Linda McMahon a cable TV Wonder Woman
Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, was honored today by Multichannel News as one of cable and telecommunications' Wonder Women. The class of 2007 includes 10 female executives from companies such as the Bravo Network, Comcast, Verizon and, of course, WWE. An awards luncheon was held this afternoon at the Hilton in New York City, where McMahon was presented with the top honor.
"I feel very privileged to receive this award on behalf of WWE," McMahon told WWE.com. "It is about women in cable, so I am happy to be among a lot of other recipients of this award who have had a vision in the industry, who have been part of branding their product in the industry, who set policy within the industry and who do programming within the industry."
Awards presenters included Fox New Channel's Brenda Buttner, CNBC's Maria Bartiromo and CNN Headline News' Susan Hendricks.
"Let me tell you about Linda," Buttner said to WWE.com. "She's amazing. She marries smarts with a lot of grace. She does it so effortlessly."
Hendricks called it an honor to present McMahon with the Wonder Woman Award.
"As I've learned more about Linda, I've found out what she has done to contribute a great deal," Hendricks said. "I love the fact that WWE is a family business, a tight-knit family organization. I love it. I'm excited, and honored to present to her."
Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and Sci Fi Channel, was also on hand to congratulate McMahon.
"Linda, to me, is a powerhouse. She is brilliant," Hammer said.
During her acceptance speech, McMahon gave a brief explanation of the history of WWE, and how cable television has allowed sports-entertainment to flourish.
"Cable television gave us the opportunity to have our first national platform, and at that particular time in the late '70s and early '80s, there was no other national platform for this particular, unique form of American pop culture," McMahon told the crowd of several thousand.
"WWE is a wonderful, American export that is now seen in over 100 countries and translated into over 13 languages," McMahon explained. "Vince and I had a fantastic time building this company, and now we're so fortunate to have our children -- Shane and Stephanie -- working with us to continue to build this brand."
When McMahon said Vince McMahon has been on television longer than Johnny Carson, the crowd was wowed. She also explained that she kicked open doors in the sports-entertainment industry, which was once heavily male-dominated.
"Not only are women coming to the forefront in our particular industry in our company, I get to take credit for a lot of the hard work that is done by so many women at WWE," McMahon said. "We are just very fortunate to have such strong and powerful, dynamic women as a part of our group."
Finally, McMahon wanted to thank the cable industry again for all it has done to contribute to the success of WWE.
"Cable -- thank you, for the growth of WWE's brand. We continue to salute all of you and I thank you very much for this honor today."