Durant got her start at ESPN as a T. Howard Foundation intern, with the network snatching her up as soon as she graduated. She’s quickly risen from that 1999 role of marketing coordinator. Today, she heads up programming for all of ESPN’s college networks, including the soon-to-launch ACC Network. Based in Charlotte, she keeps close ties to the community, serving on the board of the Charlotte YMCA and giving time to several charities in the area. She finds inspiration in another woman who is big on giving back—Oprah Winfrey. “Her commitment to lift others as she climbed, her ability to truly listen and make others feel heard, and her incredible generosity—all while staying connected to her true self. We can all take something from how she carries herself and engages with others,” she says.
What’s a recent example of a step forward for women in the media industry?
I think every woman recognized on this list represents a step forward. Greater numbers of women are in positions of leadership, using our voices and unique perspectives to make our businesses better while advocating for others along the way.
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
I’ve always been inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s leadership—her commitment to lift others as she climbed, her ability to truly listen and make others feel heard, and her incredible generosity – all while staying connected to her true self. We can all take something from
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
It’s hard to remember what three years ago looked like! Our industry is constantly evolving. Leaders change and entertainment options continue to increase, as do the platforms on which to enjoy them. Amidst all the change, there are also reliable constants like the importance of great content and thoughtful, strategic leadership.