Lifetime Loses Diverse Pair

Two of the cable industry’s diversity champions left Lifetime Television.

Longtime Lifetime executive and former National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications president Jenny Alonzo is leaving the women’s-targeted network to pursue marketing-related opportunities, while longtime NAMIC board member and former Lifetime vice president of distribution for its East Coast region Mark Garner took an executive position at A&E Television Networks.

Alonzo, who was promoted to the newly created position of senior VP of multicultural strategies and initiatives within Lifetime's human-resources department in July and has worked at the network since 1994, was senior VP of production, promotion, planning and multicultural strategies prior to her most recent promotion. Alonzo served as NAMIC president from 2002-04 and remains very active with the organization and other industry diversity efforts.

“While I'm proud of all I've accomplished in promoting diversity throughout the telecommunications industry these past 10 years, I really miss the day-to-day creative and management challenge of marketing, so I'm returning to my roots where I can apply my wide range of industry experience,” Alonzo said. "The hardest part will be leaving the people, from my wonderfully supportive boss, Pat Langer, to all my many talented colleagues with whom I've shared so much over the years.”

In a Lifetime statement, the network said, "As sad as we are to lose her, we understand Jenny's desire to resume her career in marketing. Jenny has been one of the true inspirations in the field of marketing and multiculturalism, as an executive and as a mentor, and we thank her for all of her many contributions and wish her the very best."

Garner, a current NAMIC board member and longtime advocate of diversity within the cable industry, assumed the position of VP of distribution and business development for A&E Networks.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.