UPFRONT & CENTER: Lifetime Networks Names Debbie Richman Ad-Sales Chief

Lifetime Networks named senior OMD executive and 20-year media veteran Debbie Richman executive vice president of ad sales.

Starting April 1, she will head ad sales for Lifetime Television and sister networks Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women, as well as its digital assets. She will be based in New York, reporting to Lifetime CEO Andrea Wong. She fills the ad-sales chief spot left vacant when Lynn Picard resigned in June.

“An executive of formidable stature with extensive relationships in the media community, Debbie has an outstanding record developing innovative partnerships and client models in this fast-changing business environment. Leveraging the expanding platforms against the powerful, top-rated Lifetime brand and our programming assets, Debbie and her team will create even more opportunities and greater value for our advertisers, as well as growth for our organization,” Wong said in a statement.

Richman has been at OMD for 10 years, since 2005 as managing director, national broadcast. Most recently, she oversaw many landmark multiplatform deals.

She led a team devoted to investments in digital media in creating a pioneering linear/digital hybrid upfront deal with MTV Networks. She also spearheaded major exclusive product-integration deals with broadcast and cable networks, such as one with Nissan for NBC’s Heroes, which wove products into shows’ scripts from their outset.

Most recently, she oversaw the “Hail to the Cheese: Stephen Colbert Nacho Cheese Doritos 2008 Presidential Campaign”integration on Comedy Central.

Before her current job, Richman was director of national television at Optimum Media, which OMD absorbed in 2002. Before that, she ran the Johnson & Johnson national-broadcast AOR at two ad agencies, McCann-Erickson and Young & Rubicam. She started in media in 1984 on several accounts at Ogilvy & Mather.