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.

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Nashville Leaders Applaud CMT, Re-Name High School Academy

by Natasha Powell, CMT

Left to Right (back row): Sarah Gaffney, Robbin Wall, Dr. Jesse Register and Karl Dean; (front row): Anna Shepherd, Suzanne Norman and Lucia Folk.

Nashville dignitaries put the spotlight on CMT in a ribbon cutting Friday morning for the newly named CMT Academy of Digital Design and Communications at McGavock High School. Metro Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, school board representative Anna Shepherd, Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register joined Principal Robbin Wall in recognizing CMT’s commitment to McGavock High School at a ceremony in the school’s broadcast journalism studio.  CMT’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Suzanne Norman, was on-hand for the ribbon cutting, as well as Lucia Folk, senior director of public affairs and Sarah Gaffney, manager of public affairs, who have spearheaded this initiative.  Many CMT employees spent Friday at McGavock as part of Viacommunity Day, our company-wide day of giving. Read More