Lifetime's CEO Exits Network

Just a day after Tuesday's upfront, Betty Cohen bid Lifetime adieu. The president and CEO had a brief tenure--two years--and the network has yet to name an acting executive in Cohen's place.

"The past two years have been fantastic," said Cohen in her resignation statement, "but it's time for me to take on new challenges. ... I felt the time was right for this transition."

She leaves behind a network in turmoil; ratings have dropped precipitously and original programming has failed to gain traction with the coveted 18-49 female viewer. The recent upfront, where Cohen made a brief appearance, outlined significant changes to the development budget and the lineup.

A seasoned TV vet, Cohen spent 14 years at Turner Broadcasting, where she was a key player in the Cartoon Network launch. She was also a vice president/general manager at TNT.

Anne Sweeney, co-chair Disney Media Networks and President, Disney-ABC Television Group, and John Conomikes, director of the Hearst Corporation, said in a joint statement: "... we respect Betty's decision to move on at this time. We are very grateful for her dedication and contributions to Lifetime over the past two years, and wish her our best in all her future endeavors."

Prime-time ratings for Lifetime's target 18-to-49 demo are down 9% this broadcast season, to an average 425,000.

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