By Lee Hall
When Carole Black served as president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, she made certain the network’s public service goals went hand in hand with its entertainment priorities. Ms. Black and Lifetime Television will receive Cable Positive’s Joel A. Berger Award on May 10 for their longstanding support of public service initiatives, including HIV/AIDS awareness.
“She is an incredible lady, very positive and always willing to help out those who are less fortunate,” said actress Vivica A. Fox, star of Lifetime channel’s “Missing,” who will host the annual Cable Positive benefit at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
Ms. Black studied English literature at Ohio State University before taking her first job as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble in 1965. She next worked for DDB Needham in Chicago, rising to VP before leaving in 1988 to accept a marketing position with Buena Vista Television in Los Angeles.
NBC lured her away in 1994, naming her president of KNBC-TV, its owned-and-operated station in Los Angeles, where Ms. Black led a weak No. 2 station to No.1 in the ratings.
She was appointed president and CEO of Lifetime in 1999. While there, she tripled the network’s programming budget and increased coverage of women’s issues. She called her job the best in the business, but decided to chuck it last fall to travel and learn Italian.
“I’ve loved being able to use the power of our viewers’ lives,” she told TelevisionWeek at the time. “I’ve never before had my avocation and my vocation so perfectly matched.”
Ms. Black has been traveling in Italy and was unavailable for comment, but she is scheduled to attend the Cable Positive benefit and accept the Berger award.
Title: Former CEO, Lifetime Entertainment Services
Retired: March 2005
Year of birth: 1943
Place of birth: Cincinnati
Who knew? Ms. Black once wrote a “Dear Carole” advice column for truckers.