Betty Cohen, former head and founder of Cartoon Network, has been named president/ceo of Lifetime Entertainment Services. In her new position, which she officially assumes April 26,2005.Cohen will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the media brand for women, including, advertising sales, affiliate sales, research, programming, strategic planning and operations.
Cohen, a seasoned vet in traditional and new media, 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 Corp. and The Walt Disney Co.
"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 Anne Sweeney, chairman of Lifetime, co-chairman Media Networks, The Walt Disney Co. and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. "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."
John Conomikes, director, The Hearst Corp. and member of the Lifetime Management Committee, 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."
An innovative and consistently successful brand builder and programmer, Cohen, during a tenure that spanned 14 years at Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc., oversaw the creation and launch of the all-animation cablenet Cartoon Network. As president of Cartoon Network Worldwide, she was in charge of 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 many original series such as POWERPUFF 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, Cohen was svp/gm of Turner Network Television (TNT). She joined TNT after a stint as director of on-air promotion and interstitial programming for Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite. 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 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.
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, 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.
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 Assoc.'s executive committee for "Cable in the Classroom."
LIFETIME is a 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 more than 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.