Feature Story

The Women of Comcast and NBCUniversal

Photo Caption: The Women of Comcast and NBCUniversal.  From left to right: Amy Banse, LeAnn Talbot, Bonnie Hammer, Cathy Avgiris, Pat Fili-Krushel, Lauren Zalaznick, D’Arcy Rudnay and Linda Yaccarino

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios, on what drew her to cable:

"When I made the move from broadcast TV to cable many years ago, it was a brave new world that attracted real risk-takers. We embraced change, and weren’t afraid to break rules as soon as we made them up. I find that same pioneering spirit invaluable — and exhilarating — in navigating today’s ever-changing media landscape."

Cathy Avgiris, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Communications and Data Services, Comcast Cable, on juggling busy days:

"I find that looking out ahead to see what’s coming at me helps me to get to the right priorities at the right time. Every day I look at the rolling week ahead — what needs planning, what needs delegating, what needs action, what needs follow-up."

D’Arcy Rudnay, Chief Communications Officer, Comcast Corporation, on the industry:

"Comcast and the cable industry are changing so fast, and every year brings incredibly new challenges and opportunities."

Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, NBCUniversal, on opportunities for young women:

"I would tell them the same thing I would tell young men looking to break into cable: Distinguish yourself through great ideas that drive your business at whatever level you’re at. Don’t ever just do the minimum of what’s asked of you, even if you do that pretty well. Think about how to contribute more. As you rise, push yourself to continue to be a ‘big idea’ person who never loses the ability to execute."

Amy Banse, Managing Director and Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures, on the Comcast culture:

"The Comcast culture is a wonderful mix of hard-driving dedication and intelligent innovation wrapped in a degree of humility. We have high standards and expect the best from each other, but at the same time I've never seen a more trusting and supportive management team. The result is a place where smart people feel completely comfortable taking the right risks."

Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group, on mentoring:

A big believer in mentoring and sponsorship, Fili-Krushel "encourages people to be authentic and clear about their priorities."

Jennifer Gaiski, Senior Vice President, Content Acquisition, Comcast Cable, on her best mentor:

"My folks always told me to be fair, kind and work really, really hard."

Charisse Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment, Comcast Corporation, and President, Comcast Foundation, on diversity:

"We are a technologically advanced industry, led by ethical and visionary leaders focused on innovation and diversity. Over my almost eight years in the industry, I have seen firsthand how the commitment to advancing women in the industry has grown."

Lisa Berger, President, Entertainment Programming, E! Entertainment Television, on developing new programming:

"There are real opportunities to break through the media clutter and produce something interesting, and maybe even a little dangerous."

Linda Yaccarino, President, Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal, on her best mentor:

"That’s easy. Mark Lazarus, Chairman of the NBC Sports Group. He’s smart and always maintains his sense of humor, sensibilities, professionalism and competitive spirit, regardless of how challenging and intense the situation. He’s an incredible role model and a good friend."

LeAnn Talbot, Regional Senior Vice President, Freedom Region, Comcast Cable, on women in operations:

"While operations may not seem like a natural first choice for many women, it is by far the best way to get started in this industry and learn it inside and out. Also, I think a woman’s natural ability to multitask creates a natural fit."

Salaam Coleman Smith, President, Style Network, on her advice for women:

"Identify your passion and pursue with vigor."

Charlotte Field, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure and Operations, Comcast Cable, on opportunities for women in cable:

"If you love to be around innovation and change, this is absolutely the right place to be. Regardless of the position you hold, the technological transformation is creating opportunities to contribute, innovate and build your career."

For more about these and other Comcast and NBCUniversal women on the power list, please visit www.cablefax.com.

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