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Tufts E-News --Hollywood's Most Powerful Women

Tufts E-News --Hollywood's Most Powerful WomenTwo Tufts graduates were named to Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the entertainment industry’s most influential women. Hollywood.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [12.17.02] In its 11th annual list of the top women in showbiz, The Hollywood Reporter recognized a diverse and accomplished group - everyone from studio executives to on-screen personalities. Amid them were two Tufts graduates - Shari Redstone and Ruth Vitale - who rank among Hollywood's most powerful and influential leaders.

"The people selected for this year's Power 100 make the tough calls in every facet of the industry," wrote Robert Dowling - editor-in-Chief of The Hollywood Reporter. "They trust themselves and their teams. They believe in what they produce and distribute and are prepared to accept full responsibility for the choices they have made and will make, decisions that affect so many around them. They are serious, dedicated, respected professionals and are recognized as such."

Redstone - who is president of National Amusements and chairman and CEO of Rising Star Media - ranked 36th on the list, which included the heads of Paramount Motion Pictures, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox Television and MTV Networks Music Group.

"Quietly - and surprisingly - Shari Redstone is emerging from the shadows at Viacom's much smaller parent company, poised to play a key role in the entertainment industry and in the world's third-biggest media conglomerate," reported Business Week in a profile of Redstone.

The 1975 Tufts graduate was joined on the Hollywood Reporter list by 1974 Tufts graduate Ruth Vitale - the co-president of Paramount Classics.

Viatale - who previously headed Fine Line, which released films including "Shine" and "Don Juan DeMarco" - joined Paramount in 1998.

Among her most recent acquisitions for her studio are Sundance Film Festival honoree "Bloody Sunday" and Edward Burns' "Sidewalks of New York."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Redstone and Vitale are part of a select group of industry executives who have proven themselves in a very demanding industry.

"To earn a coveted slot as president of a cable network or chairman of a movie studio isn't just an astounding accomplishment for a woman - it's an amazing achievement for anyone, male or female - toiling in the ultra competitive trenches of the entertainment business," reported the publication.

While women are making great progress in the industry, recent studies indicate that they still have a long way to go.

"Although women executives are well-represented in Hollywood, that contrasts with the topography of larger communication companies," reported The Hollywood Reporter. "Fewer than one in five board members of the largest communication companies were women - with only 11 women CEOs in the Fortune 1000. In the 10 entertainment conglomerates surveyed, women comprise 13 percent of directors and 14 percent of executives."

Many are pinning their hopes on the next generation of producers, writers and executives.

"My theory is that, as we see the entrance of more women into MBA programs and JD programs, we'll see more women entering this business," Vitale told the publication.

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