NEW YORK – March 31, 2005 – Betty Cohen, one of the most respected veteran cable television executives, has been named President and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chairman Media Networks, The Walt Disney Company and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, and by John Conomikes, Director, The Hearst Corporation and member of the Lifetime Management Committee.
In her new position, which she officially assumes April 26, Ms. Cohen will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the premier media brand for women, including, advertising sales, affiliate sales, research, programming, strategic planning and operations. Known for her broad scope of experience and expertise in traditional and new media, Ms. Cohen will oversee Lifetime Television; Lifetime Movie Network; Lifetime Real Women; Lifetime Radio for Women; Lifetime Home Entertainment, and Lifetime Online. Lifetime Entertainment Services is a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.
“Betty has a keen awareness of the importance of television’s relationship with the viewer and a remarkable ability to identify, understand and get close to audiences – providing knowledge that she transforms into the development, marketing and communicating of brands,” said Ms. Sweeney, Chairman of Lifetime. “Her entrepreneurial style, blended with a prolific understanding of the television industry, will bring a unique vision to Lifetime, taking it to its next level in programming to a diverse and complex audience of women. Betty is joining a remarkable team of professionals at Lifetime who have worked tirelessly to build it into the world class brand that it is. I welcome her and look forward to working with her.”
Mr. Conomikes said: “Betty is known within the industry for building powerful media brands and fostering business environments where creativity and innovation thrive. I’m confident that, under her leadership, the Lifetime services will benefit significantly from her wealth of experience and expertise and prosper further as the primary place for women’s programming and information. “
“My passion lies in developing branded content and related services that entertain, inspire and inform audiences around the world, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do just that at Lifetime,” said Ms. Cohen. “I look forward to working with and learning from the outstanding team at Lifetime, as well as a world class board and pair of owners, Disney/ABC and Hearst, who are as proud of Lifetime’s accomplishments as they are open to new ideas for growing the value of the Lifetime brand.”
An innovative and consistently successful brand builder and programmer, Ms. Cohen, during a tenure that spanned 14 years at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., oversaw the creation and launch of the all-animation Cartoon Network. Her role as President of Cartoon Network Worldwide encompassed building the network’s brand and popularizing its characters – both classic and original – across multiple entertainment and merchandising platforms. Additionally, she oversaw CartoonNetwork.com; Cartoon Network Studios, which created acclaimed series “Power Puff Girls,” “Dexter’s Lab” and “Samurai Jack;” and programming strategies and brand marketing for Cartoon Networks Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Japan.
Prior to founding Cartoon Network, Ms. Cohen was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Turner Network Television (TNT). She joined TNT from a position as director of on-air promotion and interstitial programming for Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite. Ms. Cohen also worked as a writer-producer of on-air promotion for Cable Health Network, and later served as Managing Senior Producer of on-air promotion for Lifetime Television. She began her career as a broadcast producer for Public Media Center in San Francisco.
Most recently Ms. Cohen was President, Betty Cohen Media Consulting, where she advised multiple companies in the areas of brand building, cable channel development and multi-platform programming.
Ms. Cohen is the recipient of numerous awards, including the “PROMAX/BDA Pinnacle Award” and the Multichannel News “Global Programming Award,” both in 2001. In 2000 she was named one of “The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Fortune magazine and received the prestigious NCTA Vanguard Award for programmers. In June 1999, Ms. Cohen was cited by Advertising Age as one of the country’s “Top 100 Marketers,” and in 1998 the publication named Cartoon Network “Cable Marketer of the Year.” In addition she was named the “PROMAX International Marketer of the Year” in 1997.
Ms. Cohen currently serves on the board of directors for the Southeast region of the Anti-Defamation League and the board of advisors for both the Atlanta Girls’ School and Roadtrip Nation. She also mentors Atlanta area teacher corps for Teach for America. Previously she served on the board of trustees for the AOL Time Warner Foundation and the National Cable Television Association’s Executive Committee for “Cable in the Classroom.”
Ms. Cohen holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Stanford University, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
LIFETIME is the leader in women’s television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, LIFETIME is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Launched in 1984, LIFETIME Television serves over 88 million households nationwide. In 1998 LIFETIME launched Lifetime Movie Network, now in more than 43 million homes, and in 2001, Lifetime Real Women. LIFETIME Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Radio for Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of LIFETIME Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.