Events

GRACIES LEADERSHIP AWARDS

The Gracies Leadership Awards provide an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance.

The 2022 Gracies Leadership Awards celebrated eight of the media industry’s business leaders on Monday, November 14 at Tribeca 360 in New York. Thank you to all who attended.

2022 Honorees Post-Event Press Release Photos and Clips Press Release: Honorees Announced

List of Previous Honorees

Soledad O’Brien, Keynote (Bio)

For decades, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation has bestowed the coveted Gracie Award on the producers, directors, actors and writers for extraordinary work. The Gracies are named for the iconic Gracie Allen, who was a indeed as much a talent as she was a brilliant and visionary business leader.  The Gracie Leadership Award closes the circle by spotlighting the media industry’s business leaders, from founders and owners to c-suite executives. As a result, the Gracie now represents all individuals who work tirelessly to bring the very best in programming to millions of people around the world.

*NOTE FOR THOSE ATTENDING: All local guidelines and regulations at the time of the event will be enforced and subject to change as circumstance, regulations or guidance change. AWM reserves the right to adjust entry requirements prior to the event (i.e. – negative test or proof of vaccination) and attendees will be notified in advance. All attendees agree to follow regulations and ordinances pertaining to health and safety while attending the Gracies Leadership Awards. Masks are optional.


Student Fellowships

The Alliance for Women in Media along with Google News Initiative and Mattel are investing in the next generation of women in journalism and media! We have partnered to create two unique fellowship programs for students pursuing a career in either journalism or media.

The Fellowship application deadline has passed, and applications are being reviewed. We look forward to announcing the selected students soon. Please contact info@allwomeninmedia.org with questions.



2022 Honorees

Valerie Blackburn

AWM Legacy Leadership Award Recipient

Valerie Blackburn

AWM Legacy Leadership Award Recipient

A top level executive with a proven grasp of big picture business operations in project management as well as financial and strategic planning, Valerie Blackburn has achieved notable success across diverse industries including broadcasting and digital media. She has overseen the financial operations for some of America’s most successful broadcast operators in their top markets, frequently implementing breakthrough business and software systems for the companies she worked with, served on the board of directors of several organizations and been actively involved in numerous community causes. Most recently Valerie spent a number of years with CBS Radio in finance roles as well as a General Manager, then with Audacy as a Project Manager. Later she started her company, VKB Media Consulting, and has continued to work in the industry since then.
Valerie was named numerous times as one of the Most Influential Women (MIW) in Radio and was recognized as an MIW Legend in 2014. Valerie served on the AWM Board for a number of years including two years as Chair, then as a Co-Chair for the Gracies and for a period of time as Interim CEO.

Nancy Daniels

Honoree: Chief of Content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet & Science Channel

Nancy Daniels

Honoree: Chief of Content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet & Science Channel

Nancy Daniels is Chief of Content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet, & Science where she oversees all content for TBS, TNT, TruTV, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel in the U.S. Prior to the Warner Bros. Discovery merger in April 2022, Nancy was Chief Brand Officer, Discovery and Factual where she oversaw all creative and brand strategy, development, production, multiplatform, communications, marketing and day-to-day operations for Discovery, Animal Planet, and Science Channel. She moved to this role in 2018 from President of TLC, where she led the company's flagship female-focused channel to a top 10 network for women with long-running hit series “Sister Wives,” “90 Day Fiancé,” “The Little Couple,” “My 600-lb Life,” “Long Lost Family” and “Outdaughtered,” among many others.
Under her leadership, Daniels drove Discovery to the #1 cable network for men (excluding sports), with key franchises “Gold Rush”, Emmy-winning “Deadliest Catch”, “Street Outlaws” and successful launches “Serengeti”, “Space Launch Live”, “Expedition Unknown”, and “BattleBots”. Nancy’s emphasis on creative storytelling, highlighting diverse voices and ideas and collaborative approach have brought success to the network. In 2022 to-date, Discovery owns more Top 10 unscripted cable series than any other network across M25-54. Daniels spearheaded successful discovery+ originals, “Naked & Afraid of Love” and “Love Off the Grid”. Additionally, Nancy has driven the growth and success of key tentpole events: Puppy Bowl and Shark Week. In its 34th year, Shark Week saw YOY Prime ratings gains (+10%).

While at TLC, Daniels oversaw the return of beloved home design hit series "Trading Spaces." Beyond programming, in 2016 Daniels launched TLC's powerful brand campaign "I AM," championing empowerment and celebrating peoples' differences. She also oversaw the network's "Give a Little" national multiplatform cause-marketing campaign encouraging viewers to support organizations that help those in need.

Daniels previously was EVP, Production & Development at Discovery Channel from 2011-2013, where she played a critical role in driving the network's record-breaking success. There she oversaw several live events - notably "Skywire Live," "American Chopper Live" and "Shark Week" companion live talk show "Shark After Dark" -- as well as popular series including "American Chopper," "Bering Sea Gold," "Fast N' Loud," "MythBusters" and "Naked and Afraid," and documentaries including "All the President's Men Revisited" and "Frozen Planet."
Daniels joined Discovery in 2007 to lead Development and Production for Discovery Studios (West Coast). Previously, she held executive positions at CBS where she served as Vice President of Alternative Series Development, working on CBS's key reality properties including "Survivor," multiple Emmy Award-winner "The Amazing Race" and "Big Brother" and has had an extensive career as a producer in the independent television community.
A graduate of Ithaca College, Nancy’s impact reaches far beyond Warner Bros. Discovery. Nancy serves as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. She is also responsible for launching the public affairs initiative GIVE A LITTLE TLC and initiating its first-ever “Give A Little Awards” to highlight the fight against bullying in partnership with Redbook Magazine and Pacers National Bullying Prevention Center. Among her industry awards and honors, she was honored in 2021 as “Woman of the Year – Programming” by WICT, received a “Top Women in Media” Catalyst Award and has been a Cynopsis Top Women in Media honoree amongst others. She resides with her family in Los Angeles.

Marie Donoghue

Honoree: Vice President, Global Sports Video, Amazon

Marie Donoghue

Honoree: Vice President, Global Sports Video, Amazon

Marie Donoghue oversees Prime Video’s global sports content business as its Vice President, Global Sports Video. She leads Prime Video’s global sports strategy, identifying and evaluating new opportunities, overseeing acquisitions, programming and production, enabling customers to access original and live sports content on hundreds of devices, in over 240 countries and territories. This content includes Premier League in the U.K., UEFA Champions League in Germany and Italy (U.K. starting in 2024), ONE Championship (U.S. and Canada), and the WNBA. Marie led the groundbreaking acquisition and production of Thursday Night Football, marking the first time a streaming service aired an exclusive national broadcast package from the NFL.

Throughout her esteemed career, Donoghue has received numerous recognitions, including “2021 Innovators” (The Wrap), “Most Powerful Women in Sports” (AdWeek), “Most Influential People in Sports” (Sports Business Journal), “Power 100 Women in Entertainment” (The Hollywood Reporter), “New York Impact List” (Variety), “The Most Powerful Women in Cable” (CableFax: The Magazine), “Women to Watch” (Advertising Age and Advertising Women of New York) and “Game Changers” (Sports Business Journal).

Prior to joining Amazon, Donoghue was at ESPN for more than 18 years, where she most recently served as executive vice president, global business and content strategy, leading the ongoing development and implementation of ESPN’s enterprise-wide business and content strategy. She also headed ESPN’s business affairs, business development, and partnership group, oversaw ESPN Films (30 for 30), and launched several award-winning digital properties, including Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and The Undefeated.

Donoghue earned a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College.

Kim Godwin

Honoree: President, ABC News

Kim Godwin

Honoree: President, ABC News

Kim Godwin, president of ABC News, oversees editorial and business operations for broadcast, digital, streaming and audio news across the organization which includes trusted and iconic franchises “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” “20/20,” “Nightline,” FiveThirtyEight, “The View” and “This Week.” She is the first Black woman to serve as a network news president.

Godwin brings a breadth of experience in newsroom leadership garnered from an accomplished 35-year career dedicated to excellence and the vital role of journalism. As an experienced and strategic executive, she has overseen newsgathering and managed full editorial oversight across a global portfolio of news properties. At the network level, Godwin has executive produced news programming, managed a nightly news broadcast, created cross-digital content, and earned recognition for award-winning programming and reporting. She began her career running local newsrooms in markets across the U.S. including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia and Cleveland.

Godwin joins ABC News at a time of incredible strength across the organization. “Good Morning America” is No. 1 for the ninth straight year, and “World News Tonight with David Muir” is No. 1 across the board, ranked as the No. 1 evening newscast for the last 54 weeks in Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49. “20/20” is Friday’s No. 1 newsmagazine, beating “Dateline” in all key demos this season. Honored with the Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show and delivering its most-watched season in seven years, “The View” ranks at the top of all network and syndicated daytime talk shows; plus, “Nightline” and “This Week” are posting their most competitive seasons in years. ABC News has covered the biggest stories with distinction, from COVID-19 and racial reckoning to the election, its aftermath and the crisis at the border. Additionally, ABC News reached over 132 million people a month and delivered over 11 billion video views on digital and social platforms. Since January 2020, an average of 20 million viewers have tuned in monthly to ABC News Live, the network’s streaming news channel, an increase of +142% year over year. ABC News has won the Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence in Television five out of the last seven years, and three for Overall Excellence in Radio in that time, plus numerous prestigious honors in journalism, including duPont, SPJ, NABJ and Emmy Awards.

Godwin joins Disney from CBS where she was second-in-command as executive vice president of News directing newsgathering across the global portfolio with full editorial oversight. A multitalented trailblazer with exceptional journalistic instinct and skills, she also had served as vice president of News, CBS News executive director for Development and Diversity, and senior broadcast producer of the “CBS Evening News.” At CBS, she oversaw Network News Services and 400 domestic and foreign affiliates; CBS Audio Services including over 600 affiliates and podcasts; the National Desk and domestic bureaus; News Standards & Ethics; and Race & Culture. She joined the network in 2007.

A fierce champion for inclusion and telling representative stories, in 2020 Godwin helped to develop and oversaw both the CBS News Race & Culture Unit and CBS Village, a multiplatform franchise to highlight content about diverse groups. She was recognized in November 2020 by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with the Ida B. Wells Award for her work in advocating for coverage of communities of color, building a diverse newsroom, and championing young journalists throughout their careers.

Before joining CBS News, Godwin honed her journalistic and leadership skills for 20 years at top local stations in the United States. She was the acting news director and assistant news director at WCBS-TV, New York City; vice president and news director at KNBC-TV, Los Angeles; vice president of News Operations, NBC Television Stations; vice president and news director at KXAS-TV, Dallas/Fort Worth; and news director at the duopoly WOIO/WUAB in Cleveland.

Godwin is a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism. FAMU was the first historically Black university to have an accredited journalism program. She is currently the chair of the board of visitors at her alma mater’s journalism school.

Over her career, Godwin has been honored with six National News and Documentary Emmy Awards, two Edward R. Murrow Awards, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia award, and a Sigma Delta Chi Award. She is also a well-regarded member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Godwin is married to an accomplished high school principal and has a wonderful blended family of two daughters and two stepchildren.

Wendy Goldberg

Honoree: Chief Communications Officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.,

Wendy Goldberg

Honoree: Chief Communications Officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.,

Wendy Goldberg is Chief Communications Officer for iHeartMedia, Inc., the number one audio company in America. She joined the company in February 2011 as Executive Vice President for Marketing and Communications before moving to her current position.

Goldberg leads the Communications division for the leading audio company in America, overseeing and executing strategic communications for iHeartMedia, Inc.’s brands, including iHeartMedia, iHeartRadio and iHeartPodcast. She serves as a strategic advisor to the CEO, President and other senior executives, and is responsible for all of the company’s internal and external communications, including major strategic initiatives and relationships; financial communications; public relations around the company’s portfolio of nationally-recognized marquee live events, brands and products; digital platforms; crisis communications; community engagement; and local market efforts. Goldberg also oversees the company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts.

Goldberg has over 25 years’ experience in providing management and strategic counsel to public and private companies and their senior leaders. Prior to joining iHeartMedia, she served as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Hearst Entertainment & Syndication; Senior Vice President of Communications for Six Flags; and Vice President of Communications at America Online and then at AOL Time Warner. At Pilot Group, a New York-based private equity firm, Goldberg developed and directed communications strategies, positioning, and tactics for the firm’s portfolio companies, and served as senior adviser to Pilot Group leadership.

She also served as Press Secretary to the Administrator at the U.S. Small Business Administration and was a Vice President at Finsbury, a global strategic communications firm headquartered in London and New York.

Ms. Goldberg holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a BA with High Honors from the University of Michigan. She lives in New York City with her 11 year old son.

Chesley Maddox-Dorsey

Honoree: CEO, American Urban Radio Network

Chesley Maddox-Dorsey

Honoree: CEO, American Urban Radio Network

Chesley Maddox-Dorsey is the CEO of A Wonder Media Group, LLC, which owns and operates SupeRadio and American Urban Radio Networks. SupeRadio is a national programming syndication company with 23 radio programs. The shows are broadcast in every major market throughout the U.S. AURN is the only African-American owned network radio company in the United States, broadcasting news, information and entertainment programming to more than 400 stations nationwide and reaching an estimated 25 million African-American listeners weekly. Ms. Maddox-Dorsey is a graduate of Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Government. She is a frequent guest speaker at seminars and has published several articles on financing broadcast properties.

Debra OConnell

Honoree: President, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Debra OConnell

Honoree: President, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution

Debra OConnell is president of Networks for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED). In her role, Debra oversees operational leadership including P&L oversight of all of the Company’s multiplatform linear television channels, as well as business planning, network/channel commercial marketing, and audience strategy for the ABC broadcast network and eight ABC Owned stations, Disney Channels, ESPN Networks, FX Networks, Freeform, National Geographic Networks, Media and Magazine. She also oversees content requirements and programming budgets for each of the channels, working closely with the company’s creative content teams while also leading acquisition strategy for second-run and library content across Disney’s portfolio of channels in partnership with the company’s streaming services.
At the company for over 25 years, OConnell most recently served as president and general manager of ABC7/WABC-TV New York, the most-watched station in the country. She had overall management responsibility for the station and all of its ancillary businesses; as well as “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” Under her leadership, the long-running hit syndicated series became the No. 1 daytime talk show for the first time in franchise history. In 2018, Multichannel News named her one of the Wonder Women of the Year and in 2020 she was recognized by Radio Television Business Report as a Top Local TV Leader.
She is a seasoned executive with broad business acumen and deep operational experience. In her previous executive roles, she served as executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, of Disney|ABC’s consolidated advertising sales group; president, National TV Sales, ABC Owned Television Station; and vice president of marketing at WABC-TV.
OConnell currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for TVB, a not-for-profit trade association representing America’s local broadcast television industry. She is an ex officio member of the Board of Directors and previously served as chairman of the International Radio & Television Society (IRTS), a well-respected industry organization that focuses on mentorship, access, education and diversity. She also serves on the Boards of the NY State Broadcasters Association, the V Foundation and The Broadway Association, and is on the advisory boards for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and League of Women Voters of New York City.

Additionally, OConnell is an active participant in The Walt Disney Company’s VoluntEARS program, which includes a variety of efforts with charities including The Boys & Girls Clubs, back-to-school and holiday support for families in need, conservation and many more. She was honored with the Executive Champion Award for her vigorous support and involvement. She also enjoys supporting many other charitable initiatives across a variety of children associated events and causes, including Sade Baderinwa's Get Reel Foundation. In 2022, she was recognized as an NY Edge honoree for her support of their work bridging the opportunity gap for kids across the NYC area.

OConnell also serves as a mentor, which is one of the most gratifying parts of her career – to be able to give back, provide insight and guidance while watching amazing talent and individuals with possibility grow. In 2021, she was recognized by IRTS’s Hall of Mentorship for her many contributions across the industry.

She graduated summa cum laude from Dowling College with a Bachelor of Science in professional studies and a major in marketing.

Dawn Porter

Honoree: Founder, Trilogy Films

Dawn Porter

Honoree: Founder, Trilogy Films

Award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter has emerged in the entertainment industry as a leader in the art of storytelling; directing and producing critically acclaimed projects that have impacted generations of people from all walks of life. In 2021, Porter directed and executive produced Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s documentary series on mental illness and mental well-being, titled “The Me You Can’t See” for Apple TV+. In addition, Porter directed the 2022 NAACP Image Award-nominated “Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer” (National Geographic) which sheds new light on a century-old period of intense racial conflict — and comes one hundred years after the two-day Tulsa Massacre in 1921. Porter’s documentary short “Bree Wayy: Promise Witness Remembrance” (MTV Documentaries) also premiered in 2021 and examines how the art world responded to the death of Breonna Taylor by using art not only as a form of protest, but as a space to heal. In 2020, Porter released two Emmy® Award-nominated documentaries, “The Way I See It” (Focus Features) which is a look into two American presidencies, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, from the lens of official White House photographer Pete Souza, and “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (CNN, Magnolia Pictures), the story of the congressman and civil rights icon. As a two-time Sundance film festival director, Porter discovered her passion for filmmaking following her time as an attorney. She made her feature directorial debut in 2013 with “Gideon's Army,” which premiered on HBO, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy, won Best Editing at Sundance, and is now part of the U.S. Department of State’s American Film Showcase. Her 2016 film “Trapped,” which explores laws regulating abortion clinics in the South, won the Special Jury Social-Impact Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award. Additional credits for Porter include Netflix’s 2018 four-part series “Bobby Kennedy for President,” PBS’ “Spies of Mississippi,” and The Discovery Channel’s “Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper.”

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