NEW YORK — The outstanding contributions of eight “remarkable” female leaders were celebrated Monday as the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) hosted the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon.
This year’s event featured the Inaugural Gracies Icon Award recipient, and it went to veteran syndicated radio host Delilah.
The host’s inspiring and at-points challenging life and career was highlighted in fireside chat conducted by RAB President/CEO Erica Farber.
The eight honorees, all of whom were previously announced, each had an opportunity to make remarks.
Kay Olin received the AWM Legacy Leadership Award recipient. Olin, former President of Local Focus Radio, said, “The most humbling thing about standing here and accepting this award, it’s not about one person, leadership is a shared experience, it’s teamwork—to my village, I say Thank You.”
Susan Larkin, who serves as Chief Operating Officer of Audacy Inc., began her acceptance by noting, “There’s two words that you’ll hear through my remarks, gratitude and team … we know as leaders, we don’t do this ourselves.”
Also noting their presence as leaders was Rashida Jones, President of MSNBC. She said, “We are leaders here, for a mission and with a responsibility… while becoming the first in anything is an incredible honor, and one that I take very seriously, I know for a fact no one ascends on their own. It takes a village of supporters, mentors and sponsors for each one of us to get here, and I’ve been lucky to have a host of mentors, many of them women, but even luckier to be a mentor… because it’s important to pay it forward.”
Honoree Suzanne Grimes, President of Westwood One and EVP of Corporate Marketing at Cumulus Media, highlighted a previous battle with breast cancer, noting the frequent
stigma around women’s health issues. “As women and leaders we have the power to change this dynamic,” she said.
For Rebekah Dopp, Executive Vice President of Distribution, Strategy and Affiliate Relations at The CW, “Our industry and the work that we do is critical. Everyone belongs here and our industry must reflect the society we live in… in this circle, let’s continue to celebrate what unites us and overcome what divides us.”
Rosalyn Durant, Executive Vice President of Programming & Acquisitions at ESPN, pointed out, “Over half the executives at ESPN’s table are women, let us acknowledge that is what true leadership looks like, and that’s what real change agency looks like.”
For Lori Locke, Executive Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Warner Bros. Discovery, she saluted her team, noting, “I am committed to upholding the principles of leadership that this Gracie Award represents.”
The Weiss Agency President Heather Cohen, who is Immediate Past Chair for AWM/F, commented, “Each of these women have such a tremendous impact on our industry. They all have accolades and accomplishments, and we have an opportunity to hear from each
one personally… and notable today, what an honor to have Delilah, one of the greatest in our business, as our inaugural Gracies Icon Award recipient.”
Throughout the event, the common themes of lifting the next generation, that achievement happens through nurturing relationships and building great teams were reiterated and reflect AWM’s mission of connecting, recognizing and educating women in media.
Sponsors of the event include Audacy, Clear Channel Outdoor, Cumulus Media, ESPN, Exponent, Google News Initiative, Katz Media Group, KPMG, NBC Universal News Group, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, Warner Bros. Discovery, Westwood One, and WideOrbit.