Wichser oversees Pop’s finance, accounting, human resources and ad sales pricing and planning departments. The former CBS corporate development executive evaluated investment opportunities, contracts and real estate transactions for CBS’ cable networks, interactive and film divisions, and led research and analysis for strategic initiatives, including acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner is the big cable story of 2016, she says. “Not only the size of the transaction, but also the implications for both the cable/satellite and media industries. It will be very interesting to see what the combined company does differently in terms of innovation.”
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Work hard, but also relax and enjoy the journey. Always listen to and respect the opinions of others while maintaining strength in your own beliefs. We perform best when we are positive, focused, and work together as a team. I would remind myself of a quotation often attributed to Emerson, “To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics…to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better…This is to have succeeded.”
Which current programming best reflects the kind of women’s roles you like to see and why?
Probably the best example I could give would be “The Good Wife,” which just concluded last season but has a spinoff launching early next year. While there are elements of Alicia Florrick’s character that are not likeable (as with anyone), she is not only intelligent, successful, and hard-working, but she is also a caring mom and sufficiently complex to reflect many real challenges. She makes her own decisions and surprises many people with her level of strength and conviction.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner. Not only the size of the transaction, but also the implications for both the cable/satellite and media industries. It will be very interesting to see what the combined company does differently in terms of innovation, starting with the announcement of DirecTV Now.