Nancy Dubuc, whose programming boosted History and Lifetime, has been appointed president and CEO of A+E Networks, succeeding Abbe Raven, who is being elevated to chairman.
As chairman, effective June 1, Raven will be responsible for A+E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities and public policy initiatives. Dubuc, as the third CEO in A+E’s 30-year history, will oversee the day to day operations of the company, with the brand groups and business divisions reporting to her.
A+E Networks is a joint venture of The Walt Disney Co. and Hearst.
“A+E Networks is the global media powerhouse it is today because of Abbe’s leadership and vision,” said A+E directors Anne Sweeney, co-chairman Disney Media Networks and president Disney/ABC Television Group, and Steven Swartz, president and COO of Hearst Corp, in a joint statement. “Abbe and Nancy have enjoyed one of the most successful partnerships in our business. Together, over the last several years, they have built some of the strongest brands in media. We look forward to the company’s next chapter as Abbe becomes chairman and Nancy steps into her expanded new role as president and CEO and leads the company into the future.”
In September, Dubuc was appointed by Raven as president of entertainment and media at A+E Networks, which put her in charge of all content creation for the company’s cable networks—A&E, History and Lifetime. She was also made responsible for marketing, brand development, international and digital.
“I am delighted that our next president and CEO has been chosen from within our own ranks once again," Raven said. “A+E Networks’ culture has always been about rewarding success and encouraging innovation. Nancy is one of the most talented executives working in media today—a decisive leader, with her hallmark drive and determination. I am so proud of what Nancy, the management team and our employees have accomplished and I know they will take A+E Networks to new heights.”
Raven became president and CEO of A&E Television Networks in 2005. She had been president of A&E Network and The Biography Channel, helping to revive A&E with real-life programming such as Dog The Bounty Hunter. Before that she ran the History Channel. A former teacher, Raven’s first job at the company was answering phones and copying scripts.
Dubuc was made president of Lifetime in 2010 by Raven. Dubuc had already been running History since 2007.
“I built my career here and I thank Anne and Steve for their confidence and trust. Abbe has been a great mentor and partner for over 10 years,” Dubuc said. “She created a corporate culture at A+E Networks where creativity thrives and as a result we cultivated some of the most powerful global brands in media. The biggest lesson I learned from her is that a great leader is nothing without a great team. I would like to thank all my colleagues for their continued support as we write this next chapter together. We have a powerful portfolio of brands that are well-positioned for future growth, both domestically and internationally.”
With Dubuc at the helm, History moved from being the World War II channel, popular with Tony Soprano and Tiger Woods, to one a top-five cable network with shows such as Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and Pawn Stars.
Under Dubuc, History moved into scripted programming, with series and miniseries such as Hatfields & McCoys, The Bible, and Vikings drawing big ratings.
History and Lifetime is currently in production of Bonnie & Clyde, a two-night miniseries expected to air later this year.
Since Dubuc was named to run Lifetime, the network has bounced back with programs like Dance Moms and The Client List joining stalwarts as Army Wives, Drop Dead Diva and Project Runway.
Before being put in charge of History, Dubuc was senior VP, programming at A&E Networks. Her first job at A&E was director, historical programming for History.
In addition to its three big networks, A+E owns LMN, H2, LRW, Military History, History en Espanol, Crime & Investigation Network, Lifetime Digital, A+E Networks International and A+E Networks Consumer Products.