37. Susan Swain, Co-President, C-SPAN
Swain has served as senior anchor for C-SPAN’s political coverage during this election season, while regularly hosting C-SPAN signature series, Washington Journal. This is in addition to her "other" job as co-president, where she directs C-SPAN’s programming, marketing, Web sites and education push. One of cable’s classiest acts, Swain exec produced C-SPAN’s original programming specials, including The Capitol and, and did so for the upcoming 90-minute special, The White House. Swain has led initiatives for increasing VOD deals with MSOs for C-SPAN’s non-partisan programming. Thanks to Susan, key speeches from the Democrat and Republican conventions and each of the presidential debates are available on demand across cable’s footprint.
38. Kim Martin, President & GM, WE tv
It was about time. This fall Rainbow upped Martin to president and GM, from EVP/GM. One of cable’s most-liked execs, Kim continues to oversee all aspects of programming, affiliate relations, ad sales and marketing. WE tv is seen in nearly 72 million homes; its annual revenue is up more than 20% and it has been adding new female viewers 18-49 and 18-34. Martin has led the revamping of WE tv’s Web site, which now attracts 400,000 monthly visitors, up 35% from last year. Martin continues to serve as a mentor for women, is actively involved with WICT and launched WE Empowers Women, WE’s public affairs initiative, which has reached 1 million women.
39. Salaam Coleman Smith, EVP, The Style Network
This past August, Style marked its 38th consecutive month of year-on-year growth in households and total viewers — testament to Salaam Coleman Smith’s leadership. She has focused on drawing young female viewers with popular series like Clean House, The Dish and Ruby, a new series that takes viewers inside the life of Ruby Gettinger, a 500-pound young woman living in Savannah. Smith is also overseeing Style’s new partnership with Marie Claire magazine for the new reality docu-series Running in Heels. She is a previous recipient of the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s Cable Television Industry Fellowship and has been named one of CableFAX: The Magazine’s Top 50 Most Influential Minorities in Cable.
40. Carole Tomko, President & GM, Discovery Studios, Discovery Health Media, Discovery Kids and FitTV
Tomko has what they call a portfolio: She runs three cable networks (Discovery Health, Discovery Kids, FitTV) and a studio (Discovery Studios). As head of Discovery Studios, she leads an emerging production entity spanning television production, advertising/short form development and footage and music licensing. She has been a board member for the Jackson Hole Film Festival, and is a member of CTAM and ATAS.
41. Danielle Gelber, SVP, Original Programming, Showtime Networks
Gelber made her mark at Showtime with the Mary Louise-Parker vehicle Weeds, which she bought and developed. She has also been the creative executive on series ranging from lightness of The L Word to the intensity of Sleeper Cell, and helped bring the British series Secret Diary of a Call Girl to the network. Gelber is a mentor to the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C., where she also serves as a board member.
42. Debora Wilson, President & CEO, The Weather Channel Companies
Wilson pioneered Weather’s $60-million HD launch and was also influential in the sale of The Weather Channel to NBC Universal. Wilson’s corporate support includes The American Red Cross and the Boys & Girls Club. She is also involved with the CablePAC board, CTAM’s Educational Foundation and The Cable Center.
43. Linda McMahon, CEO, World Wrestling Entertainment
As part of a tag-team duo with husband Vince, Linda McMahon makes deals while building a positive image for WWE and growing its film unit. She also laid the groundwork for the Smackdown Your Vote! initiative and paved the way for presidential candidates Obama, McCain and Clinton to make special appearances on Monday Night RAW.
44. Carol Hevey, EVP, Carolinas Region Time Warner Cable
This 20-year cable veteran oversees systems with 6,000 employees serving 2 million customers. Hevey was one of the early advocates for Time Warner Cable’s regionalized structure, foreseeing that it made sense in an ever-more competitive environment. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion has led to taking active roles in WICT, CTAM and NAMIC.
45. Marlene Dooner, SVP, Investor Relations, Comcast Corp.
Dooner is the face of Comcast in the investor community. She leads all of Comcast’s investor relations activities surrounding earnings, mergers and acquisitions and shareholder and treasury initiatives. Under Dooner’s leadership, Comcast was named one of America’s Most Shareholder-Friendly Companies by Institutional Investor in 2008.
46. Jennifer Caserta, EVP & GM, IFC
Caserta’s youthful smile belies her considerable seasoning. The veteran marketer recently took command of IFC in the wake of a reorganization that followed Rainbow’s Sundance Channel acquisition. Caserta retooled the network as not just a home for independent film, but as a platform for celebrating and advancing independent culture. In addition to overseeing programming, ad sales and marketing, she launched IFC’s first VOD offering, IFC Free, and negotiated a marketing deal with Target, securing coveted shelf space for IFC’s offerings.
47. Laura Michalchyshyn, EVP & GM, Sundance Channel
A veteran of the television scene, Michalchyshyn has doubed Sundance Channel’s programming hours and tripled its original programming. She also helps acquire some 200 features and 80 documentaries yearly, and has brought in brands like Lexus and Grey Goose as sponsors. She was also far ahead of the curve, launching the weekly environmental programming bloc called "The Green" early in 2007.
48. Janice Arouh, EVP, Network Distribution & Service, Hallmark Channel & Hallmark Movie Channel
Overseeing distribution and marketing for a large, independent like Hallmark is no small chore. Independents must work harder to hammer out distribution agreements and sell ads, which makes Arouh’s accomplishments more impressive. One of cable’s nicest, Janice has secured renewals with Comcast, Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, among others, and reached a deal with The Hotel Networks. Her smile and warm personality brighten the many cable events she attends.
49. D’Arcy Rudnay, SVP, Corporate Communications, Comcast Corp.
Rudnay is the top spokesperson for the top cable operator, and also oversees reputation management. She works with senior management and others to insure Comcast’s message is delivered to customers and media in a timely and accurate manner — and, most important for us, she and her team are very responsive to the deadline needs of trade pubs.
50. Katie Lacey, SVP, Marketing, ESPN
When Lacey isn’t busy promoting and protecting the ESPN and ABC Sports brands, she’s probably brainstorming creative marketing ideas. For example, she featured an ESPN employee in commercials marketing the new SportsCenter AM in the summer of 2008. Ideas like that are routine for Lacey, who is always looking for new ways to connect with ESPN’s fanatical viewers.