Now that Beth Comstock is out of the way (and back at GE corporate in Connecticut), NBC U is handing the reins (and the problems) of iVillage to Lauren Zalaznick. NBC U named Zalaznick president of NBC U Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, a job that includes overseeing newly-acquired Oxygen Media, iVillage and Bravo.
Zalaznick made her name at NBC U by creating an identity for Bravo (and boosting ratings); now she’ll get a chance to make the elusive Web-TV synergies work between iVillage and Bravo, Oxygen and NBC’s “Today.” Zalaznick also gets NBC’s newly-launched “virtual women’s network” encompasing the Web properties of Bravo, Oxygen and iVillage. All properties will be offered as a package in the upfront next week.
iVillage president Deborah Fine is sticking around and will report to Zalznick, who reports to NBC U Television Group president Jeff Gaspin. For all the integration hiccups since the acquisition in 2006, and the traffic problems (see below), NBC U says revenue iVillage is up 20% in the first quarter.