Former NBCU exec Lauren Zalaznick has new hobby with LZ Sunday Paper
Lauren Zalaznick’s career has included stints as a movie producer, marketing executive and cable network president.
Now she can add newsletter editor to her resume.
Zalaznick spends Sundays blasting out the “LZ Sunday Paper,” a collection of articles about women in the media and technology space to high-powered industry executives, taste-makers and reporters whose names she’s accumulated from years in the business.
Initially sent out to a friends and colleagues, Zalaznick said her mailing list is now in the thousands. In her first edition of 2014 she wrote that the “LZ’s” mission is to “expose and recirculate interesting content that is about, and for, women in business, along with a dose of ultra-relevant culture.”
Stories range from the serious to the sophomoric. “Sometimes inspiring, entertaining, shocking hilarious, but hopefully always worth reading,” Zalaznick wrote in a recent edition. Besides aggregating pieces from both mainstream publications and off the beaten path outlets, Zalaznick also provides some of her patented quirky commentary on the news of the day.
Zalaznick started as an independent movie producer (“Kids,” “Girls Town”) before segueing to cable television. She ran the much-loved Trio, a small artsy network that tried to shine a light on Hollywood’s creative process. Its most well-known show was the documentary series “Brilliant But Cancelled” about critically acclaimed TV shows that didn’t succeed. Zalaznick once said of the show, “it goes against all the rules of successful television because it is by nature a celebration of failure.”
While Trio itself was ultimately canceled, Zalaznick moved up the ladder at NBCUniversal and ended up taking over Bravo and boosting its audience with shows such as “Top Chef” and the “Real Housewives” franchise. Zalaznick has always had something of a knack for making lowbrow programming for highbrow viewers.
Zalaznick left NBCUniversal last September after a corporate restructuring and started the “LZ” to in part to rediscover her creative voice.
“It was like me writing a note to friends,” she said.
Although aggregation has become big business for some bloggers, Zalaznick isn’t thinking about going down that road just yet.
“I would love to have a vision for the future that I could articulate right now. It is growing so nicely organically, I haven’t given it business thoughts,” she said.
Although the content is woman-centric, she is adding a lot of men to her list.
“It is like a window into the secret life and a place for shock and awe and empathy,” she said. “It will always be about women in business and culture, but it isn’t exclusively for women in business and culture.”
As for her professional life, Zalaznick said she wants to get through the fall “before thinking about a new gig.”
Besides, putting together the “LZ” is harder than it looks.
“I’m not a good newsperson. It did not occur to me that when I branded it the `LZ Sunday Paper’ I’d have to work really hard on Friday and Saturday.”
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.
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