Lifetime's Picard exits exec posts

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Lynn Picard, a longtime executive at Lifetime Entertainment Services, departed the company Thursday.

Picard, who joined the company in 1994 as senior vp advertising sales, was upped to executive vp and GM at Lifetime Television in 2003. Two years later, she added the title of president advertising sales at Lifetime Entertainment Services.

Picard informed the Lifetime staff of her decision to leave Thursday, saying in a statement that it wasn't an easy choice.

"But there comes a time when you look around and say there's something you want in your career that you don't think you can get in your current position and you feel ready for a new challenge," she said. "I'm proud of what I've accomplished here the past 13 years, such as building the best ad sales department in television."

Picard's departure comes about two months after Andrea Wong was named president and CEO at Lifetime Entertainment Services. Wong, who was executive vp alternative programming, specials and late-night at ABC Entertainment, was named to her post in late April following the departure of Betty Cohen. In her statement, Picard wished Wong and the rest of her Lifetime colleagues success.

She gave no indication of her future plans other than to say "rest assured, I will continue rooting for Lifetime, but for the near term from the vantage point of the beach with my family and two dogs."

In a statement, Wong praised Picard, during whose tenure ad sales revenues nearly quadrupled, according to Lifetime.

"Since joining Lifetime 13 years ago, Lynn has made enormous contributions to the growth and success of the company, for which we are very grateful," she said. "Although we understand her decision to leave in order to realize her fullest goals and ambitions, we will all miss the style, panache and intelligence that have made her so beloved and respected at Lifetime and throughout our industry."

Wong added that Rick Basso, senior vp pricing and planning, and John Matluck, senior vp advertising sales, will lead the ad sales department throughout the remainder of the upfront, which she noted is more than 70% completed.
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