Former VH1 programmer Lauren Zalaznick has replaced Bill Haber as president
of Trio, officials said Monday.
In her new job, Zalaznick -- who left VH1 last summer as senior vice
president of original programming and development -- will also serve as
executive VP of Universal Television's emerging-networks division. She is slated
to play a large role in developing new cable networks.
'I believe there will be many of them in a few years,' Zalaznick said. 'This
is an aggressive company with a lot of ideas.'
Last year, USA Networks Inc. brought in Haber as head of Trio, which now
reaches 14 million homes. The company trumpeted the fact it had recruited a
seasoned executive with lots of experience in the arts to run the digital
Trio's programming strategy is to cover all of the popular arts, such as
music, fashion, film, theater and pop culture.
A veteran Broadway producer, Haber will now serve as a consultant to Trio,
where he will focus on the USA Ostar venture, which produces plays.
Zalaznick pointed out that her mandate is to create a real brand for Trio,
much as she did at VH1 when John Sykes relaunched that music network in
The major way to do that will be by creating original programming for Trio,
particularly in primetime, according to Zalaznick.
Zalaznick was a key executive in the programming team created at VH1 when
executive VP of programming Jeff Gaspin came on board.
That programming dynasty created hit franchises for VH1 such as Pop-Up
Video, The List and event programming like VH1 Divas Live! and
The VH1 Fashion Awards.
Zalaznick launched VH1's original-movie division in 1998.