BET Leads With 5 of 10 Viacom Execs Named to Cablefax’s Most Powerful Women in Cable List

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

“You have women in these pages who have made it their mission to lift others up,” wrote Cablefax editor Amy Maclean in their November issue, which was dedicated to the most powerful women in cable. “Women who are pioneering technological innovation. Women who are shrewd negotiators. Women who are speaking up in boardrooms. Who knows… maybe one of the Most powerful Women in Cable will someday be elected to the most powerful office in the land.”

We are proud to note that 10 of those women – and three of the top 50 – work for Viacom. That half of these get-things-done executives come from BET, including CEO Debra Lee, is unsurprising, given that network’s reputation for recruiting women to direct some of its most important programs. Earlier this week, Essence wrote a salute to the outsized impact that black women show runners – including Being Mary Jane’s Erica Shelton Kodish – were having on the television landscape.

BET is hardly alone in celebrating women. CMT, whose senior vice president of operations, Suzanne Norman, made the list, recently launched its annual Next Women of Country to showcase the best new talent in a genre that remains male-dominated. Viacom hosts a resource group open to all employees that is committed to championing women’s interests, and the company regularly partners with organizations such as Safe Horizon and Joyful Heart Foundation that assist women in need and promote women’s rights.

Underscoring the diversity that powers Viacom, many of these women also appeared on Cablefax’s recent list of top minority executives: Lee, BET CMO and marketing executive vice president Vicky Free, and BET programming executive vice president Zola Mashariki. Two other BET executives – Maureen Guthman and Connie Orlando – made the adjacent “Influentials” list.

We congratulate these dedicated women and thank them for their tremendous contributions to Viacom’s ongoing success. Click through below to see why Cablefax chose each of these individuals as industry standouts.

MOST POWERFUL WOMEN – TOP 50

  1. Debra Lee – Chairman & CEO BET Networks

“Lee remains on a roll pushing to invigorate the BET brands with programming that reflect their audience.” Read more…

  1. Cyma Zarghami – President, Kids & Family Group Viacom

“Multiplatform activations remain a priority in Zarghami’s continued goal of enabling young viewers and their families to interact with Viacom brands wherever, and whenever, they want.” Read more…

  1. Denise Denson – EVP, Content Distribution & Marketing Viacom

“Denson’s work is never done. Last October, she worked to secure a multi-year agreement to ensure AT&T’s U-verse TV and DirecTV sub- scribers in the U.S. continue to get access to Viacom programming.” Read more…

 

MORE POWERFUL WOMEN IN CABLE 2016

Amy Doyle – EVP & Deputy GM  – VH1 & Logo

“Doyle continues to build brands and talent relations at VH1 and Logo while creating pop culture moments that drive audiences to the sister networks’ multiple platforms.” Read more…

Kristin Frank – EVP, Revenue, Strategy & Operations MTV

“A seasoned media executive and innovator, [Frank] excels at creating compelling content, and new struc-  tures and strategies to expand MTV’s multiscreen relationship with fans.” Read more…

Vicky Free – CMO & EVP, Marketing BET Networks

“Free is responsible for multiplatform campaigns and events that support the brand promise of ‘respect, reflect and elevate.’” Read more…

Maureen Guthman – SVP, Programming & Acquisition BET Networks

With Guthman leading the charge, BET Networks recently secured several important acquisitions, including ‘Martin,’ ‘House of Payne’ and ‘Meet the Browns.’” Read more…

Zola Mashariki – EVP, Programming BET Networks

“Mashariki is a big reason behind BET’s recent success. She oversees scripted and unscripted programming, as well as original programming development, to keep the 90 million households the network serves coming back for more.” Read more…

Suzanne Norman – SVP, Operations CMT

“[Norman] oversees day-to-day operations and business objectives, and also manages CMT’s digital and social teams, which have experienced an 11 percent uptick this year.” Read more…

Connie Orlando – SVP, Specials, Music & News BET Networks

“With Orlando leading music programming and news at BET Networks, the BET Awards in 2016 saw a 16 percent increase in ratings year-over-year, reaching a total of 22 million viewers.” Read more…

 

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