THR's Women in Entertainment: The Fearless Reign of Nancy Dubuc
10:29 AM PST 12/5/2012 by THR Staff
With a new title and dramatically larger purview, the cable superstar generates attention (Hello, Lindsay!), delivers hits ("Hatfields & McCoys") and shatters her own records. THR photographed the president of entertainment and media at A+E Networks at Milk Studios on Nov. 14.
"You can't take a risk like that and not draw criticism, and we knew that going in," says Nancy Dubuc of Lifetime's Liz & Dick. And if she had it to do all over again? Absolutely, she says, without a second's hesitation. "We couldn't have bought the buzz that we got," she explains. "The idea that all of these people were talking about Lifetime? I'll take that."
A+E Networks' President of Entertainment and Media
Dubuc's biggest vote of confidence came in September, when A&E and Bio, as well as oversight of A+E Networks' international and digital divisions, were added to her purview. The promotion, which puts Dubuc in charge of about 500 employees and about $3.5 billion in annual revenue, came just months after AETN was valued at about $20 billion.
Those who work with, for or around Dubuc similarly are drawn to her, often commenting not only on her instincts but also on her ability to make the job fun.
Photo by: Joe Pugliese
Dubuc didn't need to look far for a role model. While in her teens, Dubuc saw her mother, who had had her while still a teenager in nursing school, step away from a career in medicine to launch what grew to be one of the most successful catering businesses in Rhode Island. "She's a hard-driving, entrepreneurial woman, and you can see the seeds of that in me," says Dubuc.
Photo by: Joe Pugliese
Division I Crew Team
Her early lessons in discipline and drive continued during her time at Boston University, where she rowed on the school's Division I crew team. "It's an interesting sport in that you probably have to have more precision and collaboration to compete as a team than you do in any other sport; but then as soon as that race is over, you're competing with those other members of your team for a seat," she adds over lunch at Manhattan's Pampano in October, noting that that "teamwork, compete, teamwork, compete, yin and yang" helped shape her.