Top Five Women in the Media

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Check out some of the women that The A&T Register sees as the top faces in the media today.

Robin Roberts

Robin Rene Roberts is an American television broadcaster and anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The newscaster began her career as a sports anchor and general reporter.

Once diagnosed with the rare blood disorder, myelodysplastic syndrome, and breast cancer, Robin Roberts has returned to “Good Morning America.” The journalist left anchoring for nearly a year as she underwent a bone marrow transplant. Though Roberts left anchoring to attend to her health, cameras followed her journey, presenting a candid look into her fight against MDS.

Filled with laughter and tears, Feb. 22 marked the 20/20 special on GMA where Roberts told the story of the toughest fight in her life. Her knack for television won her prestigious awards such as Mel Greenberg Media Award, as well as three Emmy Awards.

Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien will leave CNN’s morning show in the spring, but she will not be leaving cable news altogether. Recently, the prominent news anchor announced she is be focusing on her own production company.

O’Brien has reported groundbreaking news on CNN since 2003. She also produced award winning, critically acclaimed documentaries on some of the most important stories facing today. It was her memoir, “The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities” that O’Brien chronicled her biggest reporting moments. Since her time with CNN, Soledad has distinguished herself by reporting on transformational stories such as CNN’s Katrina coverage, Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and terrorist attacks.

The anchor has won numerous awards from her first Emmy Award for Crisis in Haiti, the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service, to the President’s Award in 2007 for humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence. Soledad O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University.

Wendy Williams

“How you doing?” With a blunt in the mouth and fierce in her walk, Wendy Williams has brought the “umph” in late night television. Her stories are dramatic, sensational, and all talk.

The Wendy Williams Show is filled with celebrity interviews, musical guests, and the latest beauty and fashion advice. On the radio as a talk show host, Wendy Williams’ brash personality made her a focus on New York City FM airwaves. In the summer of 2008, the on-air personality was delighted to have a show aired on BET.

That same year, Williams’ was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Most notable for her attitude and assertive personality, Wendy Williams remains at large and never afraid to bark at her opponents. The talk show host graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in communications and a minor in journalism.

Tyra Banks

Former model, author, actress, and television personality, Tyra Banks turned her runway model success into a multimedia brand working at the helm of two successful TV series.

Banks was a leading international fashion model and the first black woman to land the cover of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. During her career, Banks created and hosted her own reality TV show, “America’s Next Top Model,” followed by her own daytime talk show, for which she won an Emmy Award.

A year later, she became the first African-American woman to appear on the cover of a Victoria’s Secret catalog. She signed lucrative contracts with both Cover Girl and Victoria’s Secret, becoming a face of both companies’ advertising campaigns and runway shows. Tyra Banks has been named multiple times on People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People list. Good work Tyra, you are our supermodel hero.

Debra Lee

Debra L. Lee is the first and only African American woman to hold down the position of CEO for a major entertainment network. Her vision and purpose for Black Entertainment Television, has cultivated the minds of those who never thought black was beautiful.

Debra is a well-respected businesswoman and executive. Recently inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, Lee is one of the highest-ranking African-American women at Viacom, Inc. In 2003, Lee was given the Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership from the National Cable Television Association, making her the first African-American female executive to receive the honor.

Under her leadership, BET continues to bring quality programming to an audience of 89 million households. Lee is a graduate of John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School. Congratulations Debra Lee for making it to the top.

  • Chanel Tucker, Contributor