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THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100

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    21. Michele Ganeless
    Michele Ganeless
    President, Comedy Central

    Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert preside over the top two late-night programs among younger viewers, and both are on track to have their highest-rated and most-watched years. Under Ganeless, the network has seven primetime series that average around 1 million viewers (including Futurama, 1.7 million; Key & Peele, 1.8 million), four that average at least 2 million (including Brickleberry, 2 million; Workaholics, 2.2 million) and two that have surpassed 3 million (South Park is averaging 3.2 million viewers in its 16th season, and Tosh.0 pulled in 3.6 million for its fourth). Says Ganeless, 47, "The key is to keep our foot on the gas, keep finding the funniest people and let them do their thing."

    Moment I knew I wanted to work in the business: When I was working in research and got a job at MTV.

    Who gave me my first big break: Gabrielle Lesser, who was running research at MTV. She hired me as manager of research at MTV Networks in 1990.

    Easiest decision I made all year: Re-signing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

    Proudest moment this year: Jon Stewart's autism education benefit, Night of Too Many Stars, and knowing it was going to reach and touch millions and millions of people.

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