Lifetime, Comedy Central and VH1 are three of the highest-profile cable networks looking to fill top programming jobs. Here’s a rundown of the openings:
- Lifetime Television’s senior-most programming gig has been open since late January, when Dawn Ostroff left her role as exec VP of entertainment to serve as UPN’s entertainment prexy.
During her tenure at Lifetime, Ostroff helped solidify the net’s status as basic cable’s most-watched web by building a powerful lineup of original Sunday-night dramas. Exec, who joined Lifetime in October 1996, also helped build its slate of original pics, which ranks as one of basic cable’s top franchises.
Successor’s challenge: keeping the network at the top of the cable heap.
- Comedy Central will likely fill the post vacated in early April by former senior veep of original programming and development Deborah Liebling out of Los Angeles. Exec, who joined the laffer net in 1996, was responsible for the development and supervision of Comedy Central’s original programming, guiding such branding hits as “South Park.”
Successor’s challenge: finding a new set of hits for the network known for unconventional originals, such as this year’s sleeper hit “Insomniac With Dave Attell.”
- VH1’s prexy John Sykes segued in March to Infinity Radio, and MTV marketeer Christina Norman joined VH1 as exec VP-general manager. While VH1 has been negotiating to get MTV content king Brian Graden to add VH1 programming duties to his purview, no deal has been struck.
Successor’s challenge: help dig the cabler out of its ratings slump by finding enduring franchises before fans of “Behind the Music” abandon the net permanently.