Kathy Payne

Kathy Payne joined the Suddenlink team in February 2014 as SVP and Chief Programming Officer. She leads a team responsible for managing all of Suddenlink’s content negotiations and relationships with media ownership groups, television stations and cable networks on existing and mobile platforms.  Suddenlink is the seventh largest cable operator in the United States, supporting the information, communication and entertainment demands of more than 1.5 million residential and commercial customers.

Ms. Payne has more than 25 years’ experience in cable industry management and as an attorney.  For the past 15 years, she has served as lead negotiator on complex video rights deals and also has been responsible for managing post-contract relationships with major media companies, such as ESPN/Disney/ABC, CBS, NBCU, Turner, Viacom, Fox, AMC, Discovery, Scripps, Univision and AETN, as well as all professional and regional sports networks.  

Before joining the Suddenlink team, Ms. Payne was Vice President, Content Acquisition, for Cox Communications from 2001 until accepting her current position.  Earlier she was Assistant General Counsel at Cox, serving from 1993 through December 2000 as lead counsel on contractual and legal issues related to cable agreements, advertising and regulatory compliance.  Before joining Cox, Ms. Payne was Assistant General Counsel for USTravel Systems in Rockville, Md., and an associate at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Dow Lohnes.

Ms. Payne was honored as a cable industry Wonder Woman in 2009 by Multichannel News.  She served as a national Board member for Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), a 10,000-member organization, for seven years.  She served as national WICT Board Chair from 2010 to 2012.  She was chosen to participate in WICT’s Betsy Magness Leadership Institute in 2004 and has since served as an executive liaison and mentor for other participants.  

Ms. Payne received her law degree, with honors, from the Duke University School of Law.  She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy, Magna Cum Laude, from Duke.