Lifetime’s Picard resigns

Exec was a 13-year employee of the cabler

Lifetime’s Lynn Picard has resigned from her dual jobs as president of advertising sales and exec VP-general manager.

A 13-year employee of the cabler, Picard becomes the first major executive to ankle the company since Andrea Wong took over as prexy- CEO two months ago.

In the interim, two veteran Lifetime execs — Rick Basso, senior VP of pricing and planning, and John Matluck, senior VP of ad sales — will take over Picard’s sales responsibilities.

A Lifetime spokeswoman stressed that the leave-taking is amicable and that Picard is going out on two high notes: successful marketing that has helped “Army Wives” become the highest-rated scripted original series in the network’s 23-year history and an aggressive sales strategy that has quickly moved 70% of Lifetime’s 2007-08 advertising time in the last 10 days.

Andy Donchin, a top media buyer for Carat USA, said Picard is one of the most respected sales execs in cable TV. “She’s easy to work with,” Donchin said, “because she’s down to earth and approachable. She actually returns your phone calls.”

Picard joined Lifetime in April 1994 as senior VP of advertising sales, rising in June 2003 to exec VP-general manager. Lifetime Entertainment Services named her president in December 2005.

Before Lifetime, Picard spent five years at ESPN Networks, ending as VP of business development.

Earlier in her career, she worked on the buyers’ side, for two ad agencies: Della Femina McNamee (1983-89) and HBM/Creamer (1980-82).

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