By Sharon Donovan -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/20/2004 8:00:00 PM
President and CEO
Senior vice president/executive creative director
Executive vice president/general manager, Lifetime Entertainment
Lifetime Television uses considerable marketing muscle to be the cable channel that is synonymous with women.
The network's goal is to package itself as though it were a Procter & Gamble product that women use every day, says Rick Haskins, executive vice president and general manager. It's not surprising that he would use that example: He and Lifetime President and CEO Carole Black are veteran P&G brand executives.
"We want to be a part of the viewer's lifestyle," says Haskins. "We listen to the viewers—their responses online, in focus groups, and in quantitative research. And, hopefully, we deliver on the needs."
Still, he says, "You cannot be everything to everybody—or you will be nothing to nobody." For Lifetime, the mission is straightforward: "Entertain. Inform. Empower."
In a sense, the network's imprint as the women's channel has been continuously reinforced with a consistent focus on a range of women's issues: breast cancer, violence against women, race relations, human cloning, and gay rights. The network's reach has also helped shape public policy concerning mastectomies, voyeurism, and rape.
Its involvement in off-air public affairs has essentially branded the network as a women's advocate. And, as it has won awards for its participation and leadership, the deeper the imprint tends to go.
For example, Lifetime has been saluted for its ongoing commitment to use the power of the media to make a difference in women's lives. In 2003, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored the network with its prestigious "Governors Award" Emmy in 2003 for the campaign "Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women." In addition, Lifetime received an Emmy nomination for its breast-cancer–awareness campaign in August 2001; a National Political Women's Caucus EMMA award for its stop-violence campaign in 2003; and four Beacon Awards given by the Cable Television Public Affairs Association earlier this year.
In October 2000, Lifetime received the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Corporate Leadership Award for its ongoing commitment to use the power of the media to fight the disease. Lifetime has also been the recipient of the National Media Award from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Caring Cooperation Award from the Child Care Action Campaign.
For its dedication to diversity, the network was honored by The National Association of Minorities in Cable with the 2003 North Star award for ethnic and diverse programming. Lifetime also received an Imagen Award nomination for Strong Medicine for the positive portrayal of Latinos in the media.
In 2002, NAMIC honored Lifetime with a Vision Award for Intimate Portrait: Rosa Parks.
Since Lifetime's launch in 1984, followed by Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women, the network has extended its brand online, in books, and in the new Lifetime magazine. This spring, it launched Lifetime Radio for Women and Lifetime Home Entertainment.
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