Lucie Salhany (born 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a Lebanese media executive. Salhany is perhaps best known for rising to chairman of Fox Broadcasting Company in 1993, making her the first woman to head a broadcast television network. She later went on to found and lead United Paramount Network.
Lucie (Lucille)Salhany began television career as program director. Lucie Salhany is an American media executive, she is perhaps best known for rising to chairman of Fox Broadcasting Company (the fourth national television network to be formed in the United States, after American Broadcasting Company - ABC-, CBS Broadcasting Inc.-CBS - and National Broadcasting Company -NBC )in 1993. In the history of American television broadcasting there had been no previous female manager who had shattered the ‘ glass ceiling ‘ barrier to the senior executive suite.
Salhany started her career in programming at the station level in Cleveland in 1967 at WKBF TV, and by 1979 she had become vice president (VP) for programming for the Taft Broadcasting Company. She moved to Paramount Domestic Television in Los Angeles as president in 1985 and supervised the production of e.g.:
- Entertainment Tonight
- The Arsenio Hall Show
- Hard Copy
- Star Trek : The Next Generation (often abbreviated to TNG)
The latter program, a revival of the original television classic(Star Trek 1966-1969), was to become one of the most successful syndicated programs in international broadcast history. In 2002, Star Trek :The Next Generation was ranked #46 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list and in 2008, was ranked by Empire #37 on their list: "The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time".
- Salhany had acquired an insider’s knowledge of television broadcast programming at the station – level , and used this expertise to craft a number of stories that were highly salable in syndication. At the time of the premiere of The Arsenio Hall Show , the program introduced a number of innovations in talk shows form and content – not the least of which was the replacement of the traditional host – at – a – desk with comfortable sofas allowing greater interaction between host and guest.
- Salhany was recruited from Paramount by FOX broadcasting CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Barry Diller to manage Twentieth Television – the production and distribution arm of the network – at the time when the parent company was becoming a formidable competitor to the traditional big three networks. Salhany ‘s open management style was well received by FOX station affiliates, and she was selected by Rupert Murdoch as head of FOX broadcasting after Diller’s departure. However , the rapid growth of the network came to halt during the 1993- 1994 season as the number of viewers declined and efforts to reach older viewers were not successful. Salhany had championed The Chevy Chase Show in the late night market , and her tenure of FOX was jeopardized when the program proved to be a brief expensive failure. Murdoch had increasingly taken over hands –on management of this broadcast operations , and when he proposed that Salhany report to him through an intermediary she resigned. A senior executive close to Ms Salhany said anonymously ‘I think Lucie got tired of being a teacher to someone who didn't understand the television business as well as she did’ She moved back to Paramount as they were about to launch their UPN network(United Paramount Network).
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