WE Has a Plan to 'Empower Women'

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Looking to encourage and help fund mentorship, education and health programs, WE: Women's Entertainment is establishing a national public-affairs initiative.

General manager Kim Martin was slated to introduce “WE Empowers Women” during a keynote May 3 at the Cable Television Public Affairs Association's Forum 2005 in Washington, D.C.

Over the years, WE has supported a number of organizations and issues, but had not designed the infrastructure for an over-arching public-affairs initiative.

Martin said that along with enhancing programming and marketing, establishing a public-affairs campaign has been one of her top priorities since becoming general manager at the Rainbow Media Holdings channel late last year.

“It's extremely important that WE as a network address issues that are relevant to women's lives. We need to be part of that community both on-air and online,” she said. The initiative has “importance beyond community leadership. It will help define the WE brand.”

At CTPAA, Martin was expected to detail the program's mission as one dedicated to “creating projects and programs that foster and celebrate the intelligence, confidence, diversity and leadership of women, both in the workplace and at home.”

The initiative also aims for “meaningful and needed social change and support, while being a valuable information tool of the lives of the WE viewer.”

WE is sponsoring CTPAA's 2005 Forum from May 1 to 4 and the WICT Forum's Pacesetters Luncheon. It will create one-minute on-air editorials, refreshed on a weekly basis, reflecting the views of celebrities and other notables on a variety of subjects.

Girls Inc., the 140-year-old organization dedicated to assisting at-risk girls and young women, will be the first to benefit financially, with money aimed at expanding local and national programs.

Sandy Dukat, a decorated member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team since 2002, will serve as WE Empowers Women's designated spokeswoman.

The initiative's first advisory board members are Women in Cable and Telecommunications CEO Benita Fitzgerald Mosley; Suzanne Keenan, senior vice president of customer service at Comcast Cable; and Dave Andersen, senior vice president of communications at Charter Communications.

Martin said WE will reach out to other MSOs and vendors. “During the first year, we want to focus on finding the right partners and programs and how we can work for each other,” she said.

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