OMD’s Richman Joins Lifetime as Executive VP, Ad Sales

Mar 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Debbie Richman, top buyer at media agency OMD, has been named executive VP for ad sales at Lifetime Networks.
Lifetime’s top ad spot has been vacant since Lynn Picard left the network last year.
Ms. Richman will assume her new position April 1, just in time to prepare for the upfront market. She’ll be overseeing ad sales for Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women and Lifetime Digital.
As a buyer, “I’ve been sitting on this side of the desk for a long time,” Ms. Richman said.
“I think I’ve got a great perspective on the network and every media and I know what clients want and need and what brands need,” she said. “For me, it’s about taking all the creative deal-making and the multiplatform and the digital and bringing it all together and making it sing, because Lifetime is a strong brand and there’s great potential here.”
“An executive of formidable stature with extensive relationships in the media community, Debbie has an outstanding record developing innovative partnerships and client models in this fast-changing business environment,” said Andrea Wong, president and CEO of Lifetime Networks. “Leveraging the expanding platforms against the powerful, top-rated Lifetime brand and our programming assets, Debbie and her team will create even more opportunities and greater value for our advertisers, as well as growth for our organization.”
Ms. Richman has been managing director for national broadcast at OMD since 2005.
She began her media career at Ogilvy & Mather and also worked at McCann-Erickson and Optimum Media, which became part of OMD in 2002.
She declined to say when she was first contacted about the Lifetime job.
With her new business cards being printed, the former buyer expects this to be a great year for cable, which benefited from the Writers Guild of America strike.
“I think strike or no strike, it’s about following the quality programming and where the ratings are,” Ms. Richman said. “With the dropoff that you do see in broadcast [networks] and the price tags that are attached to them, cable offers a great opportunity.”
OMD said Chris Geraci has been appointed managing director of national broadcast investment, effective immediately, replacing Ms. Richman at the agency. He had been director of national broadcast investment.
“Debbie leaves behind a legacy of OMD being recognized as the industry’s gold standard in buying,” said Page Thompson, CEO of OMD North America.
“It is gratifying to see a homegrown talent like Chris advance and thrive in our organization,” Mr. Thompson said. “His extensive experience and ability to craft innovative deals have given us a tremendous advantage.”
Mr. Geraci started his career in 1987 in the media department of BBDO, which later became part of OMD.
12:30 p.m.: Updated with comments from Ms. Richman, appointment of Mr. Geraci

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