Rose Catherine Pinkney

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Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, TV One, Silver Spring, Md.

On the wall behind Rose Catherine Pinkney’s desk in her Silver Spring, Md., office hangs a Redskins T-shirt of the Washington, D.C., football team. She was given the T-shirt after expressing interest in it to the famous actor who had worn it on a TV show. She may be direct, but that does not mean she always expects to get what she wants, she hastens to say. “When I speak with people, especially when I’m asking for something, I’m usually expecting a ‘yea’ or a ‘nay’ response. If I get a ‘nay,’ I’m not bothered because at least I got the opportunity to be heard and was glad that the person took the time to hear my request,” she says Pinkney was born and raised in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, the youngest and only girl of four children of Joseph and Maud Pinkney. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Princeton University and a master’s in business administration, specializing in marketing and entertainment management, at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is loyal to a fault to family and close friends, she says, and points to her parents’ 56-year marriage as an example of the commitment to relationships that she values. “There is a sense of anticipation in meeting a partner with whom I’ll be committed to for the rest of my life. If I can’t commit for the rest of my life, then I shouldn’t be getting married,” she says.

Pinkney considers mastering the art of expressing an opinion in the right way and at the right time the key to career success. A high point in her career was in proving naysayers wrong when she successfully transitioned from a 20-year scripted television career to unscripted programming, where she has since remained. Although it is “fun,” show business is half-show, half-business, she notes. “An executive can have all the fun creating content, but if a person forgets that money has to be made, then that person is lost.”