Paula Madison, chairman and CEO, Madison Media Management

Women's Impact Report 2012: Executives

The African-American former journalist and former head of KNBC Los Angeles now runs her own company that owns the growing indie cabler, Africa Channel, plus the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Assn. team. She has secured a TV rights deal on the new Time Warner Cable Lakers channel for the team — the only one in the WNBA that actually gets paid for its rights.

What we should know: “Most people don’t know that almost 98% of all the professional women basketball players in the WNBA are college graduates. They have careers as entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners.”

Life-work balance: “Last year I retired from NBCUniversal and, since then, my executive skills have focused on our family’s media and sports investments: The Africa Channel and the Los Angeles Sparks. Fortunately, it’s a ‘couple’ endeavor: my husband Roosevelt (who’s also retired) works on player development and operations and I work on business and general administration. We love each other; we love basketball and we love the L.A. Sparks.”