Welcome to CableWORLD’s first annual list of the 50 most influential women in cable. As this list demonstrates, a lot of women hold positions of power within the cable industry. Even with the sudden departures of high-profile executives Maggie Bellville and Kathy Dore, the Top 50 list filled so quickly, it necessitated a second 50 list. For that, cable should be proud. But before the industry congratulates itself too much, it would be wise to consider a dose of reality from WICT’s newest PAR Initiative, which shows that the cable industry’s goal of gender equality remains just that: a goal. As WICT president/CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley writes in her guest column in this issue, women make up 38.5% of cable industry employees, but only 26.6% of upper management. That’s a sobering statistic for the industry to consider. Women are in cable’s executive suites, but cable can do a better job. Here’s a look at the women responsible for grooming the next generation. OPERATORS Colleen Abdoulah
president/CEO,WideOpenWest OK, so Colleen Abdoulah works for cable’s competition now. But as the head of WideOpenWest, she has leaned on her 20-year cable career with TCI and AT&T Broadband to lead one of the country’s most competitive overbuilders. When Abdoulah stepped down as AT&T Broadband’s EVP, wireline services, in 1999, she was one of the highest-level women in cable. Amy Banse
EVP, programming investments, Comcast If you’re pitching a new network, you’re going to have to meet with up Amy Banse at some point. That’s because Banse is the ultimate gatekeeper for new networks. She decides which networks should be launched and which ones should be scrapped. Banse’s advice to start-up nets: Look into VOD rather than a linear slot. Our advice to start-up nets: Listen to Banse. Nomi Bergman
EVP, strategy & devel., Advance/Newhouse One of the highest-ranking women in the cable technology field, Nomi Bergman capped her year with the 2004 Women in Technology award from SCTE and our sister publication Communications Technology. The daughter of Advance/Newhouse CEO Robert Miron, Bergman was a graduate in the first Betsy Magness Leadership Development Program class. Jill Campbell
SVP, operations, Cox A 22-year veteran of Cox, Jill Campbell worked her way up to the highest levels of the MSO. She started with Cox in 1982 as the communications director for its Oklahoma City region. Today she oversees operations in Cox’s Central division, which serves about 2.1 million subscribers. Campbell is chair of Cox’s two-year-old diversity council. Torie Clarke
sr. adviser, comm. & govt. affairs, Comcast Thanks in part to her stint as the Defense Department’s main spokesperson at the beginning of the war in Iraq, Torie Clarke is one of the most recognizable women in the cable industry. A veteran of the NCTA, Clarke’s name always gets mentioned when the chattering classes speculate about Robert Sachs’ successor. We’re told it’s her job if she wants it, but she doesn’t want it… Kristin Dolan
SVP, digital & video product mgmt., Cablevision As SVP, digital and video product management, Kristin Dolan oversees all video products for Cablevision. Married to chairman/president Jim Dolan, Kristin has risen through the MSO’s ranks to become one of the industry’s highest-ranking women. She began her Cablevision career 15 years ago as an intern and then worked her way up through the affiliate ranks. Mae Douglas
SVP, chief people officer, Cox As Cox’s chief people officer, Mae Douglas developed the programs that helped Cox get honored by WICT’s PAR Initiative in 2003 as the best cable operator for women. Douglas has earned the respect of Cox employees by championing corporate initiatives such as the executive development program, which provides mentors for all executives from the director level up. Pam Euler Halling
SVP, marketing & programming, Insight An executive with 25 years of cable industry experience, Pam Euler Halling oversees marketing, programming and ad sales as part of Insight’s senior management team. Halling is one of the most involved women in the industry, as she sits on CTAM’s board (she co-chaired the 2004 Summit) and the NCTA Convention Committee. She won NCTA’s Vanguard Award in 2001. Sue Ann Hamilton
SVP, programming, Charter Sue Hamilton cut her programming teeth working with Allan Singer and Matt Bond at TCI and, later, AT&T Broadband. Hamilton proved to be in hot demand when she left AT&T Broadband after Comcast acquired it. Hamilton took the Charter gig in March 2003, and now oversees content strategy for the MSO. Carol Hevey
EVP, operations, Time Warner Cable One of five corporate EVPs in Stamford, Conn., Carol Hevey oversees five of Time Warner Cable’s 31 operating divisions. A 22-year veteran of Time Warner Cable, Hevey was promoted in April after a successful stint as a division president in Milwaukee, where she won praise for reorganizing the system’s customer care efforts and the launch of Wisconsin on Demand. Amy Tykeson
chairman/CEO, BendBroadband A true “cable gal,” Amy Tykeson has been part of the industry since well before she caught on with HBO in 1980. Her father, Donald Tykeson, helped blaze Amy’s path into cable. Now, Amy has a story to tell of her own. Her BendBroadband was named CableWORLD’s small operator of the year after growing digital cable, HDTV and DVR subs. Italia Commisso Weinand
SVP, programming, Mediacom Don’t be fooled by Italia Commisso Weinand’s ability to schmooze. The sister of Mediacom chairman Rocco Commisso, Italia has gained a reputation in the industry as a tough-as-nails negotiator. While it’s Rocco who draws the lines in the sand with programming costs, it’s Italia who does the negotiating. That’s why Italia has earned the respect of network affiliate teams. Vanessa Wittman
CFO/EVP, Adelphia Bill Schleyer and Ron Cooper get the credit for prettying up Adelphia enough to sell it. But Schleyer and Cooper always give credit to Vanessa Wittman for whipping the MSO’s tortured finances into shape. Wittman has plenty of experience with bankruptcies. Before Adelphia hired her in March 2003, Wittman led 360networks through its bankruptcy. Lynn Yaeger
EVP, corporate affairs, Time Warner Cable Glenn Britt’s point person in Washington, D.C., Lynn Yaeger leads Time Warner Cable’s D.C. efforts—an especially important role this year given her boss’ chairmanship of the NCTA. A cable industry veteran, Yaeger has become known for her public-service background, which includes the launch of the National Teacher Award 15 years ago. PROGRAMMERS Sheryl Anderson
SVP, HR & admin., Starz Encore Group For all of Starz’s 14 years, Sheryl Anderson has been in charge of administrative and employee-relations matters. Promoted in March to SVP, Anderson was included on WICT’s Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Walk of Fame in April. Besides dealing with 590 Starz Encore employees, Anderson serves on the Cable TV Human Resources Association board. Carole Black
president/CEO, Lifetime The top executive at the top-rated channel for women, Carole Black has her net running on all cylinders again. Lifetime is threatening to retake the ratings lead among all cable channels, thanks to revitalized drama series and more movie made-fors. Black is also shepherding legislative advances with the “Our Lifetime Commitment” advocacy campaign. Deborah Blackwell
SVP/GM, SOAPnet Now that SOAPnet has 40 million subs, how does Deborah Blackwell plan to take her network to the next level? She’s started by mixing more original content into the package of daytime soap favorites replayed at night. Blackwell is supplementing the Emmy-nominated SoapTalk with newsmagazine SoapCenter, in-depth bio Soapography and reality take I Wanna Be a Soap Star. Lee Ann Daly
EVP, marketing, ESPN Lee Ann Daly gives the ultimate yea or nay on ESPN’s marketing and promotions. Daly approves more than 50 campaigns per year, including the “This Is SportsCenter” and “Season of the Fan” campaigns. Daly’s This Is SportsCenter campaign was inducted into CTAM’s Hall of Fame in 2002. Marlene Dann
EVP, daytime programming, Court TV Marlene Dann decides which cases Court TV covers. Whether what unfolds involves Scott Peterson or hot-button social issues, Dann keeps the network’s coverage unpredictable, and has made on-air talent such as Catherine Crier and Nancy Grace among the nation’s leading courtroom commentators. Dann also oversees Court’s Hollywood Heat series. Christine Driessen
EVP/CFO, ESPN Looking for an X factor in ESPN’s success? Look at Christine Driessen, who for nearly two decades parlayed her money expertise into helping structure rights deals for the network. Girls Inc. recognized her earlier this year as one of America’s foremost females in media. Ann Foley
EVP, programming, Showtime Networks Most of the Emmys Showtime has earned over the years came from Ann Foley’s pet project—Original Pictures for All Ages. One of the surest programming bets around is that one of those flicks will win the outstanding children’s special Emmy—six have since 1998. She also heads up the net’s independent film unit. Judy Girard
president, Shop At Home Judy Girard’s career with Scripps Networks took a turn last January when she moved from the lead executive at Food Network to the lead executive at Shop At Home. Her handiwork is just starting to show, spearheaded by major product showcases associated with Food, HGTV and other lifestyle nets in the family. She joined Scripps in the mid-1990s. Debra Green
COO, G4techTV Debra Green’s in the thick of a challenging stew: the rearrangement of the formats of two separate networks that merged last May into a cohesive whole. She certainly has a track record of success, based on her two decades of running E!, Style and Rainbow Media. Green brings that expertise to one of the most popular Comcast networks. Andrea Greenberg
pres., Rainbow Media Dist./Rainbow Sports Nets Anything having to do with sports at Rainbow falls to Andrea Greenberg, from regional sports channels to VOD original Sportskool. The latter venture, featuring instructional material and coaching, premiered last January. Her challenge: to fight regional sports network competition from Comcast and others once Cablevision spins off Rainbow. Lisa Hall
president/COO, Oxygen Besides running day-to-day affairs at Oxygen, Lisa Hall raised her industry profile in recent months with passionate advocacy of industry issues. At various venues, Hall raises her voice against a la carte legislation, calling it a threat to both new-venture development and diversity. Elsewhere, she encourages operators to embrace new diginets from independent sources. Bonnie Hammer
president, USA Network/Sci Fi One of the few TV executives running more than one network, Bonnie Hammer’s building a stellar track record of original hits at NBC Universal-owned USA and Sci Fi, including Monk, The 4400, The Dead Zone and Stargate SG-1/Atlantis. She also gave the greenlight to powerhouse miniseries such as the Emmy-winning Taken and the recent Farscape sequel. Brooke Johnson
president, Food Network Having raised A&E and The History Channel to prominence in the 1990s, Brooke Johnson is back steering a cable channel. A 25-year industry veteran, Johnson took an extended absence to raise her family following stints with A&E and History. With personalities like Rachael Ray and Emeril, she’s out to lift Food to the next level. Gerry Laybourne
chairman/CEO, Oxygen Geraldine Laybourne rolled the dice to launch Oxygen in 2000, following a 16-year span managing Nickelodeon. Almost five years later, her enterprise is rolling steady. The women’s channel is past 50 million households and on course for its first calendar year in the profit column. Buzz for such series as Girls Behaving Badly and Women Behind the Badge is growing. Debra Lee
president/COO, BET Debra Lee is overseeing more ambitious program development at BET. Her first volley, BET’s Comedy Awards special, drew solid viewership figures and reviews. The highest-ranking African-American woman at parent Viacom, Lee has plenty of hardware constructed by cable industry organizations in her trophy case, including the 2003 NCTA Vanguard Award. Chris Levesque
EVP, comm., mark. & govt. affairs, Gemstar-TV Guide Last June, Jeff Shell tapped fellow Democrat Chris Levesque to manage his “make-nice” campaign, as Gemstar-TV Guide worked to shed the industry image and bad feelings left by the litigious Dr. Henry Yuen. A 10-year industry veteran, Levesque started with Rainbow Media Holdings, where she was SVP, communications and marketing. Judy McGrath
chairman/CEO, MTV Networks You need more space than this to document the portfolio of ventures for which Judy McGrath takes responsibility. For starters, there are 96 channels worldwide (covering 164 countries and 18 languages); 23, starting with MTV, are U.S.-originated. That number heads upward next winter with the launch of Logo, directed at the gay/lesbian community. Judith McHale
president/CEO, Discovery Communications Under Judith McHale’s leadership, Discovery operates the largest collection of acclaimed nonfiction programming services. She’s placing women executives in charge of many of them. Her trail of talent in charge includes Eileen O’Neill (Discovery Health), Vivian Schiller (Discovery Times), Marjorie Kaplan (Discovery Kids), Maureen Smith (Animal Planet) and Carole Tomko (FitTV). Chris Moseley
EVP/CMO, Hallmark Channel Chris Moseley shapes the image and marketing of Hallmark Channel and spin-off Hallmark Movie Channel. A former Discovery executive, Moseley’s big projects for 2005 include building awareness for an expanded original programming schedule, led by the new “Mystery Movie” franchise, and setting up initiatives between affiliates and Hallmark’s Gold Crown stores. Christina Norman
president, VH1 In the time Christina Norman has been in the driver’s seat—22 months as GM, a full year as president—VH1 has transformed its focus from behind the music to behind pop culture. She got help from blockbuster “I Love the…” decade retrospectives and projects such as Best Week Ever and Hip-Hop Honors. Industry buzz for VH1 diginets, particularly Classic and Uno, is on the rise. Laureen Ong
president, National Geographic Channel Laureen Ong was National Geographic Channel’s first hire. With its fourth anniversary approaching, things couldn’t be better. There are more than 50 million subs, more first-run content than ever and, in a matter of weeks, Nat Geo takes over presentation of National Geographic Explorer from MSNBC. That means Ong should be in position for higher ratings and ad revenue in 2005. Susan Packard
president, Scripps Networks New Ventures If Scripps launches new networks (a Spanish-language lifestyle diginet, perhaps?), count on Susan Packard to be in the thick of the development process. At Scripps for a decade, she was instrumental in getting Food Network, Do-It-Yourself and Fine Living—and their broadband/VOD offshoots—off the ground. Next up: fine-tuning acquisition Great American Country. Abbe Raven
president, A&E Network No longer is A&E Biography-centric. While that series still appears every weeknight at 8, under Abbe Raven’s leadership the channel’s big focus is reality series. Most of them—Airline, Family Plots, Growing Up Gotti and Dog the Bounty Hunter—are hitting home with audiences. Watch for more reality ahead in 2005, plus the return of spy drama MI-5. Jane Root
EVP/GM, Discovery Channel BBC2’s former controller—that’s Britspeak for program director in England—Jane Root still is adjusting to work at Discovery Channel. It won’t be long before her award-winning BBC ways, demonstrated in such shows as The Office, Coupling and What Not to Wear, infiltrate the program schedule at one of cable’s most honored services. Carolyn Strauss
president, HBO Entertainment Moving up HBO’s ladder since 1986, Carolyn Strauss is one of TV’s most powerful executives when it comes to original programming. For Strauss, no subject is too offbeat or provocative. Cases in point: series about a funeral parlor (Six Feet Under), inner-city crime and politics (The Wire), celebrity life (Entourage) and a dustbowl-era traveling circus (Carniv�le). Susan Swain
EVP/co-COO, C-SPAN Susan Swain soon will mark two milestones at cable’s most widely distributed public affairs channel. Next year, she celebrates 10 years running the network, and 20 years as call-in moderator/program host. She also had a hand in developing special miniseries like The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and ventures for radio and classrooms. Anne Sweeney
media networks co-chair, Walt Disney Everything cable at Disney, ESPN excepted, falls under Anne Sweeney’s purview. Her oversight, incorporating a second role as president of Disney/ABC Television Group, extends to ABC and Disney’s TV animation unit. Will her efforts at ABC, resulting in new hits Lost and Desperate Housewives, make it king of the broadcast nets? Pamela Thomas-Graham
president/CEO, CNBC The programming makeover Pamela Thomas-Graham launched at her business channel earlier this year continues. Talk/variety prime-time shows starring Dennis Miller, Donny Deutsch and Tina Brown are bright spots. Meantime, Thomas-Graham is keeping an eye on other matters, including new CNBC weekend series and expanding diginet CNBC World. Debora Wilson
president, The Weather Channel Companies One Florida hurricane after another this summer provided Debora Wilson’s ventures with a viewership tsunami. And The Weather Channel made the most of it, with hurricane viewing reaching record levels. Under her supervision, storm trackers have added Weather Channel to their regular TV habits, via nightly Storm Stories and other features. Linda Yaccarino
EVP/GM, Turner Entertainment Sales Linda Yaccarino knows drama on TNT, funny on TBS and ways to maximize ad sales on both networks. Her initiatives over the last few years included the creation of Johnson & Johnson Spotlight Presentations, the TNT made-for-movie franchise. She developed the TNT “recap” vignettes running on Law & Order and the American Express “Seinfeld/Superman” TBS segment. Lauren Zalaznick
president, Bravo/Trio Lauren Zalaznick is a two-net deal maker at NBC Universal. Bravo is steaming along with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Significant Others and Inside the Actor’s Studio, with Project Greenlight among the shows set to join them. Trio and its mix of pop culture documentaries and short-lived series seems to be hanging on by a thread. Cyma Zarghami
president, Nickelodeon TV Under Cyma Zarghami’s leadership, each Nick and Nick Jr. original series appears to turn into ratings gold, while diginet Noggin/The N is blazing its own trail with Degrassi: The Next Generation and other series. In the process, Zarghami keeps raising the benchmark for what diversified TV programming can be. VENDORS/POLICY Char Beales
president/CEO, CTAM The most recognizable woman in cable, Char Beales has run CTAM, the 5,200-member marketing association, since 1992. Under Beales’ leadership, the association continues to bring value to the industry through coordinated marketing efforts, such as Only Cable Can. Beales has won many industry honors, including Vanguard Awards for leadership (1996) and marketing (1995). Jenifer Cistola
VP, Go2Broadband, CableLabs One of the most influential women in cable’s tech arena, Jenifer Cistola oversees CableLabs’ Web destination. That’s the site people surf to see if HDTV, ITV and other advanced services operate on their local cable system. While at Scientific-Atlanta, she directed the Creative Edge project for independent ITV application developers. Jadz Janucik
SVP, association affairs, NCTA The NCTA’s point person for dealing with state associations, Janucik has been developing grassroots activities to support NCTA’s federal initiatives since she started with the association more than 20 years ago. Janucik supervises NCTA’s Office of Cable Signal Theft, Office of Rural and Small System Operators, the State Telecom division and the Membership Services division. Yvette Gordon-Kanouff
VP, strategic planning, SeaChange Yvette Gordon-Kanouff is one of the industry’s foremost authorities on VOD and ITV. She broke ground in both areas as the engineering director of Time Warner Cable’s Full Service Network in the mid-1990s. She has brought her talents to SeaChange, where her ITV work recently earned an Emmy Award nomination. THE SECOND 50 Operators Connie Campbell, SVP, finance, Adelphia Sherita Ceasar, VP/GM, Charter Susan Coker, VP/treasurer, Cox Lynne Costantini, SVP, programming, Time Warner Cable Marlene Dooner, VP, investor relations, Comcast Ellen East, VP, communications/public affairs, Cox Judy Meyka, SVP, programming, Adelphia Lynne Ramsey, SVP, HR, Charter D’Arcy Rudnay, VP, corporate communications, Comcast Programmers Jenny Alonzo, SVP, prod./multicultural strat., Lifetime Bridget Baker, EVP, distribution, NBC Universal Cable Nicole Browning, president, affil. sales/mark., MTV Networks Louise Henry Bryson, EVP, distr./bus. devel., Lifetime Kerry Chandler, SVP, HR, ESPN Lauren Corrao, SVP, original prog., Comedy Central Debbie Egner, SVP, affil. sales/sales operations, Starz Carol Eng, SVP, programming, MTV2 Yolanda Foster, VP, programming, mun2 Rosa Gatti, SVP, corp. comm. & outreach, ESPN Jola Harris, VP, affiliate marketing, Fox Cable Networks Eleo Hensleigh, EVP, worldwide brand strategy, Disney ABC Dale Hopkins, SVP, distribution/ad sales, G4techTV Barbara Jaffe, SVP, network operations, HBO Dena Kaplan, SVP, marketing, Game Show Network Marjorie Kaplan, EVP/GM, Discovery Kids Danila Koverman, SVP, prog./prod., TV Guide Channel Wonya Lucas, EVP, marketing, The Weather Channel Joanne Lynch, SVP/GM, Galavision Kim Martin, EVP, distrib. & affiliate relations, Rainbow Nina Henderson-Moore, EVP, news, public affairs & prog. acq., BET Sheila Nevins, president, docs and family prog., HBO Rori Peters, VP, affiliate relations, SiTV Lynn Picard, EVP/GM, Lifetime Kelly Regal, EVP, HR, Turner Vivian Schiller, SVP/GM, Discovery Times Channel Susan Scott, SVP, distribution, The Weather Channel Cindy Sheets, president/CEO, Wisdom Television Mary Silverman, SVP, programming, Court TV Olivia Smashum, EVP, affiliate marketing, HBO Maureen Smith, EVP/GM, Animal Planet Carole Tomko, SVP/GM, FitTV Meredith Wagner, EVP, public affairs, Lifetime Sandra Weber, VP, multicultural market development, Turner Tricia Wilber, SVP, ad sales and promotion, Disney ABC Pandit Wright, EVP, HR and administration, Discovery Vendors/Policy Peggy Ballard, VP, strategic comm., Scientific-Atlanta Lynne Elander, GM, marketing, Microsoft TV Kim Kelly, president/CEO, Arroyo Video Solutions Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, president/CEO, WICT Barbara York, CAO/SVP, industry affairs, NCTA

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