ON MAY 31, HUNDREDS OF A+E EMPLOYEES GATHERED AT CIPRIANI in Manhattan to mark the passing of the baton from 30-year vet Abbe Raven to Dubuc, her protege. Onstage, the two women were greeted by a sustained standing ovation. "We were both taken aback," recalls Dubuc. Her massive portfolio includes a suite of domestic networks -- History and A&E, both top-five cable entertainment networks; Lifetime; bio; LMN; H2; Military History -- as well as A&E IndieFilms, consumer products and digital. She also oversees 160 international channels that reach more than 300 million households in 38 languages, bringing the value of her domain to $20 billion, with projected annual revenue of $3.7 billion. The company is on track to have its most watched year thanks to A&E's Duck Dynasty (its fourth-season premiere notched nearly 12 million viewers in August) and miniseries The Bible (which pulled in 11.4 million viewers and propelled History to No. 1 for its Sunday night time period in March). "At our core, we are a content company," says Dubuc. "That content has to be the very best. You can't be a company of this size and be doing what everybody else is doing." -- M.G.