Consider this dilemma. You take over a cable network whose ratings have plummeted 30%. Miraculously, you turn it around and ratings jump 43%. Then, your No.1 show self-destructs under the glare of the nation’s media. How do you rebuild from there?
If you’re Eileen O’Neill, the smart, hard-working, never-say-die chief of TLC, you get a baker, some police women and a few little people.
It’s all in today’s interview with O’Neill, part of our salute to Discover Communications as TVWeek’s
"Cable TV Programmer of the Decade."
O’Neill, a Discovery veteran, was asked to turn TLC around in July, 2008. With the help of "Jon & Kate Plus EIght," a show she helped develop at Discovery Health when she ran that network, O’Neill did indeed improve the fortunes of TLC.
Of course what happened next was played out in our living rooms for the latter half of last year, as the marriage of Jon and Kate Gosselin fell apart.
Now, the really hard part: how TLC grows without the eight. Click here to read our interview.