22. Patty McCaskill, SVP, Programming, Suddenlink Communications
A member of the Cable Pioneers class of 2002, McCaskill has more than 30 years’ industry experience in management and operations, including marketing, sales, customer service, programming, strategic planning and budget development. As Suddenlink’s SVP of programming, McCaskill is regarded as one of the industry’s toughest — yet fairest — negotiators. With 2008 starting another retransmission consent cycle, her role will be to guide Suddenlink through intense negotiations. McCaskill is a board member of NCTC and Cable Positive and has been actively involved with CTAM for more than 25 years.
23. Kathy Payne, VP, Programming, Cox
As part of a three-person negotiations team for Cox, Payne is responsible for hammering out programming contracts for more than 100 networks carried across the nation, including major cable groups such as Fox, MTV, Comcast, Scripps, Rainbow, A&E, Lifetime and most of Cox’s regional sports channels. She’s been a deal-maker since joining Cox in 1993. Payne serves on the national board of directors for WICT and is the chapter adviser chair. She’s a Class X Fellow of the WICT Betsy Magness Institute and was co-chair and chair of the program from ’04 to ’06.
24. Mary Meduski, EVP & CFO, Suddenlink Communications
As one of two EVPs reporting to CEO Jerry Kent, Meduski helps set strategy for Suddenlink. Beyond capital markets, she has responsibility for the accounting and tax department (70 people), cable TV programming (at $400 million, the company’s largest expense line item), information technology (100 people), treasury, operations audit, safety and risk management and contract management. In 2006, she raised approximately $4 billion in capital for two major acquisitions, which transformed Suddenlink from a small, rural cable operator into one of the 10 largest. She has also served on leadership and strategy committees for WICT.
25. Melani Griffith, SVP, Programming and Video Services, Insight
Griffith, who was promoted to SVP this past spring, is responsible for negotiating all of Insight’s programming contracts and has oversight responsibility for the management and strategy of its video service. Last year, Griffith, who was awarded Insight’s President’s Award in 2006, successfully renegotiated more than 60 programming contracts in a short time frame as a result of Insight’s split from Comcast. This year she’s been busy renegotiating retransmission consent contracts. She also serves on the board of the New York chapter of WICT.
26. Eileen O’Neill, President & GM, TLC
O’Neill was named president of Discovery Communications’ TLC on the heels of leading the launch of sister network Planet Green. Since taking command of TLC, the series Jon&Kate Plus 8, which was originally ushered in by O’Neill, has seen some of its highest ratings. In addition to having served as president of Planet Green, a 24-hour network dedicated solely to green lifestyle programming, she has been EVP and GM of Discovery Health and FitTV. O’Neill describes herself as homegrown talent, having started at Discovery Communications as an unpaid intern. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for Maryland’s Work Life Alliance.
27. Pamela Euler Halling, SVP, Brand, Insight
A cable veteran of more than 30 years, Halling is a key member of senior management at Insight, where she oversees brand strategy and programming. Halling develops brand video spots for Insight, and hires producers and directors for Insight’s brand campaigns. She is also a national board member of Cable Positive and CTAM, is a former president of CTAM’s New York Chapter and was the co-chair of the 2004 CTAM Summit.
28. Mindy Grossman, CEO, HSN
Grossman leads a $3 billion multichannel retailing enterprise that includes HSN, which reaches 90 million homes and has posted revenue growth during a time when most retailers have been challenged. Her reputation in the retail industry combined with her vision of HSN as a new retail frontier have made HSN a top choice for brands and strategic partners who had previously been averse to TV retailing, including Condé Nast, Sephora, Nate Berkus and Coty Inc. Her strategy of combining lifestyle entertainment and commerce has had an impact on the retail industry as well as on other media.