Kay Koplovitz (nee Smith, born April 11, 1945) is a founder of USA Network
, and served as it chairwoman & CEO from its founding in 1977 until 1998 when it was sold for $4.5 billion. Kay is the first woman ever to head a television network as the founder and former CEO of USA Networks. She is also the author of ''Bold Women, Big Ideas: Learning to Play the High-Risk Entrepreneurial Game''. She more recently published "Been There, Run That," an anthology of best practices from Springboard Enterprises’ expert network of thought leaders.
Early life, education
Kay Koplovitz was born as Kay Smith in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison
with a B.A. in communications and earned a master's degree in communications from Michigan State University
She is married to private investor William C. Koplovitz, Jr.
Koplovitz founded the USA Network in 1977 as an all-sports service, known as the Madison Square Garden Sports Network (not to be confused with the New York City
-area regional sports network of the same name
now simply known as MSG);
the channel was renamed the USA Network in 1980. USA would finally become the number one ranking cable network in primetime viewership for 13 consecutive years.
Under her leadership, the Sci Fi Channel was launched in 1992 and USA Network International was launched in 1994, operating in countries around the world.
Koplovitz is also credited for creating the concept for two revenue streams of licensing and advertising.
She served as chairman and chief executive officer until 1998, when it was sold for $4.5 billion and it became a publicly listed company.
Springboard Enterprises, Springboard Growth Capital, Koplovitz & Company
In 1998, President Bill Clinton
appointed Koplovitz to chair the bipartisan National Women's Business Council.
This helped create a platform for her to co-found Springboard Enterprises in 2000. Springboard is a non-profit organization fostering venture capital investments in women-led high growth companies and has raised over $10.3 billion and created over 10,000 jobs since its inception.
In 2016, Kay co-founded Springboard Growth Capital to bring growth stage investments to technology and life sciences companies emerging from Springboard Enterprises ecosystem.
In 1998, Koplovitz & Company LLC was established to provide advisory services to entertainment companies, sports organizations, advertisers and distributors. It advises companies on growth strategies and the firm makes investments in early and mid-stage companies in media and technology.
Koplovitz currently serves on the board Athena Technology Acquisition Corp, SPAC, and of Veniam. She previously served as chairman of the board of Kate Spade formerly Liz Claiborne
, from January 2007 until May 2013.
She also previously served as a board member of ION Media, CA Technologies
, Time Inc., Instinet
and General Re
[ Sun New Media and a trustee emeritus of The Paley Center for Media and The International Hall of Fame.
In April 2014, it was announced that Kay Koplovitz would sit on the 10-member board of Time Inc., the publishing arm of Time Warner Inc. (now WarnerMedia; Time Inc. was spun off to Meredith Corporation in 2018).
Awards and honors
Koplovitz holds honorary doctorate degrees from Emerson College, St. John's University, Michigan State University and Canisius College.
Other honors and awards she has received include the following:
* Yale's CEO Leadership Institute honor: Maverick in Leadership Award 2019
* Smithsonian, National Museum of American History: The American Scene, Conversations about why American entertainment matters. July 2018
* Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business: Champions 2018
* Advancing Diversity Honoree 2018 at CES Media Village
* Advertising Hall of Fame Honoree, (2017)
* 100 Top Tech Leaders (Tech Titans) by Washingtonian Magazine (2017)
* Elly Award: Elly Guggenheim Honoree, Women’s Forum NY (2016)
*Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Pioneer Award for Finance (2016)
* AlleyWatch, 100 NYC Tech Influencers You Need to Know (2014)
* Entrepreneurship Hall Of Fame Inductee, November (2013)
* 100 Top Tech Leaders (Tech Titans) by Washingtonian Magazine (2013)
* Women’s Bond Club, Isabel Benham Award for women who have made outstanding contributions in improving the lives of women (2012)
* Wisconsin Alumni Association 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award
* Athena Leadership Award Recipient for Women’s Leadership (2005)
* Women's Leadership Exchange, Compass Award (2003)
* Cable Hall of Fame: Induction For Leadership in the Industry (2001)
*Babson College: Induction into Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs (2001)
*University of Michigan Business School: Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2001)
* New York Economic Development Council: Alley Entrepreneurs Award (2000)
*Anti-Defamation League’s Champion of Liberty Award for the Erase The Hate Campaign (1998)
* Women In Film: Lucy Award for Outstanding Program Executive (1998)
* Chairman’s Award from the National Association of Television Programming Executives (1996)
* Cable Ace Governor’s Award (1995)
* International Crystal Award from Women in Film (1993)
*Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1993)
* Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame (1992)
* Muse Award, New York Women in Film and TV (1992)
* Chairman’s Award for Leadership from the Cable Advertising Bureau (1987)
* Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the City University of New York (1986)
* Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Michigan State University Graduate School of Business (1985)
* Distinguished Service Award, Young Adult Institute\ (YAI) (1985)
* Entrepreneurial Women Award (1984)
* The Matrix Award for Women in Communication (1983)
* Cable Television Association Vanguard Award (1982)
* Advertising Age’s Top Ten Newsmakers (1980)
* Action for Children’s Television Award (1979)
* The National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Young Leadership (1979)
Category:Businesspeople from Milwaukee
Category:Businesspeople from New York City
Category:Michigan State University alumni
Category:University of Wisconsin–Madison alumni