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Cohen Leaving Lifetime

After a rocky two years, Betty Cohen is out as president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services.

Cohen’s resignation was announced Wednesday by Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group, and John Conomikes, director of Hearst. Lifetime Entertainment Services is a 50/50 joint venture of Hearst and Disney.

No replacement was named.

In a prepared statement, Cohen said, “The past two years have been fantastic, but it’s time for me to take on new challenges. Having just shepherded the company through this year’s upfront presentation, with a fantastic slate of original programming that advertisers and media buyers responded to enthusiastically, I felt that the time was right for this transition. There is an amazingly talented, hard-working team in place at Lifetime, and I wish them all continued success and great luck in the future. As for what the future holds for me, all I can say is, ‘Stay tuned.’”

In commenting on Cohen’s resignation, Sweeney and Conomikes stated, “Saying goodbye to a trusted and admired colleague is never easy, but we respect Betty’s decision to move on at this time. We are very grateful for her dedication and contributions to Lifetime over the past two years and wish her our best in all her future endeavors.”

Cohen, a veteran of Cartoon Network, replaced Carole Black at Lifetime. During Cohen’s tenure, Lifetime -- once the top-rated cable network -- continued to struggle in the ratings. In the first quarter, its primetime household ratings dropped 7% from a year ago.

Lifetime held its upfront presentation in New York Tuesday, and Cohen made a brief appearance.