Anne M. Sweeney: From the Ed School to Children's Television

Ask Anne M. Sweeney about being nominated for the Board of Overseers, and she responds with the classic Hollywood line: "It's an honor to be nominated, it really is."

Maybe Sweeney ought to be in movies, but she's actually in television. Currently living in Los Angeles, Calif. she is the president of Disney/ABC Cable Networks and the Disney Channel.

She credits her time at the Graduate School of Education with launching her career. After attending the all-women's College of New Rochelle in New York as an undergraduate, she was drawn to GSE because of its prominence in children's media.

At the time, she remembers, the school was well known for its involvement in the development of the popular children's television shows, Sesame Street and Electric Company.

"It heightened the awareness of children and made people think differently about the education of children," she says. "The Ed school is really responsible for launching my career."

"I think what the Ed school taught me was the importance of being a leader and looking at every industry with fresh eyes," she adds. "The Ed school was fearless."

After graduating from GSE in 1980 and working briefly at a production house, she took a job at Nickelodeon in 1991. She stayed for 12 years.

When she did the deal to launch Nickelodeon in the United Kingdom, she caught the eye of Fox television mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired her to start to cable networks FX and FXM.

Recommended Articles