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Lifetime Ad-Sales President Picard Resigns

Looking for the next challenge in her career, longtime Lifetime Television ad-sales leader Lynn Picard resigned her position at the women’s-targeted programmer.

Picard, who has spent the past 13 years with the company, was named president, advertising sales, Lifetime Entertainment Services in December 2005, adding to her duties as executive vice president and general manager of Lifetime Television, which she assumed in June 2003.

Her departure -- which was called “amicable” by Lifetime officials -- came a couple of months after Andrea Wong, ABC’s executive vice president of alternative programming, succeeded Betty Cohen as president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services.

En route to her home in East Hampton, N.Y., at press time, Picard was unavailable for comment, but she issued the following statement to her co-workers: “This was such a difficult decision for me to leave a job that has been a home and colleagues whom I love. 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 went on to say that she was proud of her accomplishments at the programmer “such as building the best ad-sales department in television, and wish Andrea and the rest of the wonderful Lifetime team success with their exciting new programming. 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 credited Picard for “enormous contributions to the growth and success of the company, for which we are very grateful. 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 also noted that “we are fortunate to have two talented and experienced ad-sales executives, [senior VP of pricing and planning] Rick Basso and [senior VP of ad sales] John Matluck, who, during this transition, will lead a strong and deep department through the remainder of our upfront, which is already more than 70% completed.”

Lifetime triggered its strong upfront position via a major deal Tuesday with GroupM, based on C3 ratings, the metric -- comprising commercial ratings plus three days of digital-video-recorder playback -- that is keying much of the action in the Madison Avenue bazaar.

Picard joined Lifetime in 1994 as senior VP, advertising sales. During her tenure, ad-sales revenues have nearly quadrupled. Last year, Lifetime scored $769 million in ad revenue, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Her career on the agency side included stints as a spot buyer and supervisor for HBM/Creamer and VP, national broadcast at Della Femina McNamee.