March 21, 2013
Hobnobbing at T. Howard
By Michael Grebb
Cable big wigs and aspiring big-wigs hobnobbed once again at the T. Howard Foundation dinner Wed night in NYC, with 3 powerful cable women taking the stage to tell war stories and give thanks. “The C-Suite is a welcome place for women,” said Time Warner Cable chief video and content officer Melinda Witmer, who accepted the Executive Leadership Award. “Did I say Glenn [Britt] was a brave man?” She also thanked her parents and her husband, who “tells me where to go when needed.” Then in a nod to programmers in the room, she added, “Some of you might appreciate that.”
In introducing Witmer, former NBCU affiliate honcho Bridget Baker recalled the time that legendary TWC content chief Fred Dressler called her to say that he was going on a trip to China and that she’d be dealing with Witmer for now on, “and you better get the deal done by the time I get back.” She did.
Accepting the Executive “Trailblazer” Award was BET chmn/CEO Debra Lee, who called on those embarking on their careers to “move beyond yourself. That’s really the key… Our industry is always about what’s hot and what’s next… You need to be willing to fail.”
AETN pres/CEO Abbe Raven, meanwhile, accepted the Corporate Leadership Award by noting that she started out at the company answering the phone and copying scripts, proving that “if you can dream, you can achieve.” Those were important words of advice for the many T. Howard current and former interns who worked the ballroom like pros. Judging from the ones we met at the reception, they’re an ambitious, smart and hungry group—and quite impressive. Hire them, folks.