Abbe Raven Named To Run New AETN/Lifetime Cable Venture
Partners still finalizing the deal
By Claire Atkinson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/4/2009 4:08:00 PM
Posted at 2:48 p.m. ET
A&E Television Networks president and CEO Abbe Raven has been named to run a new company being formed by Disney-ABC TV, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal,
according to several sources close to talks. The new entity merges the
various assets of AETN and Lifetime and creates a powerhouse cable
company with 10 channels in 145 countries, three of the top 12 cable
brands and 15 Websites.
Lifetime president and chief executive Andrea Wong will report to Raven, staff heard Thursday, though the management structure for other positions such as sales and marketing are yet to be determined. The cost-saving initiative, long suggested by Disney CEO Bob Iger, will enable Lifetime to take advantage of being part of a larger cable entity which is both highly profitable and already well-established on the international scene. Raven has worked for A&E Television Networks for 25 years running both A&E and History Channels. She took her current position in 2005. Raven is credited with both turning around A&E after it hit a bump, and with growing the company's brands internationally.
A Disney-ABC-TV spokesman said, "We can confirm we are in conversations with our partners on the ownership structure, no agreement has been reached and we have no announcements." A separate source said that NBC Universal's stake in the new venture would be in the mid-teens, that is about half of the company's current stake in A&E Television Networks, which is also owned by Disney-ABC TV and Hearst Corporation.
Alan Adelman - 6/5/2009 7:20:39 PM EDT
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