Spotlight : Sandy Wax, SoapNet

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In moving from aspiring biologist to successful cable programmer, Sandy Wax made quite a career-path shift. Having earned her bachelor's of science degree in biology, she returned to Loyola College in Baltimore to secure a master's in business administration in marketing.

"It makes sense when you've lived it, but not when you see it on a piece of paper," Wax laughs.

Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, she discovered a love for marine biology. Yet, she came to understand that the gradual pace of science was not for her.

"I realized that I would have to get my Ph. D., and everything in science moves so slowly," she said. "I wanted a field where things moved faster, but I could still fulfill my curiosity. I found that in cable."

Recently appointed senior vice president of program planning, scheduling and acquisitions at SoapNet, she will work on program strategy and scheduling. She had worked for ABC Cable Networks Group first as VP, research and planning, then as senior VP, brand strategy and research. Prior to joining ABC Cable in March 1998, she served as VP of research and planning for Discovery Communications Inc.

"I came to ABC at a really exciting time. Disney [Channel] was just about to reach 40 million homes, and they were on the verge of launching new networks, Toon Disney and SoapNet," she said. "The process has been so dynamic."

With two children, Wax has plenty to occupy her time away from the office. "I have my own two science experiments at home — a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old," she said. She also shoots a mean game of pool.

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