The Top 10

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1. Debra Lee, Chairman/CEO, BET Networks

 
After 20+ years at BET, Lee is still a fiesty competitor. The network set a record for 2Q viewership, with Tiny & Toya becoming the most-watched series in the net’s history this year. The August finale attracted 1.9mln viewers. All of this follows a new brand strategy for focused on its "leadership role" for black Americans. Lee and co. executed that mission successfully in July by turning the BET Awards into an impromptu tribute to Michael Jackson after his passing. Next on her plate will be the launch, alongside MTV, of Centric. Viacom will be looking for Lee to work her magic with that network aimed at African Americans aged 25-54. Beyond BET, Lee is a member of several boards, including NCTA, Girls Inc and the Paley Center for Media. She also was appointed to the FCC’s advisory committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age.

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2. Albert Cheng, EVP, Digital Media, Disney-ABC TV Group
 
Overseeing digital media efforts for Disney Channel, ABC Family, ABC and others, Cheng earned his 1-spot rise on our list in part through two key developments: his group’s agreement to launch several ad-supported channels on YouTube while retaining the option to sell its own advertising inventory, and the presence of Disney Channel content at Hulu after Disney purchased an equity stake in the online video aggregator. But the top spot may yet be his next year if Disney manages to develop, as planned, an Internet service to offer movies, TV shows, games and other content on a subscription basis.

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3. Dinni Jain, President/CEO, Insight
 
For someone who likes to avoid the spotlight, Dinni Jain’s had to endure adoration a few times during the past two years. In addition to leading the MSO that won this magazine’s Top Operator Award in ’08, Jain was lauded with the Vanguard for Cable Operations Management earlier this year and spoke at NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Seminar graduation in March. Despite this taste of glory, Jain, a UNC Tar Heels fanatic, prefers to remain in the background, running Insight according to the principles in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. The results of Jain’s hands-on approach have been, well, great. As others bled basic subs, Insight has posted two years of 5% basic sub growth.

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4. Andrea Wong, President/CEO, Lifetime Networks
 
No one can talk about Wong these days without mentioning Project Runway, an acquisition that she spearheaded. While criticism and litigation had some doubting that Lifetime could ever have as much success with the series as Bravo, the debut of the reality series was the highest-rated premiere ever for the franchise and for Lifetime, notching a 3.3 household rating. Her next mission is helping integrate Lifetime with AETN, consolidating three leading cable nets under a single management. AETN chief Abbe Raven is heading the new media company.

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5. Henry Ahn, EVP, NBCU
 
Full Disclosure: Our objectivity is thrown to the wind when it comes to Henry Ahn, one of cable’s nicest and also one of its straightest shooters. We would have forgiven Henry if he wanted a respite this year after playing a vital role in the distribution of the enhanced content offering for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yet he continues to tirelessly oversee distribution efforts for a 16-network cable portfolio including USA, Bravo, and CNBC, and is credited with forging deals with leading MVPDs such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Verizon. He’s a board member of Cable Positive and a member of CTAM. At this year’s Cable Show, he participated in a volunteer effort with Cable Positive to help Washington, D.C.’s AIDS service organization, Food & Friends.

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6. Johnathan Rodgers, President/CEO, TV One
 
Rodgers was the driving force behind TV One’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention and the presidential election, which was recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists with its Best Practices Award. "With minimal budget and without a news department, TV One rose to the challenge to provide in-depth reporting from a black perspective on these historic events," said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. The election coverage came naturally to Rodgers, who has always been deeply involved in public policy. That’s what made him a perfect choice to co-chair the 2009 Cable Show in D.C. The convention was so successful at bringing in Hill figures, there’s already talk of holding it in D.C. again. Meanwhile, we hear Rodgers is a pretty good fantasy football commissioner.

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7. Scott Mills, President/COO, BET Networks
 
Responsible for targeted audience building in an evolving market. Mills’ ability to adeptly lead BET’s digital media strategy has greatly helped the network. Mills oversaw the creation of BET Mobile, BET’s groundbreaking mobile content subscription service; the consolidation of BET’s ownership in BET.com; the launch of BET’s digital download offerings on iTunes; and the expansion of BET’s VOD product, all advances that have helped BET stay fresh and up-to-tech. More than just brand expansion, Mills has helped develop BET’s voice as an authentic, unapologetic advocate of the black experience, furthering BET’s mission to educate through entertainment.

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8. Marwan Fawaz, CTO, Charter Comm
 
Since joining the company three years ago, Fawaz has played critical roles in Charter’s turnaround and continued success amid bankruptcy proceedings. He restructured the MSO’s technology infrastructure to support rapid rollouts of telephony and higher Internet speeds. Marwan also directed bandwidth-management initiatives, launched switched-digital video and dramatically expanded HD content. Working closely with his executive peers and leaders among Charter’s two operating groups, Fawaz helps assess the feasibility of internal initiatives. In demand throughout cable, he serves on several CableLabs committees to develop technology roadmaps for industry initiatives like DOCSIS 3.0.

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9. Jacqueline Hernández, COO, Telemundo
 
Hernández has developed a reputation as a brand builder with more than 20 years of experience in the media business, coming to Telemundo last year from People en Español. One of her accomplishments is bringing a real 360 approach to Telemundo with digital and multiplatform initiatives. She is also charged with bridging all Telemundo offerings to domestic advertising clients and enhancing Telemundo’s connection with its audience. For example, this summer Telemundo teamed with Ford Motor Co on a new 20-episode microseries to launch the 2010 Fusion brand. Most recently, Hernández was appointed to New York City’s Latin Media and Entertainment Commission, where she advises the Mayor’s office on business development and retention strategies for the Latin media and entertainment industry.

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10. Salaam Coleman Smith, President, The Style Network, Comcast Entertainment Group
 
While one of the youngest women running a cable network, Coleman Smith is not a newcomer to our list. Breaking into the Top 10 this year, based in part on leading Style to record ratings in 2008, Smith has continued to launch buzz-building series; one of the most recent, Ruby, achieved the network’s highest numbers. Smith continues to leverage the brand to promote charitable organizations, including a partnership with "Dress for Success" and Style’s breast cancer awareness initiative, "Fight with Style." Smith, a previous Walter Kaitz Foundation Fellow and Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Class XV Fellow, serves on the board of WICT.

Top 50: 11-50

11. Wonya Lucas, Chief Marketing Officer, Discovery Communications
 
As Discovery works to rebrand several networks under David Zaslav’s direction, Lucas moves up the list from #19 in recognition of the ever-increasing size of her job, and her success in helping to maintain Discovery’s place as the top non-fiction brand on TV. Consider this: Discovery has 115 worldwide nets, along with digital media properties that in total reach 1.5 billion subs in 170 countries. And Lucas is charged with leveraging those assets to increase brand awareness and ultimately grow viewership. It’s a big job, but somebody’s got to do it. Good thing Lucas shines so brightly.
12. Pearlena Igbokwe, SVP, Original Programming, Showtime Networks
 
Igbokwe jumps 13 spots from 25th last year as the programming she developed and supervises continues to pull in accolades. The latest, Nurse Jackie, has received critical acclaim, with USA Today calling the show "fabulous" and the St. Petersburg Times dubbing it "TV’s best new series." And Igbokwe is shepherding a certain "little" series called Dexter into its 4th season. We’ll be watching to see if she can strike gold again when Showtime brings British prankster Marc Wootton’s comedy project to the States.
13. Loretha Jones, President, Programming, BET

Stephen Hill, President, Programming, BET

 
They share a title, so why not a spot on our list? Jones is responsible for originals, news, development, planning and acquisitions, while Hill heads music programming and specials. Programming on both sides of the equation is scoring for BET this year. Jones oversees hits such as Tiny & Toya and Brothers to Brutha, while Hill tackled the impossible — overhauling The BET Awards in just three days to make the show a tribute to Michael Jackson. The two have an ambitious fall programming slate before them that includes the network’s first game show, Pay Off, original series about Compton firefighters First In and talker The Mo’Nique Show. Meanwhile, the net continues to cover President Obama closely, including offering live coverage of his addresses to the nation.
14. Alfred Liggins, Chairman, TV One
 
Liggins’ name may not be as familiar in cable circles as that of TV One CEO Johnathan Rodgers, but the Radio One CEO is quite committed to the network he helped get off the ground. While overseeing 67 radio stations in 22 urban markets keeps him quite busy, Liggins continues to be very involved in certain TV One deals — often accompanying affiliate and ad sales execs on important calls. Deal-making is in his blood, we’re told. TV One is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, with the channel now available to more than 48.3 million homes.
15. Christina Norman, CEO, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
 
Few new cable nets have generated more anticipation (and controversy) than Discovery’s OWN, which will rebrand Discovery Health into Oprah’s home on cable when it launches in mid-2010. But Norman is up to the job. She has faced tough challenges since coming on board earlier this year, including the departure of several key programming execs. But Norman now is freer to shape the net in her image (under the watchful eyes of Oprah and David Zaslav, of course). Norman’s experience running MTV all those years will no doubt come in handy. As anticipation builds, Discovery’s glad OWN is in Norman’s capable hands.
16. Arthur Orduña, Chief Technology Officer, Canoe Ventures
 
Last year, Orduña was #28 on our list as a Bright House Networks SVP. But joining the company everyone’s talking about (and waiting — perhaps impatiently — to see tech from) propelled him up 12 spots. As CTO, he’s leading engineers across the country as Canoe develops ways to make advanced advertising easier to buy, use and measure. And his influence stretches beyond Canoe. He’s chair of a CableLabs Group that developed the EBIF technical specification for enhanced television. Orduña has more than 20 years of experience in media and interactive TV and is a long-time proponent of open standards-based initiatives.
17. Raymond Gutierrez, EVP, HR and Administration, Showtime Networks
 
As if overseeing HR for Showtime Networks, CBS Sports, CBS College Sports, CBS News and CBS Television Networks wasn’t enough to keep anyone busy, Gutierrez’s list of board and association memberships includes just about every communications-related organization out there. As chair of Cable Positive, he was the point man in September, delivering the news that the AIDS-focused organization will close shop by year-end. "We didn’t think that we’d be around this long and are glad that we are," he said. But at the end of the day, "we think we fulfilled our mission," with cable companies picking up where Cable Positive left off. We expect Ray’s long-time dedication to AIDS causes to continue, as Cable Positive has urged local chapters to keep volunteering and fundraising.

18. Marlene Dooner, SVP, Investor Relations, Comcast Corp
 
Dooner is one of the few SVPs at Comcast Corp and one of its top Hispanic execs, working daily to maintain relations with nervous investors as they navigate the worst U.S. recession since the Great Depression. Dooner, quite simply, is the face of Comcast for much of the investment community. And top execs often call on her as they contemplate large deals that inevitably affect investor perceptions and affect future performance. Dooner isn’t all about the numbers, as she sits on the board of Moore College of Art and Design. As they always say, investing is an art. And so is investor relations.
19. Charisse R. Lillie, VP, Community Investment, Comcast Corp/EVP of the Comcast Foundation
 
In many ways, Lillie has become the heart of Comcast. Not only is she Comcast’s main touchpoint for groups like Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the National Urban League, but she also handles all of Comcast’s charitable giving. This year, under Lillie’s guidance and inspiration, more than 50K employees volunteered throughout the country, and Lillie oversaw the distribution of more than $6.5mln in foundation grants to community-based organizations. Lillie continues to move Comcast forward, strengthening partnerships with historically black colleges and working to make Comcast the largest sponsor of Emma Bowen Foundation scholars. Lillie keeps taking on more work and responsibility — and handles it with grace.
20. Mae Douglas, EVP/Chief People Officer, Cox Comm
 
The first African-American appointed to Cox’s senior leadership team, Douglas’ commitment to the needs and development of the MSO’s workforce is so strong that she insisted "people" be a part of her title. She helped spearhead the creation of Cox’s National Talent and Development program and The Cox Diversity Council, which she co-chairs with pres Pat Esser. Douglas is a NAMIC board member and advisor to the organization’s Atlanta chapter, a member of the WICT Foundation Board and an advisor to the Atlanta WICT chapter, and serves on Cable Positive’s board.
21. Mark Garner, SVP, Distribution and Business Development, AETN
 
One of the most understated executives in cable is also one of the brightest and classiest. Garner’s thrust this year has been using digital technology to expand viewers’ interaction with History, thus increasing its value for cable affiliates. Thanks to Garner, MSO subs could access online and VOD features to augment content about Stanley and Livingstone, subjects of History’s Expedition Africa series. "This is where the business is going," he says. "Affiliates are demanding components beyond linear content." The 21-year cable vet chairs NAMIC’s national board, counsels youth in S Orange, N.J., and volunteers in community education programs at Stanford University, his alma mater.
22. Cesar Conde, President, Univision Networks
 
At just 35, Conde took the reins as president of Univision Networks in October, replacing the retiring Ray Rodríguez. He’ll be responsible for programming at Univision, with the network working to create more of its own originals. Conde, appointed one of 12 White House Fellows by President George W. Bush for ’02-’03, most recently served as EVP, chief strategy officer for Univision Communications. Outside of the office, he’s active in the development of educational opportunities for young Hispanics. He is the co-founder and chairman of Futuro Program, a non-profit that provides role models and workshops to Hispanic high schoolers.
23. Toni Judkins, SVP, Original Programming, TV One
 
As the head of originals, Judkins has been working hard to put a major focus on the entertainment and drama of the black experience. She forged the partnership with Essence, which gave TV One exclusive rights to musical highlights from this year’s Essence Music Festival. She also ushered in new biography series Life After, which focuses on major turning points in celebs’ lives, and will launch a new reality series starring LisaRaye, an actress and the wife of the Prime Minister of the Turks & Caicos. CableFAX isn’t the only to take notice of Judkins. She was profiled in Essence magazine’s Woman on Top feature in September.
24. Doug Gaston, SVP and General Counsel, Comcast Cable
 
Cable’s a complicated business, and Gaston — the top ranking lawyer within Comcast Cable — has never been a more invaluable asset. In fact, with Comcast’s current push into new markets and services, senior management finds itself calling often upon Gaston’s expertise — all while his crack team of legal advisors provides crucial counsel to executives throughout the company’s myriad operating departments. Under Doug’s leadership, Comcast was honored by The Minority Corporate Counsel Association as an Employer of Choice for its commitment to diversity and an inclusive workforce.
25. Luis Silberwasser, SVP, Content Group, Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic Group; GM, Discovery Networks US Hispanic
 
Silberwasser has been on a roll lately. His responsibilities have grown from managing two Hispanic networks in the U.S. to oversight of 10 channel brands throughout 34 countries in Latin America. Meanwhile, he helps develop shows that contribute to Discovery Channel and Discovery Kids (soon to be a joint venture with Hasbro) ranking among the top five nets in key Hispanic markets. Discovery credits much of its 16% growth in subs to Silberwasser’s influence — especially when it comes to local productions that appeal to his target audience. In fact, nearly 20% of content in Latin America gets produced locally.

26. Pragash Pillai, VP, Engineering & Tech, Bresnan Communications

 
A graduate of NAMIC’s Executive Leadership Development Program and recipient of SCTE’s Young Engineer Award in ’03, Pillai was lured away from Charter in Long Beach, CA, where he helped develop the country’s first wide-scale digital simulcast. In short order he’s made Bresnan a top technology name among mid-size cable operators, earning the MSO CableFAX’s ’08 Technology Award. After Bresnan’s recent reorg, Pillai found himself leading the operator’s entire engineering team. In Pillai’s words, Bresnan is a fast-forward company, quick to follow once larger operators have proven a technology.
27. Michelle Kim, Group VP/Chief Counsel, Time Warner Cable
 
An influential force, Kim’s opinion is sought out at the highest levels of the company. She plays a key role in the strategy, negotiation and drafting of carriage and distribution arrangements with cable networks, broadcast stations and other content providers. Kim also serves on the board of directors of Performance Space 122, a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting and presenting artists whose work challenges the traditional boundaries of dance, theater, music and performance.

28. Clara Kim, EVP, Business Affairs, Discovery Communications
 
It’s not easy. Kim not only copes with production and talent management, but also advises execs at Discovery’s networks, providing insight on content deals, intellectual property, licensing, talent, and other issues. In addition, she helps negotiate complex deals that have only gotten more Byzantine as Discovery and other network groups expand their multiplatform offerings. Her previous experience at Viacom (at MTV, Nick and Spike TV), as well as time at Showtime, have served her well. But let’s face it: Kim has one of the most challenging jobs in cable. And she continues to perform at a high level despite the endlessly complicated world in which she lives.
29. Olivia Smashum, EVP, Affiliate Marketing, HBO
 
Smashum is responsible for HBO’s subscriber acquisition and retention efforts. She’s been recognized inside and outside of HBO for her pioneering work in the entertainment industry and consumer/community outreach efforts. Many of the diversity initiatives she oversees with her staff have become established platforms within the creative community and have been going strong for more than 10 years.
30. Keith Dawkins, SVP, Nickelodeon Programming Partnerships/GM, Nicktoons Network
 
Dawkins looks too young to be an SVP and a GM, but his accomplishments prove he’s more than qualified to be Nicktoons’ first and only GM. He’s grown the network to more than 50mln households with such series as Kappa Mikey, Edgar & Ellen and Speed Racer. He’s also created Nicktoons Network Animation Festival, the world’s first multiplatform celebration of animation and the largest event of its kind in North America. A staunch advocate of diversity, Keith is a recipient of NAMIC’s Next Generation Leaders Award and serves on numerous advisory boards, including the NY chapter of Reach Out and Read, a children’s literacy organization.
31. Natalie Lubensky, SVP, Affiliate Marketing, ESPN
 
Lubensky’s strong voice continues to influence how the Disney and ESPN cable networks create and implement their marketing strategies, and her leadership is currently focused on driving awareness and distribution of key networks and services such as ESPN360.com, ESPN Deportes and Disney XD. Internally, her tireless work on the ESPN Diversity Council has influenced processes and initiatives that help drive company talent growth and development of the networks she represents.

32. Rita Tuzon, EVP/General Counsel, Fox Networks Group
 
No pressure, but Tuzon is viewed as Fox’s main gatekeeper, protecting the interests of its diverse entertainment portfolio. One of Fox Cable’s senior executives, she oversees all legal matters for the entire Fox Networks Group, including Fox Broadcasting Company and 36 national and regional cable programming services. She’s also one of Fox Networks Group chief Tony Vinciquerra’s top advisors. The WICT member is also a past board president of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Rita also runs an after-school reading program called Reading Buddies, where older elementary school kids mentor younger kids.
33. Kevin Stephens, SVP, Commercial and Advertising Operations, Suddenlink
 
A perennial member of our Most Influential Minorities list, Stephens oversees the 500 employees of Suddenlink’s CAO team, whose diverse duties have them handling ad sales, business services and, since late last year, CoStreet Communications, "the carrier’s carrier," which provides DS3 and larger capacity circuits to US telecom carriers. These growth businesses are expected to generate some $200 million annually, a solid chunk of the MSO’s $1.45 billion revenue. An inspirational leader at Suddenlink, Stephens also lends his voice to NAMIC, CTAM and CAB.
34. Loretta Walker, SVP/Chief Human Resources Officer, TBS
 
There are few more inspiring people in cable than Walker, whose trophy shelf includes, appropriately, WICT Atlanta’s Inspiration Award, given to her for being the award-winning chapter’s woman of the year in 2008. At Turner, she’s "woman of the year" on a daily basis, where she oversees recruitment, compensation, performance-management, training and development for the 11,000-employee company. In addition she has executive oversight for Turner’s global HR group and represents the company on Time Warner’s HR Council. A golfer and traveler, Walker’s a board member of NAMIC and the Emma Bowen Foundation.
35. Michael Smith, SVP, Marketing, Creative & Brand Strategy, Food Net
 
Smith is known as a big-picture kind of guy, broadly influencing marketing, research and programming at Food — and doing it with a penchant for keen strategic thinking. In fact, Smith has used his talents to guide Food through several successful promotions and partnerships, cultivating corporate synergies that have helped Food cement its place as a leading cable net and pop-culture force. A 2009 recipient of the NAMIC Luminaries Award, Smith often appears on industry panels and at other events — and also serves as a much-needed industry mentor.
36. Christopher Powell, EVP, Human Resources, Scripps Networks
 
Not only does Powell head human resources at Scripps Networks but also for Scripps Networks Interactive, all while serving on Scripps’ diversity and executive committees. Powell works daily to increase employee retention and was instrumental in orchestrating HR aspects surrounding the 2008 separation of Scripps Networks Interactive as a publicly traded company. All this while launching a new-employee orientation program, a performance-based management program, an expanded mentoring program and a new diversity strategy plan. No wonder SAVOY Professional recently named Powell one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.

37. Alicin Williamson, SVP, Corp Responsibility and Public Affairs, MTV Networks
 
Ever noticed how many corporate charitable strategies MTVN’s juggling? Williamson is the woman responsible for developing and overseeing them all. That includes providing strategic guidance for MTVN’s 30 pro-social campaigns and making final decisions on organizations that MTVN works with. She’s helped form alliances with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity and the USO to name a few. In addition, she serves on the boards of United Service Organizations and NAMIC.
38. Sandra Simpson Chiles, SVP/GM, Affiliate Sales, HBO
 
The HBO veteran oversees sales and marketing efforts for three of the top 10 cable providers in the US: Cox, Charter and Suddenlink. Chiles works hand-in-hand with affiliates in expanding their initiatives to an ever-increasing multicultural community, and has been recognized for her leadership by NAMIC and was inducted into CableFAX’s Sales Hall of Fame. She is also a member of Jack & Jill of America Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Sorority.
39. Michelle Rice, EVP, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, TV One
 
A CableFAX Sales Executive of the Year finalist, Rice has been a driving force behind TV One’s growth. Even when she was a VP and SVP, she was instrumental in negotiating distribution deals with DirecTV and Time Warner Cable — two partnershps that helped position TV one as one of the fastest growing networks in the last five years. Rice began her cable industry career through the Walter Kaitz Fellowship program at BET in 1993, where she served as manager, special markets and Canada in the network’s affiliate sales department.
40 Keno Thomas, SVP Affiliate Sales, Starz Entertainment
 
One of cable’s finest sales execs, Thomas has spent more than 25 years in the business with companies like Times Mirror Cable and ESPN. All that experience is paying dividends for Starz, as Thomas helped engineer a multi-year pact with FiOS that extended the network’s deal with the telco, bringing its hit movies to Verizon’s Internet subs via the Starz Play broadband video download service.
41. Terry Cordova, SVP/CTO, Suddenlink Communications
 
This is the 28-year industry vet’s second time on our list, adding to his many honors, including being named a Pathfinder at the ’06 Mid-America Cable Show and serving two terms on SCTE’s board as well as on numerous regional committees for the engineering organization. At Suddenlink Cordova is the MSO’s chief technology visionary, yet he and his 115-person team are also operating in the present, having built a national backbone that supports an enterprise footprint for telephony, multicast video delivery, data service and peering relationships with major Internet content providers. Terry has responsibility for a $200+ million annual capital budget.
42. Tina Waters, SVP, Customer Service Operations, Comcast Cable
 
In some ways, Waters has one of the most important jobs at Comcast: Overseeing billing, credit and collections for the MSO. But that’s not all. She also works on process improvements, employee selection and training, and quality assurance for Comcast’s call centers. In this highly competitive world, Waters is the one who oversees that all-important customer touchpoint, always playing a key role in Comcast’s efforts to deliver the best customer service possible. In addition, Waters is active in several community groups, including the Urban League of Philadelphia, and is even a founding member of Telecommunications Excellence for Associates and Managers (the PA/DE branch of the Consortium of Information and Technology Executives).
43. Karen Wishart, EVP/Chief Legal Officer, TV One
 
Wishart’s influence is felt throughout TV One, with the executive often serving as the ultimate negotiator for the network on everything from programming deals to business contracts. She’s played a big role in TV One’s entrée into publishing and other ancillary businesses. But her influence extends beyond cable. Almost every year, she takes two weeks off to go to South Africa to mentor African law students in business law, donating time to the International Senior Lawyers Project.
44. Brenda Freeman, Chief Marketing Officer, Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media, Turner Broadcasting
 
It’s hard to believe, but youthful Brenda Freeman is one of cable’s most experienced marketers, having made her mark at Nickelodeon/MTV Networks, ABC Radio, Frito-Lay and PepsiCo. Her current gig has her attempting to evolve Cartoon into a dominant youth-culture brand and maintain Adult Swim’s top position with 18-34 men. Her influence is felt throughout Turner as she helped create ad guidelines for food and beverage products aimed at children. In addition to all that, the WICT board member oversees annual corporate grants to elementary schools’ wellness programs.

45. Lino Garcia, GM, ESPN Deportes
 
Garcia has been instrumental in guiding ESPN en Espanol into its current 4.6mln Hispanic Nielsen homes, up from approximately 3.5mln in May ’08, and helping it become the highest-rated and most-watched Spanish-language sports network in the country. Plus, ESPNDeportes.com garners 5.4mln uniques and more than 170mln page views/month. A proven negotiator, he’s directly responsible for many of the net’s distribution pacts and even played a critical role in ESPN’s multi-platform acquisition of Spain’s La Liga soccer matches, some of which appear on Deportes. Garcia has served NAMIC’s board for several years and was recently named a board member of the Hispanic Federation and Lighthouse International.

46. Hamid Heidary, CTO/EVP, Central Operations, Insight
 
Insight achieved 5% customer growth in ‘08 under the technical direction of Heidary, who notably contributed to the feat by dividing the technical platforms of Insight and Comcast following the pair’s legal separation. He and his team’s attentiveness to detail during the transition helped minimize the effects on customers, evidenced by the MSO’s 15th consecutive quarter of subscriber growth through 1Q. An adept negotiator, Heidary has complete authority to forge new vendor contracts and technical partnerships so that the company’s business objectives align with its commercial relationships. He’s an active member of CableLabs and SCTE.
47. Lisa Hsia, SVP, Digital, Bravo
 
You’d expect a hip network like Bravo to "get" new media. Thanks to Lisa Hsia, it does and more. Overseeing emerging media, Hsia and her team handle business, tech alliances, content and marketing partnerships. Recently she added oversight of Bravotv.com, TelevisionWithoutPity.com and BrilliantButCancelled.com. And the accolades roll in, including Bravo’s first Tech and Engineering Emmy, a Mobile Marketing Assoc award for cross media integration and an ITVT Award to Hsia herself for leadership in interactive TV. But the peripatetic Hsia continues to innovate, launching L-Bar technology, allowing viewers to interact with a TV show and its commercials. She added to that with the first virtual viewing party, letting fans interact in real time on all platforms during The Real Housewives of New York City finale.
48. Kenetta Bailey, SVP, Marketing, WE TV
 
Is there anyone in cable who’s more liked than Kenetta Bailey, the NAMIC board member and WICT mentor who always seems to be smiling? Perhaps she’s happy because during her tenure WE tv’s viewership is up 83% and 98% in its key demos of women 25-54 and 18-49, respectively. Perhaps it’s because so much of her job involves conveying the fun of weddings series Bridezillas with stunts like having 15 brides (in their gowns) in Times Sq competing to see who could eat the most wedding cake in two minutes (the winner received $25K toward her dream wedding). But Kenetta has a serious side, too. She designed WE’s Get-Out-The-Vote and volunteer campaigns last year.

49. Marty Dominguez, VP, Marketing, C-SPAN
 
A 21-year veteran, the normally energetic Dominguez found an even higher octane level last year as she led advertising and promotions of C-SPAN’s 2008 election coverage for consumer, affiliate and education audiences. Marty also coordinated social media and blogs, expanding C-SPAN’s Facebook presence and Twitter feeds. She oversaw the award-winning Convention Hub and Debate Hub web sites In her "spare" time the always upbeat Dominguez promoted C-SPAN’s Lincoln bicentennial book, plus documentaries about the White House and the Supreme Court. All this was in addition to the Tulane MBA’s usual stellar work with C-SPAN’s school buses.
50. Kathy Johnson, President, NAMIC
 
There are few factors in the success of an organization that are more important than continuity and institutional knowledge. NAMIC celebrates its 30th year in 2010 and Johnson’s been there for 20 of them, leading with quiet efficiency and insuring that executives of color get an assist, propelling them to a seat at the table where deals are being made. Her most recent accomplishments were launching an executive coaching program; instituting a pilot program to help executives manage multi-cultural teams; and spearheading the creation of an online portal for alums of one of NAMIC’s most vital programs, the Executive Leadership Development Program.

2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable: The Second 50

2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable: Regional Executives

Back to table of contents for CableFAX: The Magazine‘s 2009 Most Influential Minorities in Cable issue.

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