With longtime Suddenlink programming chief Patty McCaskill retiring at year end, Payne has been in line to fill her oversized shoes since joining the company in February. This former Cox programming exec is already deeply involved as a lead negotiator in a number of key contract renewals during this year of pivotal growth for the company. “At every fork in the road, when you have opportunities that seem to fit, I recommend taking the road that takes you out of your comfort zone, makes you take risks and evolve, challenges you the most, and adds new skills,” she says.
How can cable do better job at supporting the industry’s women?
I think it is pretty straightforward. Hire them, promote them, and support WICT and its amazing continuing education programs to further develop your women leaders. It takes time and effort to change the paradigm, and companies need to incent leaders to work harder to hire women into non-traditional roles and develop and promote them in those roles. I’m proud to say I work for a company like Suddenlink that has invested in such efforts and programs.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
There are too many big stories in cable to name just one. I think industry consolidation, escalating programming costs and the evolution of over-the-top video delivery are some of the biggest.
How do you define a successful career?
Having a successful career is a combination of finding a career where you are challenged and can grow, while also feeling appreciated and valued. I like enough change to help me grow, while also building on successes and skills I’ve learned earlier. At every fork in the road, when you have opportunities that seem to fit, I recommend taking the road that takes you out of your comfort zone, makes you take risks and evolve, challenges you the most, and adds new skills.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance?
I need my job to be interesting, challenging and also somewhat balanced so that I can find time to be an involved mom, wife and person with outside interests and hobbies. Some days my life is completely unbalanced and at other times less chaotic. That can happen to anyone. The key is to look for and take advantage of every opportunity to restore the balance we all need.
When not in the office, where are we most likely to find you?
Outside! I like to travel, hike, play tennis and explore.