Cable Operators

With Praise for a Witch And a Toast to Great Women, Wondrous Event Turns 10

3/19/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

New York — From lighthearted praise by Univision’s
Jennifer Ball for a role model, “the wicked witch of
the West,” to a warm closing toast to “great women” by
NBCUniversal’s Dana Zimmer, the
10th annual “Wonder Women” luncheon
last week treated 875 attendees
to a generous serving of good
advice — and one notable confession.

Sherry Brennan, senior vice
president of distribution strategy
and development at Fox Networks,
said she was on the board of Women
in Cable Telecommunications’
New York chapter when the idea
was first raised to single out Wonder
Women in the cable industry.

“I was against the idea,” she said,
to much laughter. “I said something
like, ‘We have enough awards in
this industry.’ ” (WICT New York cohosts
the event, with Multichannel
, which selects the honorees.)

Brennan said she was outvoted.
“And I just want to take this opportunity
to publicly acknowledge that I was wrong. We
need this award.”

Lessons learned: Two heads are better than one, and
it’s important to lose gracefully.

Ball invoked the wicked witch because she played that
part in a fourth-grade production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

But a teacher first cast her as a munchkin, because she
was a small kid. Her mother complained and got young
Jennifer the dual role of munchkin and witch. Ball said
she’s also learned in her career that “you don’t have to
play that role to be here.”

Suddenlink chief financial officer Mary Meduski originally
wanted to be a doctor before becoming a banker
and then a cable executive. That taught her “you have to
love what you do and make a change if you don’t, even if
that makes you the oldest Wonder Woman on the stage
— just sayin’. ”

Marissa Freeman, senior vice president
of brand strategy and marketing
communications at Time Warner
Cable, observed: “There is a Wonder
Woman inside all of you, even the men.”

Michelle Vicary, executive vice president
of programming at Crown Media
Family Networks, enthused: “I’m so
lucky to be in an industry where women
have some of the best jobs in the world.”

And Zimmer — who went last, alphabetically
— acknowledged a shouted-
out happy birthday and then ended
her remarks with a toast: “Great women:
may we know them, may we be
them, may we hire them and may we
raise them.”

Videos of all 12 Wonder Women
speeches will be available on multichannel.
com on Thursday (March 23).

Comcast EVP Cohen
Ranks Among Top
Obama ‘Bundlers’

There are some familiar media industry names in the
latest list of “bundlers” for President Obama’s 2012

Bundlers are contributors who go that extra mile, or
in this case dollar, to, as puts it, “turn
to friends, associates, and, well, anyone who’s willing to
give, and deliver the checks to the candidate in one big
“bundle.” Though not required to report bundling by anyone
but a registered lobbyist, President Obama agreed
to report all bundlers who raised more than $50,000.

According to OpenSecrets, no Republican challengers
have agreed to provide that data beyond the lobbyist
reporting required by the Federal Elections Commission.

As of March 5, Comcast executive vice president David
is high on the
leader board, having bundled
at least $500,000
in checks. Because of
the way the bundled
donations are reported,
it is not clear how much
above that level he went,
other than it is north of a
half million.

The Comcast exec —
called out as a “wonder
man” by Mika Brzezinski
of MSNBC’s Morning Joe
at last week’s Wonder
Women luncheon — ranked third on the OpenSecrets
list of top Obama bundlers, behind DreamWorks SKG’s
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Chicagoan Fred Eychaner, on
the basis of having given more than $1 million (individually
and through family members) to federal candidates,
parties and PACs in all election cycles since 1990.

A former chief of staff to Democratic Philadelphia
Mayor Ed Rendell, Cohen hosted a fall fund-raiser
for the president and the DNC at his home, and also
hosted a fundraiser for Obama the first time around in

Also in the $500,000 club is Tom Wheeler, the former
National Cable Television Association president
and managing director of Core Capital Partners. He advised
the Obama transition team and later was instrumental
in advising the president to move back the DTV
transition date.

Tennis Channel chief Ken Solomon also has served
up the green at $500,000-plus. In 2008, he bundled in
the $100,000-$200,000 range for Obama.

In the $200,000-
$500,000 category you
fi nd former Democratic
FCC commissioner (a
Clinton appointee) Susan
. She left the agency
in 2001 and is currently
a consultant. All in, folks
from the TV/movie/
music spheres bundled
at least $4.75 million, in
fi fth place as a category
behind lawyers, bankers,
business services and
real estate.


Anna Silk: “That sex scene that Kris is talking
about was almost like doing a stunt. I mean it was
exhausting and I remember it was my birthday that
day, do you remember that Kris?

Kris Holden-Ried: “That’s right.”

Anna Silk: “I spent it nude covered in blood on top
of you. It was a great way to spend my birthday.”

 — Overheard during a call with bloggers last
week were Lost Girl’s Anna Silk and Kris Holden-
. The Canadian supernatural drama stars Silk
as Bo, a succubus who feeds off sexual energy,
and Holden-Ried as her love interest. Season 1 on
Syfy ends tonight (March 19) at 10 p.m.

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