Reality TV: THR's 50 Most Powerful List
With a slate of fashionable unscripted series including Giuliana & Bill, Tia & Tamera, Jerseylicious and Big Rich Texas, Style achieved its most-watched year in the network’s 13-year history in 2011.
The first quarter 2012 was its highest-rated first quarter ever. Smith has been running Style, which is in 80 million cable homes, since 2008, when she was promoted to president from executive vp, and before Style became part of the NBCUniversal family and Lauren Zalaznick’s portfolio with the Comcast merger in early 2011.
The married mother of two has made Style a destination for character-driven reality. “Viewers also get fashion tips when they see what Giuliana is wearing in a particular episode,” says Smith, 42, with a laugh.
Style is also laying the groundwork for a reality franchise a la Bravo’s Real Housewives, bowing another salon-set docusoap, this time set in Chicago. Chicagolicious, premiering June 11, centers on a salon that caters to African Americans. “Diversity is very important to me,” says Smith.