Emilio Romano was named President of Telemundo Media in October 2011. Romano leads the Telemundo broadcast network, its 15 owned stations, the Entertainment Division and Telemundo Studios – the number one producer of original Spanish-language primetime content for U.S. Hispanics. Additionally, he oversees the Emmy® Award-winning news and sports divisions, Telemundo International, Telemundo’s digital media group, and the network’s sales and marketing units. He also has oversight of mun2, the fastest growing lifestyle cable network for young bicultural Latinos.
Romano’s impressive career spans the media, aviation and Internet industries, where he has held a wide range of senior leadership positions over the past two decades, from start-up entrepreneurial roles to the head of large scale business operations.
During the late 1990’s, Romano was Grupo Televisa’s Director of Mergers and Acquisitions, and later Vice President of International Operations with oversight of more than 500 global employees. From 1995 to 1998, he was a member of the Board of Directors for Univision Communications and directed several high-profile transactions, including the Sky Latin America joint venture with The News Corporation, Organizações Globo and TCI; the sale of PanAmSat to Hughes Electronics; and the formation of Via Digital DTH venture for the Iberian Peninsula. Romano also was responsible for Televisa’s operations outside of Mexico, including the record label Fonovisa and the worldwide programming distribution arm Protele. Additionally, he co-managed Cablevisión, the largest cable network in Mexico.
In 2001, Romano co-founded Border Group, LLC, and served as an advisor to several entertainment and media companies. He was a member of the Board of Directors for Claxson Interactive, a multimedia company providing branded entertainment content for both Spanish and Portuguese speakers.
More recently, from 2004 to 2007, he served as CEO for Grupo Mexicana de Aviación, where he was responsible for the airline’s largest financial restructuring in its 87-year history. During his tenure, he also organized the launch of Click Mexicana, the first low-cost carrier in Mexico, and engineered the sale of Mexicana de Aviación to a Mexican investor group.
At the beginning of his career, Romano held various positions within the Mexican Ministry of Finance, including General Director of Revenue Policy and Federal Fiscal Attorney. Additionally, he was the chief negotiator for more than 50 tax and customs treaties, as well as tax and customs matters relating to NAFTA.
Romano serves on the Board of Directors for Tam Linhas Aereas (NYSE:TAM) and is the President of IATA’s International Airline Training Fund Council. He holds a law degree from the Escuela Libre de Derecho in Mexico City, where he graduated cum laude, and earned a diploma in international law at the City of London Polytechnic in London, UK.
A native of Mexico City, Romano resides in Miami with his wife and two daughters.
Recipient of Pay TV Provider Executive Award
VP and GM,
Multicultural Video Services
Ruben Mendiola is the Vice President and General Manager of Multicultural Video Services for Comcast. In this position he is responsible for directing, designing and implementing Comcast’s multicultural video services strategy and collaborating with various Comcast divisions, regions and business unit partners to develop competitive product pricing, positioning and marketing strategies.
Prior to joining Comcast, Mendiola was General Manager of Latino Programming and Spanish Business Development for Dish Network. During his nine years at the company, he not only spearheaded and defined the company’s Spanish video content initiatives, but was also responsible for creating the DISH Latino division.
Prior to DISH, he was Vice President of Programming and Operations at Fox Sports Latin America. He also served as Programming Director for Pay TV at Grupo Televisa where he was responsible for content negotiations for all Pay TV Systems of Televisa including Sky Entertainment Services and Cablevision.
Ruben is a graduate of Universidad Iberoamericana A.C. in Mexico City where he earned his degree in Corporate Law.
Recipient of Broadcast Network Distribution
SVP, Broadcast Distribution
Fox Broadcasting Company
As Senior Vice President, Broadcast Distribution, for FOX Broadcasting Company (FBC), Inae Wilson, a fifteen year Fox veteran, is responsible for day-to-day operations, negotiating distribution agreements, enforcing contractual commitments, program clearances, preemptions, on-air/co-op promotion and managing relations between FBC and several domestic broadcast television affiliates. Ms. Wilson represents FBC to stations on issues of inventory and affiliate financial contributions. Ms. Wilson was part of the team that negotiated the Primetime Inventory Purchase Agreement, a deal that requires affiliates to pay FBC a fee for primetime programming. FOX was the first network to orchestrate such an agreement and pioneered a change in the affiliate/network financial model.
Additionally, Ms. Wilson is the primary executive responsible for distribution of the MundoFox broadcast network. This has involved analysis of the marketplace, identification of potential broadcast affiliates, negotiation of affiliate agreements, coordination of the network with the new affiliate, and monitoring and guiding stations.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Wilson was Vice President, Broadcast Distribution for FBC. She is a self-starter who has learned the broadcast business from the bottom up. Once she got her foot in the door as a production assistant on the early FOX comedy “Martin,” she’s liaised with most every aspect of the business – programming, marketing, news, ad sales, finance, engineering, sports, operations – as a result she possesses a solid knowledge of the broadcast business that informs her no-nonsense, candid style, and gives her credibility with affiliates.
A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Wilson is married with one son.
Executive Director – Content Strategy & Acquisition, Verizon FiOS TV
General Manager/Chief Programming Officer, FiOS1 Local Channels
Michelle Webb is executive director of Content Acquisition & Programming for Verizon FiOS TV and general manager and chief programming officer for the FiOS1 Local Channels.
In her role as executive director, which she assumed in 2011, Ms. Webb manages operations and programming as well as acquisition for all local, Hispanic and multicultural programming for FiOS TV. As General Manager of FiOS1, she created Verizon’s first owned and operated local channel network. Verizon FiOS TV’s local channels are comprised of several components, including broadcast channels and video-on-demand content. The local channels also offer an accompanying web presence aligned with the video services.
Prior to joining Verizon, Ms. Webb spent four years as producer of ABC News’s Primetime Live. Responsible for overseeing aspects of features and segments presented on the network’s television magazine shows.
Previously, Ms. Webb served as a producer at CBS News’s 60 Minutes, where she worked with correspondent Lesley Stahl, uncovering and investigating countless stories. She wrote scripts and secured many of Stahl’s exclusive interviews, and also collaborated with editors in creating the final broadcast product.
Ms. Webb is a member of New York Women in Communications and the Harvard Club of New York. She is also co-chair and a part of the alumnae for the Brearley School Miller Society. A Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Fellow, she received a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Harvard & Radcliffe College and is pursuing an MBA from Columbia University School of Business.
Recipient Cable Network Distribution Executive Award
EVP of Affiliate Sales
Michelle Rice was named executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing of TV One in 2008. In this position, she is responsible for all aspects of the network’s distribution strategy and operations, including sales, marketing and local ad sales.
Rice joined TV One in January 2004 as vice president of distribution strategy and operations and in April 2005 was named senior vice president. Prior to her most recent position, she served as senior vice president of distribution and strategy, where she has managed national accounts and developed distribution strategy to increase and maximize TV One’s corporate distribution opportunities, and has had oversight of the field sales and support staff.
Before joining TV One, she was Northeast regional vice president for affiliate relations and national accounts for iNDemand in New York. At iNDemand, she was responsible for affiliate sales and local marketing efforts in the Northeastern United States, including negotiating and implementing the company’s affiliation agreements for carriage of pay-per-view, video-on-demand, event, and HD channels. She also negotiated carriage deals for subscription sports package partners, including the NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NASCAR-iN-Car and ESPN packages.
Before joining iNDemand in 2001, she spent five years at NBC Cable Networks, most recently as director of affiliate sales/special markets, where she was responsible for distribution of CNBC, MSNBC, and Shop NBC to special market accounts, including DirecTV and Echostar.
She began her cable industry career through the Walter Kaitz Fellowship program at BET in 1993, where she served as manager, special markets and Canada in the network’s affiliate sales department.
A graduate of Temple University with a degree in journalism, Rice also holds an M.A. degree in communication management from the University of Southern California. This year Michelle was a finalist in CableFAX’s Sales Executive of the Year Awards and spearheaded the team which was awarded CableFAX’s Sales Team of the Year Award for mid-sized cable networks. She has been named one of CableFAX’s Top Minorities in Cable and Top Women in Cable. She also has been recognized as a NAMIC Emerging Leader, selected as the Next Wave of Leaders by B&C Magazine, served as a Betsy Magness Fellow, a local WICT Board member and she is currently a NAMIC Board member. She also has participated in the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program and began her career in the industry as a Walter Kaitz Foundation fellow.
Jorge Fiterre has been in the Pay TV industry for over 25 years. During his tenure in the cable industry, he has coordinated franchising efforts for cable companies; helped create and launch the first basic Spanish language cable network; developed and managed cable advertising department and was instrumental in the creation of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Interconnect, a partnership of all major cable operators in the area.
He served as Chairman of Board of Directors of the cable advertising interconnect for over four years.
He worked previously in the broadcast industry, primarily management Hispanic stations. In 1999, he founded CONDISTA.
Jorge’s commitment to the Hispanic market extends further than his professional life. For over 25 years, he has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana that organizes Carnival Miami, Callo Ocho (the world largest street party) and has numerable charitable projects in the South Florida.
VP, Executive in Charge of Production Sesame Learning,
Erica Branch-Ridley is the two-time Emmy award winning Vice President and Executive in Charge of Production of Sesame Learning at Sesame Workshop. As part of the Workshop’s Sesame Learning initiative, Erica focuses on the intersection of emerging technologies and educational impact in delivering Sesame Street content into pre-school environments.
Erica joined Sesame Workshop in 2008 as the Broadband Supervising Producer overseeing all creative direction, educational content development, and broadband video production of The Electric Company website. In addition, she managed all digital media aspects of the property including mobile video, iPhone apps, research prototypes, content syndication, and console game development. In 2010, Erica won a Daytime Emmy Award for The Electric Company website in the “New Approaches – Children’s Entertainment” category. In the spring of 2011, she partnered with the Executive Producer of The Electric Company television show to create the successful transmedia storytelling experience “The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet.” The online part of the experience went on to more than triple the traffic to The Electric Company website.
Before The Electric Company, Erica served as the Executive Producer and Senior Director of TV Land Digital where she also oversaw the creative direction and production for both the TV Land and Nick-at-Nite websites. In addition, she was in-charge of the development and production of broadband video, which included content for the streaming video player, mobile platforms, content syndication and podcasting. She also worked in conjunction with ad sales and marketing on the development of online cross-promotional ad sales projects.
Erica won numerous awards for her work at TV Land including a Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television” for her work as Executive Producer for the 2005 TV Land Awards Online application. She was also twice nominated for a NATAS Technology Emmy Award in the same category.
Prior to her position with TV Land, Erica was the Senior Producer for Nickelodeon Online. Erica oversaw the production for Nickjr.com. Erica was in charge of coordinating TV, web development, design and technology to extend the Nick Jr. brand and franchises online. Erica has nurtured many notable online properties for Nick Jr. from Blue’s Clue’s and Bob the Builder to Little Bill and Oswald. She was the lead producer of the first ever successful TV / web convergent effort for preschoolers with Dora the Explorer. The Dora online launch went on to be voted “best use of online” by Kidscreen Magazine in 2000. She then went on to be one of the lead producer’s in Nick Jr.’s re-launch and transition into a parenting website.
Before her work with Nickelodeon, Erica worked as the Education Content Producer for The AT&T Learning Network where she was responsible for providing online support and resources to teachers and communities. In particular, she managed the web-based teacher support website and the “Ask the Learning Network” online mentoring program for K-12 teachers.
Previous to working in the internet industry, Erica spent almost 10 years in the television industry working for such companies as Black Entertainment Television where she created and produced a children’s television show that was conceived around the concept of multi-cultural children’s books and the African tradition of storytelling called STORYPORCH. It featured celebrities including Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. STORYPORCH won a National Education Association Award, high recognition from TV Guide and Child Magazine, and received two nominations for the NAACP Image Award. Erica worked for 6 years at CBS-NEWS on the award-winning show 48 Hours where she started out as the assistant to Dan Rather and future CBS-NEWS president Andrew Heyward. Erica got her start in television at WNBC-TV where worked on many public affairs local shows including Positively Black and Visiones and on NBC network specials including the annual Christmas in Rockefeller.
As a dedicated professional, Erica’s resilience goes way beyond her profession. It is deeply rooted in who she is as a person. In 2006, Essence Magazine did a feature article on her as an ordinary woman who beat the extraordinary odds of a serious health condition and emerged as a leader and a great example of strength, courage and perseverance. She frequently is asked to be a guest speaker to not only speak on children and technology but to speak to young people, especially girls, about achieving their dreams and persevering in the face of adversity.
In 2007 Erica was one of 30 people chosen by the National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Cable to participate in their prestigious Executive Leadership Development Program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA that she completed in May 2008. Erica has completed graduate coursework at Seton Hall University in Elementary Education and Technology and holds a B.S. degree from Syracuse University from the esteemed S.I. Newhouse School in Speech Communications and Television Production and was appointed to their Alumni Board of Directors.
Erica resides in West Orange, New Jersey with her husband Jon and is proud mom of her focus group of three, daughter Nya, and twins Olivia and Jonathan.
Recipient of Media Executive Award
EVP, Managing Director
Tapestry, Starcom MediaVest Group
A seasoned media expert with a passion for excellence, Silkworth has been part of the Starcom MediaVest Group family for more than 15 years, holding positions in the U.S. as well as abroad. In 1999, Lia spent two years managing Starcom’s Caribbean media operations, where she helped dramatically elevate the agency’s ranking with a combination of hard-fought new business wins and driving organic growth. She has led strategic planning and investment duties for clients including Miller Brewing Company, Hallmark, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, AOL, Proctor & Gamble, Disney Parks & Resorts, Disney Studios and General Motors. While working on General Motors, Lia transformed the client’s approach to multicultural markets across its eight vehicle divisions and more than twenty active brands.
In her new position as Executive Vice President, Managing Director at Tapestry, Lia leads 80+ human experience experts in today’s increasingly competitive multicultural space. In addition to being the largest multicultural media company in the United States, Tapestry is also known for investing in the most proprietary studies to advance deep consumer understanding of the dynamic U.S. multicultural consumer.
A vetted pro at delivering Total Market solutions, Lia made her most recent mark by empowering Univision to broker the first deal of all networks during the 11/12 Upfront season. This groundbreaking deal reinforced Tapestry’s ability to recognize the importance of creating meaningful human experiences with all audiences, specifically Latinos. Lia also led the development of several first-ever marketplace branded entertainment opportunities in high profile programming including Premio lo Nuestro, Premio Juventud, Univision’s first produced novela Eva Luna, and two TBS micro-series, My Manny and Gillian in Georgia.
A sought-after speaker, Lia has served as an industry panelist for organizations such as the Cable Television Advertising Bureau (CAB), the Media Research Club of Chicago, and NAA/NASA Automotive Symposium, in addition to serving as a guest lecturer at universities such as the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Puerto Rico.
Lia is the daughter of Cuban immigrants and fluent in English and Spanish. She graduated as a proud Longhorn from the University of Texas, earning a Bachelor of Science in advertising. But her real passion? That’s easy – it’s cooking up authentic Latin flavors and spending time with her family: her husband, Chris, daughter, Sofia and son, Jacob.
Recipient of Pay TV Provider Marketing Executive Award
Vice President of Marketing
Alfredo Rodriguez is vice president of Marketing for Dish Network. He is responsible for Dish Latino’s acquisition and retention efforts in the U.S. and Puerto Rico which today is a fast growing segment of Dish’s total yearly sales. He has been with the company since October 2010. Rodriguez has successfully led his team to broaden the Dish Latino portfolio of products to include FlexTV by Dish Latino and revamped the brand’s positioning and marketing campaign. These and other initiatives have helped the Dish Latino family of programming packages add net subscribers for three consecutive years.
Prior to joining Dish, Alfredo held various senior marketing, innovation and general manager positions with Molson Coors Brewing Company in the US , Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Prior to this, he worked for Kraft and Philip Morris International in the U.S. and several Latin American countries.
Alfredo is a graduate of Washington University’s Olin School of Business in St. Louis, and he currently lives in Denver with his wife and young son.
Recipient of Advertising
Sales Executive Award
EVP Ad Sales
Fox Hispanic Media
Tom Maney is the Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales for Fox Hispanic Media. He is this year’s recipient of the 2013 Multiethnic TV Award in the category of Sales Executive and a nominee for the Hispanic Ad Executive of the Year in the same category.
Mr. Maney has served in increasingly responsible roles since 1999, when he joined Fox Cable Networks as a Director in the sales department. He was named Senior Vice President of Sales in 2007 and was picked to lead the new Fox Hispanic Media sales team when it was formed in 2009. During Mr. Maney’s tenure, the number of advertisers at Fox Hispanic Media has grown exponentially, and the portfolio has increased from one sports cable channel to include a woman’s lifestyle channel, a non-fiction entertainment channel and now a broadcast network. The network, MundoFox, which launched less than 2 months ago, already reaches viewers in markets representing nearly 80 percent of US Hispanic households.
Prior to joining Fox Hispanic Media, Maney’s career included management and sales positions at Telemundo, Ziff Davis’ ZDTV, Turner Broadcasting and Katz Sports. In 2006, he was honored with Ad Week’s Marketing y Medios Hispanic Television Executive of the Year Award.