B&C's Women in the Game

An all-star group of executives who are making the ever-exploding world of sports TV stronger than ever

The traditional picture of sports TV has long suggested that men dominate everything, from C-level jobs to producers to those who buy and sell the games. The picture hardly holds true, as the women we feature here prove. The 2011 B&C/MCN Women in the Game honorees rose to high positions through perseverance, determination and a willingness to bring a teamwork approach to whatever they've had to overcome. They extend across all areas of the industry, including legal affairs, creative services, operations, production, sales; they have overseen everything from network launches to providing trucks to film Olympics to marketing a small sports net in a big way. Most importantly, they share a love for the game of bringing top competition to sports-hungry viewers.

Senior VP, Business and Legal Affairs, Fox Cable Networks

When the Fox Sports executive team headed to Lausanne, Switzerland, in June to make its official bid for TV rights to the International Olympic Committee for the 2014 and 2016 Games, it had in hand a contract that was in large part put together by Karen Brodkin, senior VP, business and legal affairs for Fox Cable Networks.

Senior VP of Creative Services, Comcast Sports Group

Growing up in a house with five stepbrothers (and a sister), April Carty-Sipp almost had to dive into sports "if I hoped to get attention," she says. Now senior VP of creative services at Comcast Sports Group, Carty-Sipp played soccer throughout college - when she also managed to break into the sports world on the business side.

General Manager, Cablevision's MSG Varsity

Overseeing the launch of a sports network requires wearing a lot of hats -- programming, production, scheduling, marketing, operations. But in 2009, when general manager Theresa Chillianis helped start MSG Varsity, Cablevision's network for high-school sports in metropolitan New York, she faced an array of challenges beyond what might be expected.


For Christine Godleski , leaving the TV industry to run day-to-day operations for a sports league is less of a challenge than scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro -- both of which the WNBA's chief operating officer has done.

CEO, NEP Broadcasting

When NBC swings into high gear for the London Olympics in summer 2012, NEP Broadcasting CEO Debra Honkus will be in the middle of the games, continuing a relationship that dates back to the 1988 Olympics.

Senior VP of Operations, ESPN

Jodi Markley wanted to break into the film world after college, so she moved from her native Miami to...Connecticut. It wasn't Hollywood or New York, but it did get her working on some documentaries and on the B unit of a picture "so awful it was never released," she recalls.

Senior VP, General Sales Manager, Turner Sports Ad Sales

When Lorie McCarthy joined Turner Sports as part of the sales team 10 years ago, Turner was televising Atlanta Braves baseball games, the Goodwill Games and some professional golf.

VP of Marketing, GolTV

Deborah Montiel doesn't work for a mammoth cable operator or a network that is part of a giant corporate family. Montiel, known as Didi, is vice president of marketing for GolTV, the tiny, independent soccer network founded by soccer star Enzo Francescoli in 2003.

Senior VP and General Manager, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic

After Rebecca Schulte worked her way up the ladder in Fox Sports' marketing department, she told her bosses that since the promotions she had been producing were the equivalent of mini-programs, she wanted a crack at being a producer on an actual show.

Producer/Director, CBS Sports

Considered a true pioneer for women in television sports broadcasting behind the cameras, CBS Sports producer/director Smith has had a hand in virtually every major sports broadcast her network has covered for the
past 28 years.

Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics & Talent Development, NBC Sports Group

When Molly Solomon told a woman from the International Olympic Committee that she would be speaking during NBC's winning pitch to retain the Olympics, the IOC rep was shocked. "We don't get many women who speak in this room," Solomon, coordinating producer for NBC Olympics, recalls her saying.

Executive VP and Chief Video and Content Officer, Time Warner Cable

There are television executives who spend their whole lives dreaming of working in the TV field, gradually working their way up from the mailroom to the top. Melinda Witmer took a different approach.