A&E/Lifetime Joint Venture Finalized

Chief Raven addresses staff today

Disney-ABC TV, Hearst and NBC Universal finalized their already announced joint venture ownership of A&E Networks which now officially incorporates Lifetime's femme-focused assets.

A&E CEO Abbe Raven addressed the staff today in a video and discussed the new entity which counts NBC Universal as a 15% stakeholder while Disney-ABC and Hearst hold the balance.

The move paves the way for decisions to be made on staffing needs since many back room positions are expected to be eliminated. Another question likely to be addressed soon is whether Lifetimes operations might move back to the East Coast where A&E Networks is headquartered.

An A&E spokesman confirmed news that the deal has finally closed but said there is nothing to add to previous statements about staffing. A&E and History were both ranked in the top ten cable networks in the 18-49 year old demographic last week and Lifetime is seeing a rejuvenation thanks in part to the arrival of Project Runway.