The following is an excerpt from a new New York Times article on television executive Bonnie Hammer, which features comments from WWE's own Vince McMahon.
Ms. Hammer, 61, started as a producer for the public television station WGBH in Boston, where, in an edit room, she noticed that the host of a do-it-yourself show seemed far less charismatic than the owner of the house being profiled in the show — and that was the beginning of Bob Vila’s television career.
She hit her stride in the 1980s, initially at Lifetime and then at USA, where she made her first big impression wrangling Vince McMahon and his unruly wrestling franchise, the WWF (now WWE).
“She just came in and rolled up her sleeves,” Mr. McMahon said. “She taught us a lot about network quality writing, story arcs, character development. She really helped the overall brand.”
Ms. Hammer decided that the heavy sports emphasis of the wrestling program limited its audience. “I thought it should be male soap opera,” she said.
Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal represented Ms. Hammer’s sixth management transition. Her retention was never in doubt. The old NBC regime, under General Electric, had long cited USA as NBCUniversal’s most prized asset, and tried to keep her happy — to a point.
Check out the complete article, which features more comments from McMahon, at NYTimes.com.
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