The Media Financial ManagementAssociation is thrilled, though not at all surprised, that two of its members were named to the Cablefax Most Powerful Women 2022 list. Both Lori Locke (pictured at top left) and Lucy Rutishauser (pictured at top right) have not only made significant contributions to their companies, but to MFM as well.
Locke's name should be familiar to anyone who has participated in MFM events over the past few years. She's next in line to become Chairperson of the association's board, and her ascent to that position has been noteworthy.
"Lori brings wisdom, passion and enthusiasm to her leadership role in the association. She understands the value of membership and wants other financial professionals to share that knowledge," said Joe Annotti, MFM's President and CEO. "Like all Board members, she has enormous responsibilities as an executive for Warner Bros. Discovery. But she also carves out time -- sometimes very late at night while on a plane -- to work with her peers on the Board and ensure that MFM continues to improve."
Locke, who is currently Chief Accounting Officer at Warner Bros. Discovery, became an MFM member while she was with Gannett. She saw the association's value early on and brought in both Gannett Co., Inc. -- and later Discovery Inc. when she moved there -- as corporate members. She also got involved right away, leading the Accounting Standards committee for two years. That overlapped with her board membership, which began in 2018. In 2017 she was awarded MFM's Rainmaker Award, given to an MFM member whose efforts and contributions have helped the association grow.
The contributions at MFM come during a very busy period for Locke. She was closely involved in the acquisition of WarnerMedia by Discovery, which was finalized in April 2022.
Not only does Locke apply her full skillset to the MFM board, but she imbues it with humanity and a sense of humor. If you were lucky enough to see her on stage with MFM's current board Chairperson, Dave Bestler, during last year's annual conference, you got to witness her authenticity and playful side.
Like Locke, Rutishauser has had a busy year, to say the least. As CFO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, she played a pivotal role in the company's partnership with Bally's to rebrand Sinclair's regional sports networks as Bally Sports. She also serves as an advocate for NextGen broadcasting, and dealt with a major cyber security incident in late 2021,
Rutishauser joined MFM, as part of Sinclair's corporate membership. She was a star panelist at the 2022 MFM annual conference, where she joined media finance colleagues Marie Tedesco of Beasley Media Group, Ginny Hernandez of Trilith Studios, and moderator Cal Mostella of Warner Bros. Discovery for the CFOs in the Hot Seat panel, which was one of the best-attended keynote sessions of the conference.
She was generous with her learnings and her advice on how media companies should deal with what now seems to be the issue of when, not if, they will be faced with a major hack or data breach. Working through the maze of challenges associated with a cyber attack has clearly made Rutishauser an expert in the field.
Right now, Rutishauser is juggling multiple initiatives at Sinclair, including that of adding value to Bally Sports via establishing new ways of driving fan engagement, e-commerce, and immersive activities related to sports viewing. Having worked for Sinclair for nearly 25 years, Lucy clearly enjoys taking on new challenges and learning by doing.
"Lucy's brand of quiet and determined leadership was in full display during her presentation at the 2022 MFM Annual Conference," said Annotti. "She epitomizes the axiom 'keep calm and carry on' as she helps lead one of America's major media companies to opportunities in a dynamic industry experiencing enormous change."
Please join us as we salute two women who are well-deserved recipients of this Cablefax honor, and who readily share their expertise with their media finance colleagues -- a key benefit of membership in MFM.
This article was written by Krista Van Lewen.
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