq—who joined the company in 2003—to ramp up more original content from innovative sources, including Bright House subscribers. [31] Olivia Smashum

EVP, affiliate marketing and business development, HBO
Smashum’s initiatives at HBO include offering Latino-themed content—including first-run titles and exclusives within HBO On Demand—as a way for affiliates to promote the service during Hispanic Heritage Month. She received a 2005 Chairman’s Award for Diversity from our No. 1, Dick Parsons, in recognition of her pioneering work in the entertainment industry and for her consumer and community outreach efforts.

[32] Doug Holloway

President, cable investments, NBC Universal Cable
Holloway continues to be a diversity advocate, from throwing his support behind many of the executives on this list to mentoring up-and-comers on how to get to the corner office. Credited with putting USA Network on the map, he oversees NBCU’s JV’s (including AETN, Value Vision and National Geographic International) and volunteers with nonprofits such as One to One, which helps disadvantaged youths. The class act will be lecturing on The Cable Center’s 2007 series.

[33] David Rone

EVP, rights acquisition, Fox Sports Networks and general manager, Fox College Sports
Talk about the wide, wild world of sports—Rone’s got it covered for Fox. He runs Fox Cable’s three-channel diginet package of college action, involving more than 800 live events yearly. He also dots the i’s and crosses the t’s on rights deals for 14 Fox regional sports nets around the country and is busy generating Web content with Fox Interactive Media.

[34] James Brown

SVP, field sales, Disney & ESPN Media Networks
At ESPN since 1995, the ubiquitous Brown was one of Sean Bratches’ top affiliate dealmakers before adding mouse ears to his ESPN cap. A fixture on the circuit, it’s not a major event until James is there. A community activist, he founded the Together Young Professional Organization and has served as Principal for a Day since 1999. He shares his industry expertise through NAMIC’s L. Patrick Mellon mentorship program.

[35] Rita Tuzon

EVP, business and legal affairs, and general counsel, Fox Cable Networks
As legal head for all Fox regional and national cable networks, the tireless in-house diversity champion also lays down the law on VOD, sports rights, anti-piracy efforts and new channel launches, including the Big Ten and Fox Business networks slated for ’07. Tuzon got her legal chops at Fox corporate as SVP of litigation for six years before being named EVP of the cable division in March 2004.

[36] Phil McRae

SVP, sales operations and business services, Comcast
McRae was upped from VP of sales and distribution for Comcast’s biz services for achievements such as launching HospitalityONE, the company’s tech-savvy triple play (with a generous helping of VOD) that’s in more than 700,000 guest rooms across the hotel industry. Not only a rising star at Comcast, he’s a hometown hero, serving on the board of the Urban League of Philadelphia.

[37] Mitchell Chun

SVP, business development, Fox Networks Group
That Fox business channel you keep hearing about isn’t due until next year, which is good news for Chun—he has plenty else to tackle. He’s busy developing multiplatform opportunities for Fox’s array of channels, including FX, Fox Sports en Español, Fuel and Fox Reality Channel (the latter two were launched on his watch).

[38] Michelle Kim

VP, chief counsel/programming, Time Warner Cable
YES Network fans will have Kim to thank for being able to watch the Yankees in HD next spring. She negotiated the deal for YES’ HD feed, one of many contracts she’s hammered out since joining Time Warner Cable four years ago. Over the last year, she and her team have negotiated forward-thinking multiplatform clauses to many a programming contract for Fred Dressler.

[39] Keith Dawkins

VP & GM, Nicktoons
Dawkins has a breakout hit on his hands with Kappa Mikey, the only U.S.-produced anime series, which debuted on his 24-hour animation diginet in February. By last month, it had earned a regular time slot on big brother Nick while continuing to run on Nicktoons, which became ad-supported last year. Dawkins is helping young animators through Nicktoons’ first animation festival, whose winner will be announced this month.

[40] Claudia Teran & Jennifer Chun

SVPs, business and legal affairs, Fox Cable Networks
Teran’s a Fox Sports vet while Chun’s a hockey player. Besides their love of competition, they share the same title but focus on very different areas for their boss: No. 35, Rita Tuzon. Chun leads the team that provides business and legal affairs support for Fox Cable Networks’ affiliate sales and marketing department, while Teran is the head lawyer for FCN’s emerging networks group. Given Fox’s multiplatform mantra, both incorporate digital savvy and strategic thinking into every deal and contract. [41] Tanya VanCourt

VP & GM, ESPN Broadband & Interactive TV
In the race to offer the stickiest original content for broadband, Tanya VanCourt last year relaunched ESPN360, a Web portal whose original content—streaming sportscasts, video and interactive games—is available in 8 million households. The multimedia player added live events this year, including World Cup matches and college basketball games. VanCourt graduated from NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Program and was a Betsy Magness Fellow in the 2004/05 WICT class.

[42] Michael Smith

SVP, marketing and creative services, Food Network
Smith will be busier than ever this fall when British foodie and sex symbol Nigella Lawson joins Food’s menu. A self-described tech geek and pop culture fan, Smith is responsible for consumer marketing plus creative for affiliate marketing and ad sales. The Stanford grad and U.C. Berkeley MBA joined Food in 1998 from Disney/ABC Cable and spent time at CBS, Young & Rubicam and overseas (based in Asia) prior to Disney.

[43] Doug Gaston

SVP/general counsel, Comcast
Gaston’s leadership in providing principal counsel to Comcast’s senior management, and the work of his legal team in handling day-to-day operating matters, was pivotal in the company being named Employer of Choice by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. MCCA also recognized the company’s commitment to diversity and an inclusive workforce.

[44] Suzette Hsiung

SVP, Production, Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group
Hsiung was integral to the success of Disney Channel’s High School Musical, which is now a certifiable global phenomenon. She keeps production expenses in check and her hand on the company’s wallet as she oversees original live productions for Disney Channel in addition to animated series and movies for ABC Family, Jetix and SOAPnet.

[45] Sandra Mitchell

SVP & General Manager, Affiliate Sales, HBO
Mitchell is getting as much acclaim outside the industry as she has from her affiliate partners. She will be featured in the 2007 Who’s Who in Black Atlanta, making the list of Southern movers and shakers as one of the city’s “female powerhouses.” She’s also trying to inspire future female powerhouses as a board member of Women Looking Ahead, an Atlanta-based organization that aims to empower women to be leaders.

[46] Charisse Lillie

VP, human resources, Comcast
More Comcast people of color are moving up into SVP roles, from sales operations to wireless. That’s one result of the executive diversity game plan executed by Lillie since joining Comcast last year. Also on her agenda: continue recruitment at black colleges and women’s colleges with engineering programs.

[47] Pragash Pillai

VP, strategic engineering, Bresnan
Pillai, like Marwan Fawaz, No. 8 on our list, spent the summer moving from one MSO to another in a tech-centric executive capacity. In Pillai’s case, the transition was from Charter to Bresnan, and he accomplished it while continuing studies for a graduate degree in applied sciences. Now Pillai is concentrating on making sure Bresnan’s advanced product deployments make the grade.

[48] Leo Perez

Perez has taken on greater responsibility at Si TV since the departure of co-founder Jeff Valdez. The former Showtime exec is helping CEO Michael Schwimmer run the company and attract 18-34-year-old viewers with Latino-themed originals such as Inside Joke, Unacceptable Behavior, The Drop and Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

[49] Payne Brown

VP, strategic initiatives, Comcast
“Diversity is a 365-day issue, and we should be reaching out to various communities every day we can,” Brown told CableWorld last February. His outreach on behalf of Comcast includes thoughtful local marketing efforts such as Black History Month jazz concerts and co-sponsorship of gospel star Yolanda Adams’ national tour.

[50] Barbara York

SVP, industry affairs, National Cable and Telecommunications Association
No pressure, but NCTA will look to York yet again in 2007. With the National Show morphing into the Cable Show, she’ll help co-chairs George Bodenheimer and Pat Esser reinvigorate the NCTA’s annual expo. By the time the industry hits Las Vegas, it’ll see a redefined showcase highlighting cable’s role at the heart of new technology and consumer experiences. THE SECOND 50

Trying to fit just 50 influential minority executives into our list was so difficult that we decided to make a second list, which follows. This list is not ranked, but is in several categories. We also added lists of HR pros and execs from other parts of the industry. Despite all these slots, it’s clear far more candidates are worthy of mention.

The Second 50: Operators

Mark Allen
Area VP, Chicago, Comcast

Sanford Ames, Jr.
Area VP, Montgomery/Prince George’s, Comcast

Robin Dunson Benton
Sr. counsel, marketing & telephony ops, Cox

Marlene Dooner
VP, investor relations, Comcast Corp.

Anne Doris
VP and system manager, Cox Southern Arizona

Kamal Dua
VP and general auditor, Comcast Corp.

Kimberly Edmunds
Reg. VP & GM, Kansas & Arkansas, Cox

Hank Fore
Area VP in the East Bay, Comcast Northern CA

Glenn Goldsmith
Sr. director of programming, Mediacom

Ishmel Goodrum
VP, network operations, Insight

Rich Jennings
VP & GM, Denver North Metro, Comcast

Philip Jimenez
Associate general counsel, Cable One

Jerold Lambert
Associate general counsel, Bresnan

Filemon Lopez
Sr. regional VP, South Florida, Comcast

Sherryl Love
VP of material management, Cox   

Tony Maldonado,
VP, acquisition & marketing sciences, Cox

Gary McCollum
VP & regional manager, Hampton Roads, Cox

Mauro Panzera
Sr. director of multicultural marketing, Comcast Corp.

Roche Santos
Director, telephone operations, Insight

Kristina Song
Senior counsel, Time Warner Cable

Tony Speller
VP, Connecticut-Massachusetts region, Comcast

Jacqui Vines
Regional VP & GM, Cox Greater Louisiana

Steven White
SVP, Mid-South Region, Comcast 

Emerson Yearwood
Director of regulatory affairs, Cable One

Tad Hun Yo
VP & GM, Time Warner Cable San Diego Division-Desert Cities The Second 50: Programmers

Jess Aguirre
SVP, research, Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movie Channel

Stacia Armstrong
Regional VP, Western Region, net distrib. & service, Hallmark

Kenetta Bailey
SVP, marketing, WE

Paxton Baker
EVP & GM, BET Digital Networks

Raul de Quesada
SVP, marketing, Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español & ass’t GM, Fox Sports en Español

Nusrat Durrani
GM & SVP, MTV World

Ramon Escobar
SVP, programming, Telemundo

Brenda Freeman
SVP, promotions marketing, Nickelodeon

Mark Garner
VP, distribution & field marketing, Eastern region, Lifetime

Richard Gay
SVP, strategy & business operations, VH1 & CMT

Michael Hong
CEO, ImaginAsian TV   

Pearlena Igbokwe
SVP, original programming, Showtime

Megumi Ikeda
VP, strategic initiatives and new media, NBC Universal Cable

Daphne Kwon
CEO, Expo Communications

Kelli Lawson
EVP, corporate marketing, BET Holdings Inc.

Nathalie Lubensky
SVP, affiliate marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks

James Makawa
CEO, The Africa Channel   

Allan Navarrete
VP, U.S. Hispanic Networks Distribution, Discovery Networks

Donna Northington
VP, strategic marketing, Turner Network Sales

Alicin Reidy-Williamson
SVP, public responsibility, Viacom & MTVN

Michelle Rice
SVP, affiliate sales and marketing, TV One

Harvest Smith
VP, affiliate sales, Northwest region, NBC Universal Cable

Robert Townsend
President/CEO, Black Family Channel Productions

Sandra Weber
VP, multicultural market devel., Turner Entertainment

Marsha Williams
SVP, research and planning, Nickelodeon The Second 50: Others

Amir Bassan-Eskenazi
Co-founder/CEO, BigBand Networks

Kathy Johnson
President, NAMIC   
Sonia Khademi
CEO, Proxilliant

Rachel Lam
VP and group managing director, Time Warner Investments

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley
president & CEO, WICT

Loretta Polk
Associate general counsel, NCTA
Vibha Rustagi
President/CEO, itaas       

Adam Tom
CEO, RGB Networks


This year we salute cable’s human resource executives of color, several of whom also appear on our Top 50 list. Their in-house championing of diversity in addition to instituting broader work/life balance initiatives that benefit all employees make them worthy of a list all their own.

Pandit Wright, senior EVP, HR, Discovery Networks

Mae Douglas, SVP and chief people officer, Cox

Billy Dexter, chief diversity officer, Viacom & MTV Networks

Mitsy Wilson, SVP, diversity development, Fox Networks Group

Daryl Smith, SVP, HR, ESPN

Rosalind Clay Carter, SVP, HR, A&E Television Networks

Lisa Chang, SVP, HR, The Weather Channel Networks

Loretta Walker, SVP of entertainment HR, Turner Broadcasting Sys.

Jenny Alonzo, SVP, multicultural strategies & initiatives, Lifetime

Gene Hawkins, SVP, HR, Hallmark Channel

Ray Guitierrez, SVP, HR and administration, Showtime Networks

Charisse Lillie, VP, human resources, Comcast Corp.

Paul Gillert, group VP of human resources, Mediacom

Belinda Turner Patterson, VP of people services, Cox

Derek Bomar, VP of HR for the Midwest division, Comcast

Ron Phillips, VP of HR for the Greater Chicago region, Comcast

Debbie Smith, VP diversity and HR services, Discovery Communications Inc.

Katie Miles-Ley, VP, HR and org. devel., Starz Entertainment Group

G. Thomas Reynolds, VP & chief of staff, BET Holdings Inc.

Ina Siler, VP of organizational development, HBO

Soheila Ataei, VP of HR, G4

Lenore Washington-Graham, VP, strategic resourcing, Scripps

The Daily


It’s Complicated: Warner Bros Discovery is Coming But Questions Remain

AT&T pinpointed a more exact closing date for the WarnerMedia-Discovery transaction, saying it looks likely to close in 2Q22.

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