Our History

In the early 1970s, several women, friends and publishing colleagues, began meeting for lunch every now and then to talk about their jobs, their lives, their plans and hopes for the future. By the autumn of 1974, the group of five -- Judith Daniels, Elizabeth Crow, Joni Evans, Eden Lipson and Carol Rinzler - decided the time had come to form a club. 

In the beginning the club grew exponentially as each of the five founders invited colleagues to join in on discussions of forming a club of like-minded women in media. Within a few months there were fifty members in the group and work would soon begin on choosing a name, writing bylaws and electing officers. 

From the start the lunches, first at the Four Seasons, then The 21 Club, then lots of places. These were ideal settings for members to pick up industry news and gossip and do business in an informal manner. Members also have the chance to listen to outstanding women who share their wisdom, experience and concerns with us - to name a few of our luncheon speakers over the years, Beverly Sills, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Wendy Wasserstein, Gloria Steinem, Christie Hefner, Ruth Reichl, Faith Popcorn, Gretchen Rubin, Tiffany Dufu, Farai Chideya. We also had a Women Authors of Comedy Night at Carolines on Broadway featuring Sarah Cooper, Phoebe Robinson, Annabelle Gurwitch, and more.

WMG has actively worked from the earliest days on such issues of concern to women as support of the Equal Rights Amendment and public funding for abortion. We have reached out to fund intern programs for deserving young college women (in the days before any media companies paid interns). And not the least, WMG has minded its own, with previous initiatives for loans and health insurance for members and after-hours classes on investment expertise and computer know-how.

Today WMG continues to raise money for scholarships to help young women enter the media fields and continue our long history of stellar seminars, workshops, and networking events.  

A big thank you to the past Presidents of WMG, listed below by year, and to all the many dedicated WMG Board Members!

Judith Daniels: 1977

Anne Mollegen Smith: 1978

Sally Arteseros: 1979

Barbara Blakemore: 1980

Genevieve Young: 1981

Kathy Fury: 1982

Linda Exman: 1983

Carol Rinzler: 1984

Betsy Wade: 1985

Lisa Drew: 1986

Milly Marmur: 1987

Lorraine Shanley: 1988-1989

Virginia Barber: 1990-1991

Susan Richman: 1992

Joan Gelman: 1993

Jane Pasanen: 1993-1994

Selma Shapiro: 1995

Jane Ciabattari: 1996

Wendy Weil: 1997-1998

Arlynn Greenbaum: 1999

Andrea Chambers: 2000

Susan Ralston: 2001-2002

Emma Sweeney: 2003

Elisa Petrini: 2004-2005

Jill Sansone: 2006-2008

Jane von Mehren: 2008-2010

Anne Kostick: 2010-2013

Toni Sciarra Poynter & Kristine Puopolo: 2013-2015

Lisa Faith Phillips: 2015-2018

Dee Dee DeBartlo & Miral Sattar: 2018-2019

Dee Dee DeBartlo & Kathy Sandler: 2019-2020

Julie Blattberg & Kathy Sandler: 2020-2022

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