Kay Koplovitz remembers specifically what drew her to the broadcast business: the thought of what satellites could make possible.

The future founder of USA Network had a serendipitous moment as a college student while backpacking in Europe over the summer when she went to hear a lecture by Arthur C. Clarke, the author of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and other sci-fi works. He was talking about geosynchronous orbit satellites. The power of the instruments struck her, and she was already working as a TV producer in college.

“That’s what motivated me to veer off into satellites and what we could do to open up world communication,” says Koplovitz, now chairman of Springboard Enterprises, a platform for investors and venture capitalists to connect with women-led businesses, in an interview with Beet.TV. She’s best known for founding the USA Network in 1977, becoming the first woman to head a TV network.
Koplovitz recalls her most challenging time in business as when TNT had recently been launched by Turner. The cable TV magnate Glenn Jones of Jones Intercable subsequently canceled USA across his domain in favor of TNT.
“It was a big challenge in terms of the kind of battles that go on sometimes between programmers and distributors,” she says.
USA Network filed suit and won and was ultimately reinstated, Koplovitz says.

This segment is part of Beet.TV’s “Media Revolutionaries,” a 50-part series of interviews with key innovators and leaders in the media, technology and advertising industries, sponsored by Xaxis and AOL. Xaxis is a unit of WPP.

Koplovitz was interviewed for Beet.TV by David J. Moore, Chairman of Xaxis and President of WPP Digital.