Both TV venues those women were associated with cater to women. But that's where the similarities end. O'Donnell helped lift the "The View" to new heights. Lifetime, unfortunately, has shown lackluster results in recent years.
Since both departures were announced on the same day, here's an easy decision to make. Lifetime should hire O'Donnell not only to run things -- but also to star in as many scripted and unscripted shows as possible. ABC, producer and network of "The View" -- and a partner in Lifetime -- could make this happen.
Of course, there is the issue of O'Donnell's $40 million a year asking price -- which is probably about a twelfth of the advertising revenues Lifetime pulls in. But cable networks like Lifetime need buzz. The downside is that while buzz gets you into the game, it is never long-lasting.
Like her or not, O'Donnell draws attention -- perhaps too much so. But that's exactly when Lifetime needs -- a shot in the arm. Give us something to talk about.
In both departures, one doesn't know whether O'Donnell and Cohen are leaving voluntarily -- or were pushed.
O'Donnell has had her own very public war with Donald Trump, topped recently by some rough language during a recent New York City event, especially in regards to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Cohen just didn't bring the network to the next level -- places where USA Network, TNT, TBS and FX reside, grabbing ratings and headlines with bigger stories about their programming.
Last year Lifetime lost a big-time 17% of its women 18-49 demo (and 12% of its total prime-time audience). On the flip side, O'Donnell raised "The View"'s ratings by 17%.
Even if O'Donnell isn't a perfect fit, for Lifetime that's the kind of ratings math worth trading for.