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Cohen Gets Top Spot at Lifetime

In a surprise choice, former Cartoon Network founder and president Betty Cohen was named president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services Thursday, replacing Carole Black.

Cohen, who left Cartoon Network Worldwide in July 2001, will assume her new role at Lifetime effective April 26.

“Betty has a keen awareness of the importance of television’s relationship with the viewer and remarkable ability to identify, understand and get close to audiences — providing knowledge that she transforms into the development, marketing and communicating of brands,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of The Walt Disney Co. Media Networks unit.

Cohen spent 14 years at Turner Broadcasting System Inc., where she built a reputation as a savvy brand builder and programmer. She oversaw the creation and launch of the all-animation Cartoon Network.

Before founding Cartoon, she served as senior vice president and general manager of Turner Network Television. She joined Turner from a stint at Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite.

After leaving Cartoon in 2001, Cohen worked at parent AOL Time Warner Inc., to work on developing multiplatform services aimed at teens and young adults. She left that slot in September 2002.

Lifetime is a 50/50 joint venture of Disney and Hearst Corp.