In Depth

Women in Television: Andrea Wong

Who: Andrea Wong, president and CEO, Lifetime Networks

Women in TV

Why: Ms. Wong took the helm at Lifetime in April 2007 after a successful programming stint at ABC. During her tenure, she has expanded Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network programming, relaunched, made its first digital acquisition (ParentsClick Network) and put into action a comprehensive rebranding campaign, all while bringing the company’s total revenues to new levels.

Original programming has scored high ratings, with “Army Wives” becoming the most successful series in the network’s 24-year history and the top cable drama of the year among women 18-49. “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” and “Coco Chanel” are the top two original basic-cable movies of 2008, while “The Capture of the Green River Killer” and “Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story” were the highest-rated programs in Lifetime Movie Network’s 10-year history.

“I came into the company and changed the movie strategy. They were making 60 movies a year—I wanted them to make fewer, but more tentpole events,” Ms. Wong said. “We’ve begun a strong evolution of the brand, and I’m proud of the team. We have incredible people in the company, working so hard and passionately—whether in programming, sales or distribution. I’m also proud of our public affairs work, including getting women to vote and highlighting breast cancer awareness,” she said, adding that Lifetime’s digital space is a huge engine for growth and that, contrary to popular belief, women do like to play games online.

What: Ms. Wong veered off her early career path after studying electrical engineering at MIT, getting an MBA from Stanford University and working at Hewlett-Packard and IBM and as an investment banker. She grew up in Silicon Valley and said her engineering experience makes it easier for her to tackle challenging problems by breaking them down into smaller parts.