Oct 31, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Special to TelevisionWeek

I was on the WICT Foundation board with Benita when she first came into the organization. She brought a lot of what made her an Olympian to her position. She was very dedicated, she was a hard worker and she was very passionate about what she was doing, which to me is the most important ingredient a person can have.

Another reason for her success is that Benita brings a personal touch to her work. When she greets you, she’s got a wonderful smile on her. She’s very warm and open, but she’s a smart woman too.

One of the first things she did at WICT was she got out to the industry. She went out and visited all the multiple system operators and all the programmers. That wasn’t something that was done on a widespread basis before she took the initiative to do it. It was important because it helped the organization know how it was perceived. What she must have heard was a lot of people wanted less talk and more action. And that’s what Benita has given them.

Outreach is critical to that organization. Benita recognized that right away and was able to help others to see that we at the networks and the companies ought to look a lot like our audience does. A lot of the networks are selling to women as the decision-makers for their families, so it’s natural that we would have women as part of our decision-making process. I think Benita was bringing a common-sense message to the companies in a way that they were ready to hear. n

Mark Bauman is interim CEO of Starz Encore Group.