Bonnie Hammer to Share How “Women Can Have It All” in Linda McMahon Series

Bonnie Hammer

News Story: March 5, 2015

Linda McMahon, co-founder and former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), will host Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, at the Sacred Heart University series on “Women Can Have It All.”

The program, sponsored by the John F. Welch College of Business, features guest speakers who have had an impact in business. McMahon and Hammer are scheduled to talk March 25 at 2 p.m. in the Schine Auditorium at Sacred Heart University, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield. The public is invited.

The series examines what it means to “have it all” and how women can balance career, family, friendship and personal time. It features conversations with women leaders across a variety of sectors. Hammer’s responsibilities comprise executive oversight of leading cable brands USA, Syfy, E! Entertainment, Bravo, Oxygen, Style, Esquire Network, Sprout, TV One, Chiller, Cloo and Universal HD, as well as production entities Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios.

The “Women Can Have It All” interviews focus on topics relevant to women in the workplace, such as management, entrepreneurship and the challenges facing them in corporate America.

“As a former CEO, I want to show women that there are no limits to what they can achieve, whether through entrepreneurship, government, science or any path they choose,” McMahon said. “And there is plenty of room for women at the top.”

“Bonnie Hammer, whom I had the great pleasure of working with when I led World Wrestling Entertainment, personifies the creativity, passion and successful execution that makes a business leader great,” said McMahon. “Her insights will be of great value to the students of Sacred Heart University.”

An industry leader in network programming and branding, Hammer was previously chairman of NBCU Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios.

Under Hammer’s leadership, USA has achieved the number one position in all of basic cable for a record-setting six years with a stable of top-rated, Emmy and Golden Globe-honored programs including Monk, Psych, Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Royal Pains, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Fairly Legal, Necessary Roughness, Suits , Common Law and Political Animals. In October 2005, she engineered the return of ratings powerhouse WWE’s Monday Night Raw, which celebrated its 1000th episode in July 2012.

Hammer originally joined the company in 1989, and her previous titles include executive vice president, general manager of Syfy Channel and senior vice president of Syfy Programming & USA Original Productions. At USA, she partnered with Vince McMahon to transform the WWE franchise into a ratings powerhouse and cultural phenomenon. During that time, she also created USA’s “Erase the Hate” campaign, which earned a National Emmy Governor’s Award.

The Hollywood Reporter has consistently cited Hammer on its annual list of the most important women in Hollywood; she has also been named to Fortune’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women,” Forbes’ list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” and Vanity Fair’s annual list of “Powers that Be.” 

Hammer serves on the board of the Ad Council, as well as the strategic planning committee for Boston University’s College of Communication, and is a mentor for Women in Film & Television. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in media and new technology from Boston University.

Linda McMahon stepped down as CEO of WWE in 2009 to run for the U.S. Senate. She was the Republican nominee to represent Connecticut in 2010 and 2012.

As a business executive, Linda McMahon helped grow WWE from a 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. She has been widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives.