Kay Koplovitz is the Founder of USA Network and the visionary who created the business model for cable networks by introducing the concept of two revenue streams – licensing and advertising. When she founded USA Network under the banner of Madison Square Garden Sports in 1977 she was the first woman to head a television network.
As a visionary of what sports television would become, Ms. Koplovitz launched major professional and collegiate sports on cable television by negotiating the first contracts and creating first cable coverage for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League, the Masters from Augusta Georgia, the US Tennis Open and a collection of NCAA conference sporting events. She led USA Network to first place in cable prime time ratings and it remained there for 14 years. In 1992, she launched the Sci-Fi Channel (now The Syfy Channel) which has become a top ten rated cable network known for innovative drama and mini-series.In 1994, she launched USA Networks International, including what was then known as the Sci-Fi Channel into 60 countries worldwide.
Vision for Women
In 1998, President Clinton appointed Kay Koplovitz to chair the bipartisan National Women’s Business Council. She used this platform to launch Springboard Enterprises, in a move to get women entrepreneurs to “think big” about their growth companies and to raise venture capital to fund them. Springboard Enterprises, her shared vision with co-founder Amy Millman, selects, trains and presents women-led companies to raise venture capital. Springboard is creating a national human capital network and has become the premier platform for women entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses.
Author, Keynote Speaker
Kay Koplovitz, one of today’s leading women in business, is the author of Bold Women,Big Ideas (2002), which she wrote to inform and inspire women entrepreneurs to create wealth through equity. She is a sought after motivational speaker on subjects ranging from women’s leadership, women’s entrepreneurship, capital formation, creating a human capital ecosystem, to emerging media and management.
An experienced public board member, Ms. Koplovitz is currently the on the Board of CA Technologies, ION media and Time Inc. She has served on the boards of Instinet, Oracle, Nabisco, and General Re.
Awards and Appointments
- Women’s Bond Club, Isabel Benham Award for women who have made outstanding contributions in improving the lives of women
- Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” For innovative leadership by the Wisconsin Technology Association
- Wisconsin Alumni Association 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award
- Committee of 200, 2012 Skills to Succeed Champion
- SD Forum Visionary Award for industry leaders who have pioneered innovation and fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship (2009)
- Athena Leadership Award Recipient for Women’s Leadership (2005)
- Womens Leadership Exchange, Compass Award (2003)
- Presidential appointment as Chair of National Women’s Business Council (1998-2001)
- Cable Hall of Fame: Induction For Leadership in the Industry (2001)
- Babson College: Induction into Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (2001)
- University of Michigan Business School: Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2001)
- New York Economic Development Council: Alley Entrepreneurs Award (2000)
- Anti-Defamation League’s Champion of Liberty Award for the Erase The Hate Campaign (1998)
- Women In Film: Lucy Award for Outstanding Program Executive (1998)
- First Corporate Innovator Award from the Committee of 200, America’s Women Business Leaders (1997)
- Chairman’s Award from the National Association of Television Programming Executives (1996)
- Cable Ace Governor’s Award (1995) The premiere programming award in the industry.
- International Crystal Award from Women in Film (1993)
- Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1993)
- Woman in Business Making History Award (1992)
- Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame (1992)
- Muse Award, New York Women in Film and TV (1992)
- Women Who Run the World Award for Leadership from Sara Lee Corporation (1987)
- Chairman’s Award for Leadership from the Cable Advertising Bureau (1987)
- Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the City University of New York (1986)
- Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Michigan State University Graduate School of Business (1985)
- Distinguished Service Award, Young Adult Institute (YAI) (1985)
- Entrepreneurial Women Award (1984)
- The Matrix Award for Women in Communication (1983)
- Cable Television Association Vanguard Award (1982), the industry’s most coveted awards
- Daily News Named Kay as one of Top Ten Businesswomen to Watch (1981)
- Named one of Advertising Age’s Top Ten Newsmakers (1980)
- Action for Children’s Television Award (1979)
- The National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership (1979)
Honorary Doctorate Degrees
St. John’s University
Michigan State University
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Kay Koplovitz On Women in Business, Interview by Peter Switzer