April 30, 2018 – Blinkhorn LLC, a Greenwich, Conn-based executive recruitment firm, has helped to place Sandra Cordova Micek as the new president and CEO of Window to the World Communications Inc. (WWCI), parent organization of WTTW, a Chicago public television station, and WFMT, a classical radio broadcaster in the city.
Ms. Micek, who officially starts work tomorrow, will be responsible for all strategic, financial, operating and development activities of the organization. She was previously senior vice president at Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Daniel Schmidt, who served as WWCI’s president and CEO since 1998, retired at the end of last year. Reese Marcussen, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, has filled in as acting CEO.
An Extensive Search
The search, which in addition to Blinkhorn involved a board committee, took 10 months. “After a diligent and thoughtful search, we are pleased to have found the best individual to lead this outstanding public media organization,” said James W. Mabie, chairman of the company’s board of trustees. Ms. Micek “is a seasoned executive with a proven track record of success across a wide range of media and industries. Her entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and ability to have a meaningful impact will help us to grow and evolve. We believe that she is uniquely qualified to lead WWCI successfully into the future.”
During her time at Hyatt, Ms. Micek served as senior vice president, global brands, where she helped to transform the organization to become more purpose-driven and brand-led by developing integrated, cross-platform programs. Before that, she was senior vice president of marketing for USA Today, where she was involved in the company’s digital transformation. She also worked for NBCUniversal, where she led the “Women at NBCU” initiative, and spent almost 10 years in Silicon Valley holding strategic management positions at Yahoo! and Accenture. She started her career at Turner Broadcasting in New York.
“This is an exciting time for WTTW and WFMT and I am incredibly honored to be taking on the president and CEO role for WWCI,” said Micek. “It is a privilege to be a part of an organization committed to creating and presenting innovative, quality content. I hope to leverage my experience in business strategy, cross-platform media and audience building to successfully lead the organization. This role uniquely taps into my passions for the arts and humanities, life-long learning and public affairs. I look forward to working with the talented team to engage diverse audiences and communities in Chicago and beyond.”
In her new role, Ms. Micek will work with the team to develop creative and proactive multi-platform strategies for WTTW and WFMT to provide diverse perspectives, accessibility, innovation, community engagement and education.
Ms. Micek earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Syracuse University. She also holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Micek currently serves on Syracuse’s Newhouse School Advisory Board and the school’s Chicago Regional Council. She has earned numerous awards including two Shortie Awards honoring the best in social media, and a 2014 Smartie Award from the Mobile Marketing Association.
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WTTW is a PBS member station focused on creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels. WFMT is an FM radio station that showcases classical music programming and live performance across broadcast and digital platforms. The company’s WFMT Radio Network is a leading creator and distributor of audio arts and culture programs made available to radio stations and other content platforms around the world.
Blinkhorn, founded in 2009, specializes in recruiting executives in the media, communications and technology sectors. Founder Ann Blinkhorn started the firm after seven years as a recruiter at Spencer Stuart. She has led CEO and other senior-level engagements for a diverse range of clients including Comcast, Microsoft, Hearst, PBS, Business Insider and Huffington Post, among others. She has also worked closely with financial sponsors including top private equity and venture capital firms to recruit talent to portfolio companies.
Ms. Blinkhorn’s background includes over 20 years of traditional and digital media operating experience combined with executive search experience. She began her management career at the New York Times Company, where she served as publisher of the first foreign-language edition of the New York Times, a joint venture in Russia with the Moscow News. She was also president of the North American division of the International Herald Tribune, a Times affiliate. Prior to transitioning to executive search in 2002, Ms. Blinkhorn was part of the founding management team of zUniversity.com, where she launched and ran an online recruitment business.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media