Lauren Zalaznick has been named president of the newly-formed NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Networks, adding oversight of iVillage.com to her responsibilities as the leader of Bravo Media and Oxygen Media.
In addition to taking responsibility of iVillage, Zalaznick on Wednesday announced that she is launching Women@NBCU, a content and marketing initiative designed to align advertisers with the young, upscale female demo served by the Women and Lifestyle properties, as well as NBC assets like the Today show and certain prime time programs.
Zalaznick said that the best analogy to explain what the Women@NBCU proposition means for her brands relates to the shopping mall experience. “I have these three anchor stores in Bravo, Oxygen and now iVillage,” Zalaznick said. “I may not have the P&L of each store, but I have those anchors and I have a number of boutique stores–or brands–in Lipstick Jungle and [CNBC’s] Suze Orman. So it’s a holistic process of selling all these windows, like when you go to the mall. …It’s one-stop shopping.”
The establishment of Women@NBCU is just the latest example of Zalaznick’s proactive approach to managing her brands. “You have to be organized and nimble. You can’t just have a reaction to marketplace forces …You have to cause things to happen,” Zalaznick said. “You have to change before the business changes, to position yourself at the nexus.”
Universal Television Group president and COO Jeff Gaspin said that while details about Women@NBCU had yet to be worked out, the initiative will help the Zalaznick’s marketing team better enlighten media buyers on the attributes of the various Women and Lifestyle properties.
“It’s designed to explain the value proposition of each asset is and how they interconnect to allow greater access to this affluent and engaged audience,” Gaspin said. “It’s a way for us to put all those assets together and hopefully create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
Or, as Zalaznick characterized it, the philosophy behind Women@NBCU “is the antithesis of spots-and-dots.” The company will provide buyers with a more immersive demonstration of the new initiative on Monday, May 12, when it throws its “NBC Universal Experience” presentation in Rockefeller Center. (In more siloed times, such an event was called an upfront presentation.)
Along with the portfolio of NBCU media platforms, Zalaznick also oversees the company’s “Green is Universal” environmental initiative, which is meant to raise eco-consciousness in viewers.
Under the new Women and Lifestyle umbrella, Deborah Fine, president of iVillage Properties, will report to Zalaznick.