NBC Universal promotes Zalaznick

She'll head Women and Lifestyle Entertainment

Lauren Zalaznick, president of Bravo Media and Oxygen Media, has been named president of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks.

In her new role, Zalaznick will continue to have executive responsibility for Bravo, Oxygen and NBC Uni's environmental initiative, Green Is Universal, but will add oversight of the female-targeted Web site iVillage to her responsibilities. Deborah Fine, president of iVillage Properties, will report to Zalaznick.

In addition, Zalaznick announced the launch of Women@NBCU, a content and marketing initiative intended to reach women across multiple platforms. The initiative is designed for advertisers to connect with women through NBC Uni's brands, including Bravo, Oxygen, iVillage and Green Is Universal, as well as other female-skewing properties like NBC's "Today" and select NBC primetime programs such as "The Biggest Loser" and "Lipstick Jungle."

"Lauren brings a rare combination of creative energy and rigorous discipline to everything she does," Universal Television Group president/COO Jeff Gaspin said. "She is uniquely qualified to lead iVillage and maximize the obvious synergies that exist between the Web site and our female-focused cable properties."

Under Zalaznick's leadership, Bravo has broken viewership records and garnered multiple Emmy noms and wins. Oxygen also has been posting record ratings since being acquired by NBC Uni in October.

IVillage, meanwhile, was purchased by NBC Uni for $600 million in 2006. While the company has struggled to figure out the best way to maximize iVillage's potential, the site's U.S. audience grew to 18.5 million in March, a 19% increase over the same period a year earlier, and its ad revenue increased 20% in the first quarter. Zalaznick she'll be looking to figure out "where the white spaces need to be filled in" at iVillage.

Asked about synergistic opportunities among iVillage, Bravo and Oxygen, she said: "If you think of it as a Venn diagram chart, my job is identifying the overlaying intersections and getting the value out of those and also growing the unintersecting parts. I want to see where they don't compete; that's the most interesting part."

As for Women@NBCU, which Zalaznick called "a one-stop shop to deliver custom female 18-54 audiences with scale," day-to-day sales efforts will be handled by senior vp Susan Malfa, who will continue to oversee Bravo and Oxygen ad sales.

"We can do this 52 weeks a year and across infinitely different combinations of brands, genres and platforms," Zalaznick said. "Everyone is ready to be innovative and even more successful, and that feels very newly energized."
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