A+E Networks is looking to grow its digital footprint for its channels, Lifetime, FYI, A&E and History and has made two editor in chief hires to drive that expansion.
The move is somewhat of a reversal in the media industry, which has seen more examples of digital brands trying to reach the small screen than vice versa.
Lea Goldman, the former editorial director of Refinery29, who also served as executive editor of Hearst's Marie Claire, will helm Lifetime and FYI. Former News UK creative content director Tiffanie Darke will oversee A&E and History channels. Both women will report to A&E's chief marketing officer Amanda Hill and president of international and digital media Sean Cohan. According to the firm, they will focus on editorial strategy, facilitating creation and curation of content for use on-air, across digital and on social platforms, and they will also support the company's efforts to initiate "nontraditional strategic partnerships," events and sponsorship opportunities.
Goldman, who left her job at Refinery29 after just four months, said the Lifetime opportunity arose and it wasn't something she could pass up. Her move coincided with former Vice Media chief operating officer Alyssa Mastromonaco's move to A+E where she serves as the network's president of global communications strategy & talent. Mastromonaco, former President Obama's deputy chief of staff and a Marie Claire contributing editor, met Goldman four years ago when she was working on a story about women in Obama's administration. The two kept in touch, and the rest is history.
Goldman told WWD that her decision to join the network had to do with its mission to reach women on a mass scale.
"Nobody owns the space," she said, calling Lifetime a "meaningful and relevant women's brand."
Part of the job will entail adapting Lifetime's DNA to the digital world through short-form video, editorial and social media content, and according to Goldman, the opportunity is to speak to an arguably broader swath of women, who come from different socio-economic backgrounds.
"In today's competitive, fragmented media environment, we need to build brands that truly connect to culture, are an ongoing and meaningful part of our audiences lives and are therefore also clearly consistent across all platforms," Hill said. "Having Lea on board to work across our female brands and Tiffanie collaborating across our male/adult brands are important evolutionary next steps for our building our cultural reputation, driving relevance through powerful storytelling and for our company as a whole."
"Lea and Tiffanie are accomplished editors, creators and strategists with rich experience working across all content platforms," Cohan added. "We look forward to their contribution to elevating the visibility and reputation of our powerful brands and content."