NEW YORK — More than 250 media industry professionals, family and friends gathered in The Edison Ballroom, a lavishly preserved, 1930’s art deco-inspired venue in the heart of Times Square, to celebrate the achievements made in the past year and over the course of the honorees’ careers that have distinguished them from their peers and moved the media industry forward as part of Folio:’s list of 2018 Top Women in Media.
Folio:’s Lifetime Empowerment and Achievement Award was presented to Martha Stewart, founder and chief creative officer of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings, during the ceremony, garnering a thunderous round of applause in the packed, two-story ballroom.
Tom Harty, president and CEO of Meredith Corp., introduced Stewart, commending her for “passion and creativity” which is what he says makes her brand such a success.
“Martha is the original influencer in the lifestyle category, inspiring millions of readers and setting the benchmark for quality content,” said Harty.
After a video was played highlighting the many accomplishments of Stewart’s career, she took the stage and highlighted the media industry’s important transition to digital.
“Embrace the new but revere the past,” said Stewart, discussing her journey of embracing technology, even through the hiccups that come with learning how to use new devices, like Fitbit trackers.
Her only addiction, she said, is her iPad, which epitomizes her dedication to the magazine industry’s transition to digital and digital editions—something that her brand has been striving to move towards over the past several years.
A big fan of recent digital innovations, like Facebook Live, Stewart also talked about how she served as a guinea pig at the onset of the platform. With only one iPhone, her first live stream was able to garner nearly three million views, which Stewart points out was far cheaper and involved significantly less time in hair and makeup than producing a television show.
She left the stage saying, “My motto still remains, ‘When you’re through changing, you’re through.’”
“[Martha Stewart] has been inspiring me for decades, first as a reader, but now as an editor,” said Elizabeth Graves, editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living magazine and a Top Women honoree in the Change-Makers category.
The rest of the ceremony was dedicated to celebrating the achievements made by outstanding female media leaders across the six categories of Corporate Champions, Entrepreneurs, aforementioned Change-Makers, Industry Trailblazers, Motivators, and Up & Comers. The honorees talked about their career successes, highlighting common themes of the importance of teamwork and feeling honored to be in a room full of talented and professional peers.
Guest presenters and extraordinarily accomplished women themselves, Rachel Kylian, actress known for her work in the film “Almost Christmas” and Starz’s series “Counterpart,” and Stacy Adimando, executive editor of Saveur, introduced the categories of Corporate Champions and Motivators, respectively.
“I never thought of myself as corporate champion, but I’ve always wanted to champion great work,” said Deborah Hopp, SVP, MSP-C. “I have also taken great pride in championing young women and guiding them into this field.”
Another guest presenter, Joe Hrykin, CEO of Issuu, which sponsored the event along with Eu2Be, Chateau d’Esclans and EWIP: Exceptional Women in Publishing, helped to announce the category of Entrepreneurs, highlighting the tireless efforts of the honorees who have successfully launched and rebuilt brands in the media space.
“I’ve worked my ass off and here’s to all of you who have worked your asses off too,” said Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director of Cannabis Business Times and an honoree in the Entrepreneurs category.
Other Top Women honorees included a range of big media names, from founders of large-scale upstart media brands, like Jaymee Messler of The Players’ Tribune and Dawn Kissi of Emerging Market Media, to executives within the industry, like The Atlantic’s Hayley Romer, and Science News’s Maya Ajmera.
Mia Tramz, Trailblazer honoree, left us with a quote from Nikita Gill, “You are not his princess. You are your own queen.”
best part of #FolioTopWomen: when @MarthaStewart said she loves all forms of social media besides snapchat. “I don’t need those weird bunny ear filters. Useless unless you’re sending it to a boyfriend.” fire.
— Leah Fessler (@LeahFessler) June 7, 2018
“Change is a language that’s natural to me…” Congratulations to Executive Editor @suskostrzewa for taking home the @foliomag Change-Maker award and to all of the #FolioTopWomen honorees! #WEempowHER #changemakers #wineenthusiast pic.twitter.com/kKuU5IPjYC
— Wine Enthusiast (@WineEnthusiast) June 7, 2018
Excited to be receiving an award as a top women entrepreneur in media in NY today. Congrats to @MarthaStewart for the lifetime achievement award. Inspiring speech about adopting new technologies and turning passions into profits. #FolioTopWomen pic.twitter.com/FA9xxORz9S
— Jeanette Bennett (@uvmaglady) June 7, 2018
— Tara Welty (@tnwelty) June 7, 2018
— Nancy Shute (@nancyshute) June 7, 2018
— Shawn Williams (@ShawnMWilliams) June 7, 2018