CMO & SVP Discovery Education, DIscovery Communications
McFarling has led Discovery’s affiliate marketing and distribution strategy, during which time she was recognized with NCTA’s Vanguard Award for Marketing. Since turning her sights toward Discovery Education, she has continued along the path to success. A focus of her work is to illuminate the direct connection between broadband, STEM, and college and career readiness. This year she led the strategic design, development and launch of many new Discovery Education initiatives, including partnering with MVPDs to support national and local engagement programs highlighting the importance of digital learning. “As we endeavor to create meaningful initiatives that help to close the divide and expand opportunities and access for all students, I’d love to see us use the megaphone at our disposal to tell the stories of innovation and achievement happening in American classrooms today,” she says.
Which sector of the cable industry best demonstrates gender equality? Which could use some enlightenment?
Broadband provides the pathway for all young people, regardless of their zip code, to have access to a world of learning and opportunity. The work being done in the education space inspires me as we see organizations who share our commitment to transforming teaching and learning come together to find compelling ways to ignite students’ curiosity through the use of digital content and technology. As we endeavor to create meaningful initiatives that help to close the divide and expand opportunities and access for all students, I’d love to see us use the megaphone at our disposal to tell the stories of innovation and achievement happening in American classrooms today.
What advice would you give your 13-year-old self?
Learn as much as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Seek to understand, before pushing to be understood. Take really good notes. Ask for mentorship in everything you do, because people genuinely want to help others make their way. Always write thank-you notes, immediately, there’s no better way to make a good first impression. Read, a lot. Always look people in the eye. Reach back to those who are coming up behind you because everyone needs a shoulder, support and someone to believe in them. Don’t strive for perfection, strive to live courageously and to be brave in everything you do.
What’s been the biggest story in cable this year?
Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner, no doubt. The impact of consolidation continues to redefine and reshape our industry.