WICT is an organization with a 30-year track record of creating women leaders. We also celebrate the achievements of women by encouraging others to emulate those who have made noteworthy contributions to our industry.
Please click here for more information on WICT awards. Click here to view past recipients of WICT awards throughout the years.
The 2013 honorees were celebrated at the 2013 WICT Touchstones Luncheon that was held during the WICT Leadership Conference, October 7-8, at the New York Marriott Marquis, during Diversity Week.
2013 Woman of the Year
The Woman of the Year award is bestowed upon a woman who has made increasingly significant contributions to her own company and the overall cable telecommunications industry throughout her career. She is at the top and shows great resolve to help others along their path.
WICT named Abbe Raven winner of its 2013 Woman of the Year award. Abbe Raven is Chairman, A+E Networks, encompassing A&E®, Lifetime®, HISTORY®, LMN®, bio.®, H2™, HISTORY en Español™, Crime & Investigation Network®, Military HISTORY®, LRW™, as well as A&E IndieFilms®, A+E Networks International®, A+E Networks Digital® and A+E Networks Consumer Products®. Elevated to this newly created position in April 2013, Ms.Raven serves as A+E Networks’ strategic corporate business advisor, spearheading long-term business and revenue strategy and public policy initiatives.
From March 2005 to April 2013, Raven led A+E Networks as President and Chief Executive Officer, tripling the company’s earnings and expanding its global portfolio.
She also oversaw the company’s strategic merger with Lifetime Cable Television in 2009. Under Raven’s direction, A&E and History catapulted into the top 5 networks and Lifetime maintained its position as the leading brand for women. During her tenure at A+E Networks, Raven has been honored for building some of the most prominent and highly valued cable networks and for standing at the forefront of numerous industry-wide initiatives. A+E Networks’ channels and branded programming have grown to reach more than 350 million households in over 150 countries.
In September 2012, Raven was again named one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune. She was cited for running one of the most successful multi-billion dollar global media companies. Over the last 10 years, Raven has been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list, which listed her this year as one of the Top 5 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment. In April 2005, she received the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association for her years of leadership in the cable industry. At a White House ceremony in May 2007, Raven accepted the prestigious Preserve America Presidential Award from first lady Laura Bush for HISTORY’s longstanding commitment to historic preservation. In October 2009, Raven was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. In April 2011, she was the recipient of the prestigious New York Women in Communications Matrix Award.
Prior to her position as President and CEO, Ms. Raven was President of A&E Network and The Biography Channel. She spearheaded the revitalization of A&E, launching it back into a top ten network. Under her leadership, A&E Network created a new crop of real-life programming, which led to double-digit growth in the network’s target demographic, a reduction in the network’s median age by almost 20 years, and a record 24 Emmy® nominations.
Previously, Ms. Raven was Executive Vice President and General Manager of The History Channel. Under her direction, The History Channel grew into a leading cable network and won several prestigious awards, including an Emmy Award and two George Foster Peabody Awards for outstanding documentary programming. Ms. Raven was the original architect of The History Channel’s programming schedule.
Raven serves as vice chairman on the board of directors of the NCTA and is on the boards of the NAMIC Foundation and the CTAM Educational Foundation. She also serves as vice chairman of the advisory board of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. In December 2010, she was the recipient of a New York Women in Film & Television MUSE Award. In 2007, Ms. Raven was selected as an honoree of The Paley Center’s “She Made It” in recognition of her leadership and achievements in the world of cable television. In 2005, she was elected a Director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
2013 Woman to Watch - Operator
The Woman to Watch Award is bestowed upon two women in cable who show tremendous promise for transforming the industry through their professional accomplishments. These women have already demonstrated exemplary leadership skills as well as strong dedication to the industry and their organizations.
WICT named Bernie Han one of two winners of its 2013 Woman to Watch award. Bernadine Han, known as “Bernie,” oversees the operations, journalistic character, and content for 10 local news stations around the country, including Time Warner Cable’s prestigious flagship station, NY1 News. Among Time Warner Cable customers, NY1 News is the most-watched 24-hour news channel.
In this role and her previous role managing the news operations for NY1, Ms. Han has been instrumental in decision making during some of the most significant news events of the past two decades, including continuous coverage of the events of 9/11 as they unfolded and Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to New York City in 2008. She spearheaded the news decision to follow stories that impacted local viewers in other countries such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti, post tropical storms and the one-year anniversary of the tsunami that swept through Japan.
Ms. Han has worked at NY1 News practically her entire career. She joined the staff in 1992 as a writer, just before the 24-hour local news channel launched. By 1995, Ms. Han was a Senior Producer. As NY1 News grew in popularity and staff, so did her role. She rose to Assistant News Director and then News Director of NY1, before being named Vice President of News in 2005. In early 2006, when Time Warner Cable decided to merge its upstate news channels under one division, she was again promoted and charged with overseeing editorial content, budgets and talent negotiations.
Ms. Han graduated from Columbia University’s Barnard College.
Time Warner Cable is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the U.S., connecting more than 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other.
2013 Woman to Watch - Programmer
WICT also named named Marjorie Kaplan, Group President, Animal Planet, Science Channel & Velocity winner of its 2013 Woman to Watch award.
Since taking over leadership of Animal Planet Media in February 2007, Kaplan has transformed and revolutionized the business by repositioning the network into a more adult-focused, competitive entertainment brand. One year later in February 2008, Kaplan relaunched Animal Planet with a new logo, new brand campaign and new programming vision that delivered on the expansive and unexpected range of visceral experiences within the animal kingdom, creating a bold entertainment destination. In March of this year, Kaplan was named to the Wonder Woman class of 2013 by Multichannel News in recognition of her role as a top performing executive in cable television.
In 2010, Kaplan signaled a further evolution in programming strategy and brand with the introduction of a new tagline "Surprisingly Human." Under Kaplan's direction, Animal Planet has grown its audience 39% among P25-54 since the '08 re-brand and finished 2012 as a top-20 cable network. In 2012, the network achieved its most-watched year in network history in prime among HH (476K), P25-54 (292K) and posted its most-watched year ever in total day among P2+ viewers (434K), HH (342K), and P25-54 (190K).
Continuing that success in 2013, Animal Planet's second quarter was its most-watched quarter ever in prime and total day among major key demos, including P2+ viewers (768K, 466K), HH (546K, 358K), P25-54 (352K, 203K) and P18-49 (330K, 200K). In prime, the network also marked its highest quarterly delivery ever among M25-54 (195K), placing Animal Planet at #16 among all ad-supported cable networks for 2013 to date. In addition to posting a record-breaking quarter, in June, Animal Planet delivered its most-watched month in network history in prime among P2+ viewers (812K), HH (567K), P25-54 (367K) and M25-54 (203K).
With Kaplan at the Animal Planet helm, the network launched WHALE WARS, an environmental adventure series following the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who use unconventional and radical methods to eradicate alleged illegal whaling operations. Following that success, she launched the network's best-performing series ever, RIVER MONSTERS, a nature adventure series following extreme angler Jeremy Wade in his worldwide search for harrowing tales of man-eating fish. In its most recent fifth season, RIVER MONSTERS delivered its most watched season ever with 1.8M P2+ viewers.
Adding to Kaplan's roster of hits are FINDING BIGFOOT, MONSTER WEEK and CALL OF THE WILDMAN. FINDING BIGFOOT ranks among the network's top-three-performing series of all time among P25-54, and delivered 1.2M P2+ viewers overall last season. In second quarter 2013, the second annual MONSTER WEEK delivered Animal Planet's most-watched week to date in both prime and total day. And, MERMAIDS: THE NEW EVIDENCE, which aired at the tail end of MONSTER WEEK, became Animal Planet's most-watched telecast of all time with 3.6M P2+ viewers breaking the record for the network's first-ever MONSTER WEEK in 2012, featuring MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND, which delivered nearly 2 million viewers (1.96M P2+) for its premiere. Showcasing "Surprisingly Human" characters, Animal Planet introduced "Turtleman" Ernie Brown Jr. in the series CALL OF THE WILDMAN. An immediate pop-culture sensation, CALL OF THE WILDMAN ranks as the network's second-most watched series year to date, delivering 1.3M P2+ viewers. The season-two debut saw a series high of 1.9M P2+ viewers.
In recognition of Kaplan's strong creative and business leadership of Animal Planet, in January 2011 she was promoted to president of Science Channel and in November of 2012 given oversight of Velocity with Science Channel general manager, Debbie Myers and Velocity general manager Robert Scanlon, reporting to her respectively. Working with the Science Channel and Velocity teams, Kaplan continues to build on their success by growing viewership while maintaining the day to day oversight and aggressive growth of Animal Planet as president and general manager.
Kaplan is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of this multi-media venture that includes the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 96 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.
Kaplan joined Discovery Communications Inc. in 1997 as senior vice president for Children's Programming and Products, and oversaw the launch of Discovery Kids Channel that same year. For over a decade, Kaplan directed children's programming for Discovery Networks, U.S., including all Discovery Kids Channel programming as well as the three-hour commercial free READY, SET, LEARN pre-school block that aired on TLC and Discovery Kids Channel, the <http://discoverykids.com> discoverykids.com<http://discoverykids.com> website, and children's products and services. In 2006, Kaplan led Discovery Kids Channel to 14 daytime Emmy nominations.
Before joining Discovery, Kaplan served as executive vice president at Lancit Media Entertainment, the Emmy Award-winning producer of children's programs including "Reading Rainbow" and "The Puzzle Place." Discovery purchased a minority equity stake in Lancit Media in September 1996, and Kaplan became responsible for managing the relationship between Discovery and Lancit. Kaplan also served as director of advertising for Kraft General Foods where she was responsible for brand strategy, positioning, and advertising. Additionally, Kaplan was a vice president at Ogilvy & Mather, with clients including General Foods, AT&T and TWA. She also consulted to Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment on the development of a shopping channel.
Kaplan is an alumna of Brown University where she majored in Semiotics. She and her husband live in New York City with their two sons, who claim to watch nothing but Animal Planet.