Lifetime Networks, Andrea Wong
2008 | Case No. EM5
Forty-one year old Andrea Wong, the president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, oversaw the Lifetime Networks which included the flagship women’s cable channel, Lifetime Television, as well as its sister networks, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, and the myLifetime.com website, along with Lifetime Networks’ 475 employees. Lifetime Television was a leader in women’s television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks (ranked number eight in total viewers when Wong joined in 2007). Wong had arrived at Lifetime in April 2007 from ABC where she had worked for 14 years, last serving as executive vice president of Alternative Programming, Specials, and Late Night. When Wong joined Lifetime, she said that the network was “widely viewed as a tired brand…ratings had flattened out, and the audience was aging.” Moreover, Lifetime’s stereotype had become a network that showed “women in peril” shows and movies. Wong was excited to reinvigorate the Networks’ brand, but when Wong actually set foot in her new office at Lifetime in Los Angeles, she realized her task was going to be harder than she had initially imagined. Beyond the ratings problems and image problems, Wong discovered that numerous cultural issues plagued the company, problems that needed immediate fixing. In rapid fire mode, Wong moved quickly as a leader, making key people decisions in the spirit of changing a culture that lacked clear lines of responsibility, accountability, and nimbleness, while simultaneously changing Lifetime’s brand reputation through its programming and marketing. Within a short time period, Wong transformed Lifetime and the case study discusses how Wong did that.
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