Jana Winograde has mastered the unique challenge of TV network management: growing day-to-day business while keeping a steady eye on an industry that's in a constant state of tremendous change.
As Executive VP of Business Affairs, ABC Entertainment/ABC Daytime/SOAPnet, Winograde touches all aspects of the business from managing series and programming inventory to long-range planning.
"Certain areas of entertainment focus more on the creative and certain areas are solely business-oriented," says Winograde. Her job, she adds, "is a really perfect combination of both."
As such, they match her skill set perfectly.
"She has great instincts and has made innovative deals allowing the network to maintain a healthy business strategy in an ever-changing environment," says her boss, ABC Entertainment chief Steve McPherson. "I think her upside as an executive talent is unlimited."
Winograde got into TV and business affairs by way of law. While attending law school at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall, Winograde clerked in entertainment law and then took a job at a big corporate firm upon graduation.
But when an in-house slot at ABC came up she jumped on it and joined the network in 1994 as assistant general attorney, Litigation and Employment Practices.
Within a year, she moved over to direct business affairs and contracts for what was then ABC's studio division. Winograde was hired by Mark Pedowitz, whom she cites as a mentor.
When Pedowitz moved to run the company's studio about a year ago, she took over that area entirely, reporting to McPherson and Disney-ABC TV Group Daytime chief Brian Frons.
A DEAL IN THREE DAYS
Since then, she has seen the company through some of its most important changes, be it redefining relationships with suppliers or hammering out the company's landmark deal with iTunes in just three days.
"Nobody is interested in making deals for longer than a year now because they just don't know how the world's going to change in that time," she says. "Just when you think things are set, they change again, and that's very exciting."
As for her own career, the mom of two daughters, 3 and 5, praises ABC for its own mix of creativity and business. "They know how to take the best creative people and pair them with really good businesspeople in a way that I don't think any other company can." —Anne Becker